Microduino Quadcopter Kit

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About

The build-it-yourself Microduino Quadcopter is a flying four-motor rotorcraft controllable with the included Microduino Joypad. The Microduino Series is our original product, created for those looking for the most flexibility in their DIY projects. Its quarter-sized profile makes it easier to integrate into projects of all shapes and sizes. Smart, flexible, and compatible with the Arduino ecosystem, designers have everything they need to build their own applications.

Detailed Description

The Microduino Quadcopter is a flying four motor rotorcraft kit. The kit is designed to be fun and easy to assemble. When building this, kids learn about the different modules and the functions required to create the quadcopter.

 

Positioning and Orientation

The quadcopter utilizes a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope chip (MPU-6050) to determine its positioning and orientation. With this data, the quadcopter’s motors are able to compensate for orientation during operation.

 

Wireless Control

The CoreRF module (Core + nRF) adds wireless communication to the Microduino Quadcopter. The quadcopter can be remotely controlled by the included Microduino Joypad. Additionally, the included Microduino Joypad can be reprogrammed and used for other projects.

 

Microduino Series Modules

This kit incorporates various Microduino Series modules. The Microduino Series is a set of modules which are Arduino compatible, have a small form factor, stack-able, modular, and reusable. The modules were designed for hobbyists and tinkers to quickly create and prototype projects.

 

A Complete Kit

The kit contains everything needed to make the Microduino Quadcopter. Electronic hardware from the embedded processor (CoreRF module) to the motors and propellers are included. Also included are frame pieces for the quadcopter. A recharge-able battery is also included which can be recharged with a MicroUSB Cable plugged into the base board. The Open Source code is provided and can be modified for personal customization. Similarly, the Microduino Joypad contains everything needed to be assembled (including the rechargable li-ion battery).

 

Additional Information

Tutorial

Important Dates

Enrollment Begin: June 20 2020

Enrollment Ends: July 20 2020

RoadTesters Selected: July 23 2020

Product Shipped: July 24 2020

RoadTesting Begins: July 30 2020

Reminder/Update Email: Aug 30 2020

Submit Reviews By: Oct 15 2020

*The element14 RoadTest Staff will send this reminder/update email.

**If a RoadTester is unable to meet the deadline, please notify the RoadTest Program Lead, , as soon as possible before the deadline.

RoadTester

Terms and Conditions

Microduino Quadcopter Kit – RoadTest

Terms and Conditions

These are the terms and conditions which govern the Microduino Quadcopter KitRoadTest contest. This Contest requires participants to submit an application indicating their previous experience with this type of equipment/component, information on what they would do to test the equipment/component, and the applicant’s desire to post a thorough review of their experience with images, photos, or other supplemental materials. Participants will be required to meet the Conditions for Participation.  The winners of this RoadTest will receive the item(s) listed below. RoadTest Reviews are due no later than 60 days after the receipt of the item(s). No other prizes are offered.

The Principal terms of the Competition:

The following words and phrases are used in these terms and conditions and have the meanings given to them below.

 

Key dates:

Applications Close: midnight (GMT) on July 20 2020

Announcement of Winner (estimated): July 21 2020

Prize:  Microduino Quadcopter Kit

Additional Prizes: none

Competition Site: https://www.element14.com/community/groups/roadtest?ICID=menubar_resources_roadtest

Site or element14 Community: www.element14.com/community

Judges: members of the element14 community team chosen at the Organiser’s discretion.

Judging Criteria, All of the following which will have equal weighting:

· Demonstrated competence with the technologies including links or descriptions of past projects

· Qualifications as indicated by current job role and/or schooling/vocational training;

· A thorough description of how the prize would be tested;

· Likelihood that the Applicant will blog about the prize and provide a review on element14.com;

· Originality;

· Innovation.

