So you’re looking to get into drones and UAVs? This tutorial series is designed to help you understand the emerging field of UAVs and guide you through the process of building your own UAV using off-the shelf parts. The terminology and definitions used here are intended to give you, the reader an understanding of each term rather than a dictionary definition. Although many words may have multiple meanings, the definition is used in the context of UAVs / Drones.
How to Make a UAV / Drone
Take a look at these lessons / articles to learn how to create your own drone / uav / multirotor aircraft.
Now that you have decided to create your own custom or semi-custom UAV, the first step is to choose the platform. You can either choose to create your own, or base the project off a UAV frame or kit. There are many different types of frames, types and sizes used to create multi-rotor UAVs. This guide covers the basic frame types, materials used to construct the frame, as well as design considerations. We welcome any feedback you have in the comments section below.
Now that you have either chosen or built a frame, the next step is to choose the right propulsion system. A complete propulsion system includes motors, propellers, ESCs and a battery. Almost all small multi-rotor drones / UAVs are electric, with almost none being gas-powered. For this reason, we will focus on implementing an electric propulsion using brushless DC motors.
In lesson 5 you should have finished assembling the drone (but not installed the propellers). The wires may not be very tidy, but seeing it all come together now has you excited for your first flight. Don’t rush though, since even small mistakes can lead to a crash. You still have a few steps to go before your first flight, so be patient and follow the guidelines listed in this article..
Lessons 1 to 6 of this series of articles involved the design considerations behind building a custom multirotor UAV / Drone. Lesson 7 however is optional and involves First Person View (FPV), cameras and long-range wireless RC considerations.
The use of small unmanned aircraft for FPV and autonomous mapping is becoming increasingly popular, especially given the surge in popularity of multirotors for FPV and the increasing availability of parts. This article includes some considerations if you are looking to create or purchase an airplane for use as a drone.