UAV Club News


1 June 2015

Report posted for 2015 competition

Paper submitted for 2015 competition available here.


2 May 2015

Display at Maketopolis Tucson

The team had a display table at Maketopolis Tucson, hosted by Xerocraft -- check out the Facebook page. Xerocraft did an outstanding job organizing the event.

Team member Tim Worden brought a diverse mix of quadrotors for our display, as well as 2 IARC ground robots -- a mission robot and obstacle robot. These robots, similar to Roomba robots, are of the type used in the IARC competition.

We also brought our IARC primary air vehicle. We had a nonflying display. The autopilot on the vehicle was running a demonstration program where the 4 main rotors were dynamically tilted in response to the output of a sonar rangefinder. The code was written in Ada 2012 and was running on a bare-metal ARM Cortex M4 STM32F407 processor.

This is very possibly the first time an Ada program has ever been demonstrated at a maker event in Tucson.


2 May 2015

Roomba Donation Offer

The team would like to thank Chris Harriman for his 2 May offer to donate several Roomba robots, which can be adapted to serve as IARC ground robots for testing purposes. We picked up the robots in mid-May.

The robots are greatly appreciated.


4 April 2015

Tilting Mechanism Tested

The tilting mechanism for the main arm was tested. The tilt angle of the main arm was controlled by a servo that was reprogrammed for a 180 degree sweep angle. A chain drive connected the servo to the main arm pivot. Two propellers were temporarily taped to the motors for the test.


20 March 2015

Thrust Vector Control Tested

We tested the tail boom assembly, which used two EDF 400 fans. Both EDF tilt angles were independently controlled by two servos. The rotor diameter was 64 mm for the two ducted fans. The EDFs were mounted on a tail boom extending aft of the main body.

The EDF 400 fans are somewhat oversized for this appication. They also use older brushed motors. Smaller standalone EDF 40 fans were also tested, which are planned for an updated airframe design. The smaller fans use brushless motors. Rotor diameter is 40 mm.


30 January 2015

3DRobotics Y6 Kit Arrives

Our new Y6 kit arrives today. The Y6 has a tricopter configuration with 6 rotors. The rotors are grouped in 3 contrarotating pairs. We recently decided to switch to a modified Y6 for our primary IARC air vehicle. The previous plan was to use a modified Iris quadrotor, which is made by the same manufacturer.

We currently have 2 Iris quads. It turns out there is a great deal of hardware and software commonality between the Iris and Y6 -- the motors and propellers are identical, and the electronics are almost identical. From a practical point of view we should have plenty of spare parts and be able to swap parts between vehicles.


11 June 2014

Thruster Flight Test

We did a flight test of the Iris with the thruster installed. The thruster was on the end of a PVC pipe that extended vertically from the body of the quadrotor. The thruster was controlled independently of the quadrotor while the vehicle was held at constant altitude in hover. The test was run outdoors.

The objective of the test was to determine whether the thruster was capable of translating the vehicle horizontally without requiring the vehicle to rotate about the pitch or roll axes. Winds were gusty at the time, which made it difficult to tell how well the thruster was working.

Testing was done at SteeleDesign LLC.


19 May 2014

Indoor Flight Tests

We flew the Iris indoors at CoLab/Gangplank in downtown Tucson. The first flights were in the basement. Later we moved upstairs for further flights near the kitchen area (see above).


5 May 2014

First Flight of New Iris

Our new 3DRobotics Iris had its first test flights today. The quadrotor arrived 2014/4/18. The test location was outdoors at PCC West Campus, next to the north parking lot. During the test, the vehicle altitude was kept below 3 meters AGL. The vehicle was kept basically in hover mode at all times, with low velocities and rotation rates.

The intent is to base our primary air vehicle on the Iris, which would be modified to meet the requirements of the competition.


Last updated 2015/06/10 FLM