Organiser: Premier Farnell plc (registered in England and Wales under company number 876412) whose registered office is at Farnell House, Forge Lane, Leeds, UK

Conditions for Qualification: in addition to meeting the requirements of these terms, all persons applying to take part in the Contest (each one an Applicant) must:

· Provide a RoadTest application describing what he/she would do if awarded the Prize including similar previous projects, product experience and qualifications

Terms: these terms and conditions which govern the Competition and to which the Organiser reserves the right to make changes from time to time and the latest version of these Terms from time to time will be posted to the Site.

  1. Eligibility
  2. Applications:
  3. Selecting Winners:
  4. Liability:
  5. General:

1.1 Save as set out in these Terms, the Contest is open to any natural or legal person, firm or company or group of natural persons or unincorporated body.

1.2 All Applicants must be aged at least 18 at the time of their application.

1.3 Applicants must not enter the RoadTest if doing so or taking part may:

1.3.1 cause the Organiser and/or themselves to be in breach of any agreement (including but not limited to any contract of employment) to which they are a party or in breach of any law, regulation or rule having the force of law to which the Organiser or the Applicant may be subject or any policy of the Organiser or the Sponsor;

1.3.2 Require the Organiser to obtain any licence, authorisation or permission to deal with the Applicant; or

1.3.3 Be in breach of any policy or practice of their employer. Some employers prohibit or restrict their employees from taking part in competitions such as these or receiving prizes under them and the Organiser respects those policies and practices.

The Organiser reserves the right to disqualify any Application made in breach of these Terms and to reject any Application which it reasonably believes may be or become in breach. The Organiser reserves the right to require evidence in such form as the Organiser may reasonably require of any Applicant’s compliance with any of these Terms and to disqualify any Applicant or Participant who cannot provide such evidence reasonably promptly.

1.4 Multiple applications are not permitted.

1.5 Applications may not be submitted by an agent whether acting on behalf of an undisclosed principal or otherwise.

1.6 The Contest is NOT open to:

1.6.1 Any person or entity who is a resident or national of any country which is subject to sanctions, embargoes or national trade restrictions of the United States of America, the European Union or the United Kingdom;

1.6.2 Any employee, director, member, shareholder (as appropriate) or any of their direct families (parents, siblings, spouse, partner, children) (“Direct Families”) of the Organiser and Sponsors; or

2.1 Each Applicant must fully complete and submit a RoadTest Application by the Application Close.

2.2 By submitting a Registration Form, each Applicant:

2.2.1 Authorises the Organiser to use his or her personal data (as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998) for the purposes of running and promoting the RoadTest;

2.2.2 Authorises the Organizer to copy, reproduce and publish their application should they be accepted as a Participant;

2.2.3 Will be deemed to have read, accepted and agree to be bound by these Terms. Applicants are advised to print and keep safe these Terms;

2.2.4 Authorises the Organiser to copy, reproduce and use the Application and/or Review for the purposes of the RoadTest and as otherwise contemplated by these Terms. The Organiser will not be responsible for any inaccuracy, error or omission contained in any reproduction or use of the Project Blogs.

2.2.5 Licenses the Organiser to use the intellectual property in the Project (IP) for the purposes of this Contest. As between the Applicant and the Organiser the IP remains owned by the Applicant.

2.2.6 Grants the Organiser the right to use his or her likeness, photographs, logos, trademarks, audio or video recordings without restriction for the purposes of Contest or the promotion of it or the Site;

2.2.7 Agrees to participate positively in all publicity surrounding the Contest;

2.2.8 Agrees to be responsible for all expenses and costs incurred by him or her in preparing for, entering and participating in the Contest (save for any expenses expressly agreed by the Organiser to be borne by it in these Terms);

2.2.9 Confirms that he or she owns all IP used in his or her application or Project or Blogs and indemnifies the Organiser from any claim by a third party that use of any material provided by an Applicant to the Organiser infringes the intellectual property rights of any third party;

2.2.10 Agrees not to act in any way or fail to act in any way or be associated with any cause or group which would have a negative impact on the reputation of the Organiser and/or the RoadTest.

