Let's Make Robots!

Hexacopter - OK, it's mostly a kit

Flies - autonomously, or remote

OK, there are so many reasons for me not submitting this as "a robot", let's do them first:

* It's 95% a kit

* I am only showing a video- no good info, no pictures

* It's flying

* This is just a re-post of one of the TLIHR videos we do together with Make Magazine

But the reasons for posting this are:

* I'd like to be able to talk with my friends on LMR about this - not just on YouTube :)

* I think a flying robot is as good as any driving - and personally I'd love to see more flying robots here on LMR, so I figured I'd kick some in that direction by posting this.

The Hexa shown is from a Hexa XL kit from Mikrokopter.

Gareth showed me a video of it here on LMR, and I just had to get one.

How is it then, IRL? To put it short; I do really not like the way it is sold / supported by them. I have never seen a product this expensive, with such a completely unbelievable crap documentation.

It looks as it is nicely documented - but once you start reading in, you soon realize that it is one huge, massive mess of wrong information, broken links, outdated stuff, texts pointing to other texts that are related to older versions of everything. Loads of info you do not need (older models, other parts), and it is really, really hard to find the simple, important stuff.

And most of it is in really poor English, hard to understand, and with German texts and Google translations mixed in - right where you needed to find the info.It took me a full week to assemble - it would have taken me 2 days.. if I had the info I needed.

The price of the product really, really, really do not match the feeling you get. And it is really, really irritating, because I want to play around with it - learn and read, have fun, repair, upgrade.. but when ever I have to find any info, I get angry and irritated, and have a fight for hours, days.. and that just brings the whole experience down to something I'd wish I had not invested in.

HOWEVER - the general concept of multicopters is really worth digging into - so just avoid Mikrokopters line of products, and check out some of the cool stuff out there - Especially I am interested in the Tricopters.. and you can build them yourself, just like you can build a driving, walking, sailing robot.

I hope to see some homemade stuff - I know some of you are working on it, and if I find the time, I will as well :) It really is fantastic to build something that flies - specially when it does so because of a microcontroller calculating stuff :)

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Range: I try not to fly further away than good visual contact - and I can do that range. 100 meters up/away is all I like to go :)

Better products: I am working hard on that one, expect cool (and MUCH cheaper) options to come from me :) Stuff is on the way ;)

More info: Please; I am trying to forget everything related to Mikrokopter, do not ask me to go into details about them - I do not recommend this product range, unless you really _have_ to have something they offer - but then you are asking for it, and it's your own fight ;)

Oops sorry! Here was the right place to reply ;)

Thanks for your fast reply Frits and your advice as well. That's a good range I would say and also a safe one. I will keep an eye on your updates :)

Very cool project! Autonomous flying vehicles is what I want to get to eventually. 

Your project video made me think of these video's: http://vimeo.com/18870970 and http://vimeo.com/16604842 people doing cool stuff with camera's mounted on flying machines. :)

I have a small #11 808 keychain camera which I can recommend to anyone wanting to film aerial footage in nice quality for very cheap ($60): http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2011/2/18/finally-a-real-hd-mini-keyring-spy-camera-11-808.html (check that page for more details, also where to get one).

I was thinking maybe you could carry a bluetooth GPS mouse around and transmit the coordinates to the copter somehow and have it follow you around. Heck, you could even go for a drive and have it follow and film the car. 

God, this is amazing. I've had my eye on all the quad- etc copters showing up lately and I'm in love, I wish to god I had the spare money to build one, it sounds like there's so much potential for fun hacking, not to mention beautiful aerial photography as you displayed here. I'll just have to enjoy videos like this for now :) Dan

 I recently made a quadcopter based on http://multiwii.com

Spent a bit of time building it and waiting for parts etc but it finally all came together and I took it for my first flight! It flew... then crashed because I freaked out while flying it and didn't really have the experience to save it... broke a propellor... no biggy... fly it again broke a motor shaft lol lucky i had a spare which I then broke again! So bummed waiting for new motors now... better designed ones which shouldn't break. It's all been a learning experience and I've been thinking all the time of ways to make a better frame etc... I'm sure eventually I'll make one autonomous! 

The video quality from the Hexacopter is really good, so I am wondering what kind of video transmitter and camera you are using? And you said in the video both gyro and accelerometer were mounted on the Hexacpoter, so that makes it have sort of so called " fly by wired" function? That's really cool, but I also noticed that the robot is kind of wobbling when it is flying in a higher altitude , maybe you can do something on the software to make it more stable?

I love it! But $4K? Too rich for me.


Im a newbee so i dont know anything. I would like to make a RC car robot
that has a picaxe 28 and has a incorporated camera that permites me to
"see" what the car sees from a diferent location, like your copter, only
for a computer or radio controller, I would like to have a steering wheel
so that it turns wheen you turn it, a lever that makes the car acellerate
when you push it, it would fantastic if you helped me..
Yours truely