Let's Make Robots!

Sky diving man

sky diving
GM_counter_sky_diver_man.JPG263.12 KB
15322_Lithium9V_Datasheet.pdf768.79 KB
timer_release_mechanism.JPG88.51 KB
TX_circuit_Joe.JPG107.54 KB

On August 16, 1960, Joseph Kittinger jumped from a balloon at 31,300 m. He fell for four minutes and 36 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 988 km/h before opening his parachute at 5,500 m. He set historical numbers for highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, longest drogue-fall and fastest speed by a human being through the atmosphere.

I have updated the prior design and this is how it should work:

The principle is the same as for model rocket parachute ejection.

The FlyCamOne eco V2 camera was very disappointing. 170 mA at standby and interference-prone. I'll replace it by something like this.

Below you see a dismantled C6 rocket engine. The small part on the left is the ejection charge.




Designed the controller perf board with LochMaster to keep in compact:


Sky diving man under construction...I added a wing to increase the CV value. I have also attached a short test video of the parachute ejection system.



Updated the design completely again and gave the skydiver a more manlike look. The body is made from a appIe juice bottle, two ping pong balls, some plywood, epoxy resin putty and other scrap. I waived the parachute ejection by black powder. This was anyway not the best idea in combination with a hydrogen filled balloon (see Zeppelin Hindenburg...). The skydiver will now be lifted on its opened parachute via weather balloon and released on an altitude of around 1km. The robot is still equipped with a tracking device and a small camera with micro SD card. I found an interesting 9V battery with 1250mAh (Lithium-Manganese Dioxide) which will power the tracking device around 5 hours. The data sheet of this battery can be find attached.


Pictures below show the release platform of the skydiver. On the top side is the power supply and a programmable timer (via push buttons), on the bottom side the release mechanism. Times between 1-3 minutes can be adjusted. The ascent rate of the weather balloon will be approx. 320m/min. The release platform will be lost in near space...


Finally the nylon parachute for Joe arrived. The parachute has a diameter of 24". My wife stitched a cord loop on the top of the chute. The picture below shows the complete setup for launch on the weather balloon. I have also attached the circuit diagrams for tracking transmitter and release mechanism control unit.


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Hi Markus, that's pretty cool.

he looks about 10" tall?    is measuring the cosmic radiation you main quest?    what kinds of tempatures will your little guy experience, compared to Mr. Kittingers trip?  

1/10 the height - 3100m, about 10,000 feet.   what kind of balloon will be involved?   will you need clearance from local governments to not interefere with airplanes?

you checked parachute specifications for the expected weight and speed at time of deployment?

at least you wont need oxegen tanks as I'm sure Mr. Kittinger did.  although we'll all be holding our breath for his safe return.

Hi Paul,

He is 45 cm tall. Measuring the cosmic radiation and capture video is the main quest.

It will be a 2 m diamater hydrogen weather balloon. I don't need clearance from the local government. It will be launched from the weather balloon launch station in Nanjing, China. This station belongs to the government and I can luckely launch there a balloon any time.

Calculation for parachute goes here for example: http://www.onlinetesting.net/cgi-bin/descent3.3.cgi

I got following results with my parameter:

You entered:

  • Rocket mass: 31.74651 ounces
  • Parachute shape/type: circular
  • Parachute size: SkyAngle Classic 52

Calculation Results

Descent rate:

  • 9.16 ft/sec
  • 2.79 meters/sec
  • 10.05 km/hr
  • 6.24 mph

Estimated descent time, assuming ejection at 9842 feet: 1074 seconds

oh, your deploying parachute as soon as you separate from balloon?

I'm worried about air currents at 3100m and skydiver drifting out of range of your walkie-talkie.    will you be able to see parachute descent from ground?

how about a dry-run with a 32 ounce weight dropped from a teathered balloon or kite at 100m to analyze drift.

Yeah, I will make first tests from lower altitudes. Parachute will be deployed very soon after seperation from balloon. I'll post some pictures later how I think it could work :)

can you get me one of those cameras as well? XD

nice bot

Chinese paratroopers..... I need to re-oil my uzi before Marcus finishes his project.......

We spare the Netherlands...:D

I'm really impressed with all the software your using for the 3d rendering, schematics, circuit board front and back.   is that 1 program or 3 different programs?    I'm guessing you are happy with all of it and you would recommend all of it since you are using it.  


Hi PaulJD,

3 different programs:

LochMaster for perf board designs

sPlan for circuit diagrams

Google Sketchup for 3-D rendering (free ware)

Thanks, I'll be checking those out this weekend.