2.3 All applications submitted to this RoadTest must meet the following criteria:

2.3.1 Applicants must be the author, creator and owner of the proposed review idea. Applicants must not submit someone else’s idea;

2.3.2 The proposed application must be reasonably achievable by the within the time constraints of the Contest;

2.3.3 Applications must not include or propose any of the following, the inclusion of which shall render any proposed application ineligible:

(a) Applications which relate to socially taboo topics, such as illicit drug use or sexual gratification;

(b) Applications that are or could reasonably be considered to be illegal, immoral, discriminatory or offensive as determined by the Organiser;

(c) Applications in relation to them which if accepted would infringe or breach any of the policies or terms of access or use of the Site.

2.4 No Application may contain any of the hazardous substances identified by Article 4 of Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament on the Restrictions on the Use of Substances in Electronic and Electrical Equipment ("the Directive") or the use of such hazardous substances in the in any such Project must not exceed the maximum concentration values set out in the Directive.

3.1 Winners will be selected by the Organiser on the basis of the quality of his or her application and its adherence to these Terms.

3.2 The total number of Winners selected will be at least the minimum number set out above but the actual number is at the sole discretion of the Organizer and/or the Sponsor, if applicable.

3.3 The Organiser will use all reasonable efforts to announce the Winners via an update to the RoadTest page by the date listed above.

3.4 Winners agree to take part in all publicity which the Organiser or the Sponsor wishes to use to promote the RoadTest, the Products featured or other Contests with which the Organiser may be connected from time to time.

3.5 Details of the Winners may also be published in the media.

3.6 Winners are responsible for all applicable taxes, duties or other charges payable in relation to any prize.

3.7

4.1 The Organiser hereby excludes all and any Liability arising out of the Contest or the acceptance, use, quality, condition, suitability or performance of any Prize, even where that Liability may arise from the Organiser’s negligence.

4.2 Nothing in these Terms will affect any Liability of the Organiser for death or personal injury arising from its negligence, for breach of Part II of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (in the event that any entrant is entitled to claim rights under the Consumer Protection Act 1987) or for any matter in relation to which it would be illegal for the Organiser to exclude or to attempt to exclude its Liability.

4.3 Subject to 4.2, neither the Organiser, any parent company nor any subsidiary of the Organiser or such parent company or any of their directors, officers and employees (together referred to in these terms and the ‘Associates’) makes any guarantee, warranty or representation of any kind, express or implied, with respect to this Competition or the Prizes potentially available under it. Neither the Organiser nor any of its Associates shall be responsible for any Liability that may arise out of or in connection with person’s participation in this Competition, the claiming, redemption or value of any prizes under it, the use or enjoyment of such prizes or any events or circumstances arising out of or in connection with any of them. Any implied warranties of condition, merchantability or suitability or fitness for purpose of any of them are hereby expressly excluded. Wherever used in these Terms, ‘Liability’ shall mean any and all costs, expenses, claims, damages, actions, proceedings, demands, losses and other liabilities (including legal fees and costs on a full indemnity basis) arising directly or indirectly out of or in connection with the matter concerned.

5.1 The RoadTest is organised and sponsored by the Organiser. The Organiser reserves the right to delegate all or any of its powers, rights and obligations arising in relation to the RoadTest to any Associate and certain such rights and powers are assumed by the Organiser on behalf of itself and each Associate. Reference to “Organiser” shall be deemed to include reference to each Associate.

5.2 The RoadTest may be terminated at any time if there are, in the sole opinion of the Organiser, an insufficient number of entries, or if the Applications are not of an appropriate standard for a competition of this nature. The Organiser has the right to cancel or suspend the RoadTest at any time due to circumstances outside its reasonable control.

5.3 The Organiser shall have the sole discretion to disqualify (without correspondence or right of appeal) any Applicant it considers to be adversely affecting the process or the operation of the RoadTest or to be in breach of these Terms or to be acting in a disruptive manner or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other Applicant or Participant.

