New Zealand engineers have submitted an open project drone-balloon made from the available components. It consists of a balloon and fastened to it with Velcro for a 3D printed housing with three screws for flight control. For the control of the drone meets the microcomputer the Raspberry Pi, and documentation for self-Assembly is laid out on GitHub. Article describing the development will be published in IEEE Access, and its Preprint available at the authors website.
To date, the vast majority of civil unmanned aerial vehicles have the design of the quadcopter. The popularity of this design primarily due to the fact that it is simple mechanically, but also from the point of view of management, when compared with the drones of the aircraft type. But the price for this simplicity lies in the rather low efficiency of flight, and, as a consequence, short duration of the flight component is usually 20-30 minutes. Furthermore, the multicopter has to rotate the screws at high speed, making them noisy and dangerous, so in the room, such devices tend not to apply.
Group Gal (GAL GORJUP) and Liarokapis Minas (MINAS LIAROKAPIS) from the University of Auckland created an inexpensive drone, devoid of most of these shortcomings. They chose the design of the balloon because it has neutral buoyancy and energy only on the maneuvers and also has a soft case, so not dangerous for people. The engineers chose as the helium gas because of its safety and relatively low density, and after evaluation of five different balls chose the 91-centimeter ball with a foiled surface. He is able to lift a weight of 80 grams, and thanks to the metallic surface of the helium in it is the longest among the considered balls.
The gondola of the balloon consists of printed on 3D-printer housing, which is attached to the rotor with three screws: two on the sides for longitudinal flight and turns, and another is installed in the bottom and is responsible for the height control. Inside the housing is installed in the microcomputer Raspberry Pi are Zero W, the camera and the battery is 500 milliampere-hours.
Gondola attached to the balloon with Velcro, and the engineers made it two fixing points, one of which is centered, and the second offset to the edge. Test flights showed that at asymmetric location of the nacelle apparatus is more stably maintained longitudinal course during the flight. In addition, receiving data about its position from the external tracking system, the drone was able to relatively accurately fly along a circular path.
Last year, Japanese engineers have created another drone-balloon with a spherical ball. It has a more secure design, because it uses non-rotating screws and piezoelectric motors for maneuvering.