At the moment, most drone work is carried out using traditional radio-control systems. However, new systems are becoming more and more intuitive with some manufacturers going down the route of creating their own control systems whilst others are beginning to use iPads or even iPhones to control their drones. A team in America are doing some very exciting work with fully automated systems.
Operation within the UK under Civil Aviation Authority guidelines requires an operator to be able to take manual control if necessary in order to implement sense and avoid procedures. as a result, traditional systems that include what most people would recognise as a radio control are still used for the majority of operations.
At HexCam, our multirotors are based on the DJI Wookong multirotor controller. This gives us three possible modes depending on the situation to give a variety of control options. In full GPS mode, the multirotor will hold its position using GPS satellites. In atti mode, the multirotor will hold its position as well as possible without using GPS. In manual mode the operator has manual control of the multirotor. Future upgrades will allow us to use fully automated flight using the same system whilst always having the option of taking full manual control.
The DJI Wookong also features a return-to-base failsafe that will return the multirotor automatically to a preset start position and land in the event of loss of signal. As a result, our systems are about as safe as you can get. We carry out full risk assessments before each project and our pilots will soon be BNUC-S qualified to guarantee that they are trained to standards required by the CAA.
5 thoughts on “Computer-controlled quadrocopters”
This is SO IMPRESSIVE! Really – but outside it would not be working. I am using your DJI Wookong System at my Hobby Quad and its working verry verry stable! But i tested it on a Hexakopter Carbon Frame with withness of 80cm Motor to Motor and it was horrible flying in a lilbit windy condition. Do you have the same experience?
Hi, thanks for your comment. I think they use a lot of positioning systems within the lab, so I think you are right, it wouldn’t work outside yet. It certainly shows potential for the future though. We have tested the hex outside and it holds position pretty well in the wind, although, to be fair, we don’t fly much in heavy winds. When tested in about 14km/hr winds it held position well. I am using a smaller frame, 60cm motor to motor with 10 inch props. Have you got the centre of gravity etc. set up accurately? All the best! 🙂
Oh well, i tried my best to set up the gravity center and some other Parameters but i did not get the Hex “smooth”. But you are right i am usualy not flying in heavy winds. Maybe i will cut the CF arms off a litlebit and try smaller props like 12″ – actually i am using 13″ CF Props.
🙂 I like your “main” Page – saw it yesterday. Thumbs up!
Thanks very much. I have some work to do on it. It is all stock photography at the moment but soon I will be getting my own on there!
Hi. I did a couple of quick videos. Took all my camera gear off to play. The wind that day was quite gentle with some turbulent gusts around my house.
I need to get an anemometer to measure wind speed!
Got to fly it indoors yesterday at a very nice venue and it was silky smooth.
I’ve also put some photos of my working setup on the “technology” page of my website.