5.4 The Organiser has the right to amend or add to these Terms from time to time. Revised Terms and Conditions will be posted on the Contest Site and it is a condition of entry to the RoadTest that Applicants agree to comply with these Terms and, if appropriate, such Terms as amended from time to time.

5.5 Headings are for convenience only and do not affect the interpretation or construction of these Terms and Conditions.

5.6 These Terms and the operation of the Contest shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law and any claim or matter arising under these Terms shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Comment List
Anonymous
  • Had seen a nice Youtube video recently on how to measure thrust with ducting propellers.

    1943, The Luftwaffe Fa 223 Dragon had just 2 propellers and later model was designed with 4 which is similar to most of the quadcopters available nowadays.

  • Hugo - Seeing the design so far, the microduino itself with motion module could be retained to make a bigger copter, and retain joypad. The copter Shield is very limited to the motor driver current ( wire traces and component selection). The copter is using low inertia DC motors and gearboxes, which will likely need to be upgraded to outrigger brushless motors nd their drivers. The copter chassis is designed for a 3.3V battery 600 mAhr battery., which also limits motor size and flight time -- i.e. need also a new copter chassis for a bigger design.

  • Hi Sean - Maximum lift (force)- thrust is first on everyone's wish list to measure.:-)

     

    If you've ever done vector diagram ( also know as Free Body Diagrams)  if you know maximum thrust, you can figure out maximum payload lifting -- but of course if all the lift is used for weight, the copter never lifts.

    Lift is a function of motor speed, blade pitch, blade length and also restricted by the available motor torque. Motor torque is also variable based on the battery voltage - so there needs to be margin for a low battery.

     

    What lift is not used to actually lift the copters weight is available to use for upwards acceleration, and also the copter moves forward by tilting, so acceleration is done in x axis and also y axis , and then even some in Z dimension for turning.

     

    At the end , weight, motor speed & available torque, and propeller type are a compromise with flight time and aerial responsiveness.


    The easiest way to measure lift is to place the quadcopter upside down on a scale. At rest, the scale measures weight, at full speed  the scale measures weight + thrust.

    If that does work because of gyroscopes, then can mount the propellers upside down, and reverse the motor direction, to make the same measurement.

     

    I may just write simple code to brute force make the measurements rather than hack the open source code ( depending if microduino will share the shield schematics) .

    The copter code seems written by someone really good with embedded systems software , it is fairly complex, and has some comments. The joypad code is shorter ( not simpler)  with no helpful annotation. 

    It may take alot more time than Road Test allows to understand it well enough to make significant changes.

     

    Keep up the good discussions.

  • I do look forward to seeing your review.

     

    Maybe a few points to test:

     

    Remixing the code to do what you want

     

    Remixing the hardware, for better motors, better battery, etc.

  • One of my thoughts for the RoadTest was how to measure lift?

     

    A number of suggestions were posted on tasks the quad-copter could perform. I kept thinking about lift. Any payload added to the vehicle increase the lift requirement or more thrust from each propeller.

     

    My understanding (limited) in the realm, is that thrust determined by a number of factors. My initial thought was just speed of the motors but that is only one of a few that can impact thrust. I discovered the thrust must be balanced across all four motors if the platform is to hover in a fixed point. The electronics engaged to accomplish this feat is fascinating!

     

    So do you have any plans to measure thrust?

    I'm curious about the results of such an experiment. The copter and known weight are placed on a scale. The copter is engaged to lift the load. The scale results will change as the copter engages. If the weight is sufficient so that the copter can't fully carry it, can you calculate the maximum carrying capacity? I made the  physical size of the weight size extend past the area of the four propellers. Maybe the load should be small enough to be inside the center of the vehicle? I seem to recall a fan on a sailboat blowing wind on the sails doesn't cause the boat to move.

     

    You have a excellent experiemental platform in the quad-copter when you get it operational. Or maybe not?

  • Congratulations

     

    It's a good candidate for how ducting a propeller increases efficiency and thrust as well.

     

    Eagerly awaiting your review/s.

  • Please feel free to ask any questions, Ill see if I can give answers or insights. Questions can make thinking, testing, and report out better.

