3rd Person View Quadcopter

So I have a lot of dumb ideas. Few of them actually come to fruition, but when they actually work out, they turn out kinda fun. I love wing-tip footage from planes like this:

 

And so I wanted to start trying that idea out with my new custom built quadcopter, The Green Machine. So because I was concerned about center of gravity for the quadcopter, I decided to start with something that I didn’t think would affect it too badly, and simply turned the camera around, adding in some legos to have a little bit of fun with it:

This was fun, but it wasn’t really third person view. I started to think through a possible rig for this. So here’s a quick gallery working through how I did the setup:

The underside of the scorpion tail mount. This nut/bolt holds the wood that holds the camera down. I highly recommend some locktite on this, because the nuts wanted to fall off. This is just some piece of plastic I found in my garage that had the properties I wanted.
The underside of the scorpion tail mount. This nut/bolt holds the wood that holds the camera down. I highly recommend some locktite on this, because the nuts wanted to fall off. This is just some piece of plastic I found in my garage that had the properties I wanted.
The mounting of the bold to the ZMR frame. I don't have appropriately sized nuts/bolts, but it was just a dry run.
The mounting of the bold to the ZMR frame. I don’t have appropriately sized nuts/bolts, but it was just a dry run.
Sunk the screw in the top a little bit so that it stayed out of the way of the Yi Camera.
Sunk the screw in the top a little bit so that it stayed out of the way of the Yi Camera.
mounted the battery as far forward as I could to act as a counter-weight for the massive tail coming out the backside.
mounted the battery as far forward as I could to act as a counter-weight for the massive tail coming out the backside.
The fully assembled rig, complete with scorpion tail.
The fully assembled rig, complete with scorpion tail.

 

Finally, with all of this put together, it produced this footage. This is just a dry run — I’m going to take this rig out to an actual flying field at some point soon and try it out with some more intense flying.

Few things to note:

  1. I need to adjust my PIDs. 🙁 I’ve been flying 5030s for a long time, and recently switched to 5045 bullnose. The PID values that I had for the 5030s are not right for the bullnose, so I need to go back
  2. I am flying with an auto-level on, and that’s kinda making the flight a little awkward, but that will improve with acro mode, I think. I didn’t want to try any barrel rolls over the street, for fear of something breaking.
  3. The quad is VERY top heavy, making it much harder to control. This would not work out for FPV racing, where you would have some of the coolest footage.
  4. I am going to try two more things with this setup: (1) I’m going to try a new version of the tail mount: I want to bolt it to the frame in two different locations so that it’s more sturdy and not bending the actual CF like you can see in the video. (2) I want to try putting the flight camera on the scorpion tail mount and fly from that perspective. For science!

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