  • Thanks GY for the share. I was reluctant to ask you questions for fear it would take away from your review. It sounds like you still have some obstacles to overcome before a review is on the horizon.

     

    My RoadTest Siretta Cellular Signal Strength Data Logger - Review was a struggle. The product was developed for Europe and then expanded to fill the American market. US cell phone networks use a different standard than Canadian cell phone networks. Lot's of things didn't work as described in the documentation.  It took a considerable bit of time and many remote log-ins to my home computer network in order for the vendor to gain access to the unit before a code release that worked was developed. I learned a lot from sharing with the vendor in England.

     

    I would expect with all that is published on the Microduino, that getting this product into the air would be relatively easy. It sound from your commentary you have considerable experience. I suspect like most companies the vendor is off to bigger and better things and the continued struggles in their old markets is something users have to live with.

     

    I picture these struggles coupled with kids saying "is it working yet" the formula for keeping kids for STEM:)

     

    I wish you the best of luck on your quad-copters first launch. I look forward to your RoadTest Review posting.

  • Thanks Sean - This kit is labeled for ages 12+ , so it should be cookbook.

    There is alot of documentation, however there is maybe too much. The tutorial is not translated well and has old info in it. It seems a Quickstart guide was generated with alot of documentation improvements, however I started with the tutorial and kind of waded thru it, and then referenced the Quickstart Guide, and found some of my noted conflicts were answered. Some of the documents need condensed together with all updates.

     

    The quadcopter is still grounded. There is a simple procedure to execute using the JoyPad joysticks on quadcopter power up, to prove to the quadcopter it has a valid and active controller before enabling it to fly. I'm stuck there right now, and have emailed microduino for help. The procedure doesnt seem to be very dependable.

     

    I have several Flysky Radio controllers for my robot projects. Those RC controllers have a separate procedure called binding, selectable on the receiver by jumper, to acquire the signature of the transmitter and bind to it. Those radio controllers use spread spectrum on 2.4 Ghz , and this allows multiple controllers to operate in their immediate vicinity, and not to interfere with each other.   

     

    The joypad and quadcopter use a Microduino CoreRF is an AVR core board with 802.15.4 Wireless Protocol integrated. It supports any wireless modules based on 802.15.4 Protocol, including Zigbee, MAC/6LoWPAN and RF4CE. The 801.15. 4 uses a multi-code modulation technique called parallel sequence spread spectrum (PSSS). I copied and pasted this info. :-)  

     

    With this tidbit of knowledge, I wonder if the code of the Joypad and quadcopter could be hacked to get rid of this wacky and awful "pairing" routine that doesnt seem to work reliably since the Wiki says if it doesnt work, keep trying several times, and then if still doesnt work reboot everything and start again. I'd rather set an ID number in the JoyPad and use the Quadcopter code to load a matching ID number so the pairing happens automaticaly. If doesnt then the JoyPad says it doesnt see the quadcopter.

     

    I've unsuccessfully so far waded thru the software to find the code that drives that Blue LED, even if I had schematics, the silkscreen nomenclature doesnt always translate to the software name. I figured if I backtrack thru the code, maybe I can hack that particular permissive. All that takes alot of time and perserverence.

     

    The Joypad is pretty cool, the quadcopter is pretty solid hardware wise, however sitting on the ground trying to get a blue LED to light isnt very fun, and also considering I dont have faith that the document is accurate. 

  • I have an affinity for the RoadTest. It was a review I was hoping to secure. After reading your posts I am a bit relieved I wasn't awarded it. I'm not confident I would have had the knowledge to pull it off.

     

    Pulling on a thread of knowledge to find it takes you no where, I find frustrating. Lack of documentation and its poor quality seems to be a theme in RoadTests. I was going to suggest it be a scoring metric on the RoadTest Review post. I'm not sure if it would change the way vendors view documentation.

     

    Can you clarify the status. Have you succeeded in getting the vehicle off the ground? Other than carrying it to the car:)