Let’s Start Here

Configuration:

3 ducted fans in a ‘Y’ configuration. Two in the front, one in the rear. Steering is controlled by the adjusting power to the front two motors. Speed is controlled by adjusting power to the rear motor. There is pitch and roll, but no yaw in this configuration.

Power:
I want this thing to be a bit overpowered, as I will have to test it outdoors. I would test it in my apartment but I am concerned about breaking things in my apartment. I can tune the speed down for indoor purposes and it also means that the machine will have some extra thrust if necessary.

Weight Goals:
Clearly as light as possible, but I cannot determine this until I have a bill of materials.

Fabrication methods:
Sirrus will have to assembled using small fastners and bonding techniques. Use of composites will be limited to certain portions of the frame a potentially rotors. Sirrus will polymers to for what few body panels I am anticipating that it will have. Landing gear will be thin bent metal rods with polymer tips or “feet”.

Chassis:
Must support all sensors and antennas. Must support battery and fans.

Communication:
Initially via “standard RF”, eventually via wifi and cellular.

Core Operations:
Hold Function
Sirrus must be able to maintain altitude at the touch of a button. While testing I would like to be able to naviagate Sirrus my self without worrying about it falling out of the sky. It would also be nice if it could eventually circle and surveil areas when given a waypoint. Extending this back into reality, when used as a home companion Sirrus would be able to stay at a seven or eight foot height while it moves around the house.

Calibration
Every time Sirrus takes off from its base it first needs to calibrate its core flight coefficients. I am intending on using vectors and matrices to control the various algorithms that control sustain Sirrus. Sirrus will use three ducted prop-fans to control thrust, pitch and roll. For this iteration of Sirrus (version 0.1) there will be no way to directly influence yaw. I will save that for a later iteration.

Docking/Charging

Sirrus will use a floor mounted charger. In this iteration, it will simply navigate in reverse towards the docking station at yet to be determined height until it mates with the dock. The will be two metal plate on the bottom of Sirrus for current to flow to battery. There will need to be a weight sensor of some sort so the device with know when to charge.

In a later version of Sirrus I would like to be able to charge using a laser. Initially the laser would be stationary but I could take more time and have a a way for the laser to track Sirrus so it can be charge while in motion.

Virtual Bumper

Using additional ultrasonic senors Sirrus will be able to detect hazards or boundaries such as walls and keep away from them.

Extended Operations:

‘Come home’

This is a feature that monitors energy usage over a given flight path as well as the distance from a the nearest docking station to determine when Sirrus needs to return for recharge. This mitigate the need to recover Sirrus if it drifted too far away from its home base and there were not enough resources to return to base.

‘No Splat’

Using a variety of sensors, Sirrus would be able to accelerate towards at rates near free fall without the driver having to worry about destroying the device due to a lack of corrective upward acceleration inputs from the driver or the Sirrus algorithms. Essentially if the driver or Sirrus determined to override the hold function and quickly lower altitude, there would come a time that Sirrus would rapidly increase thrust to overcome accelerations due to gravity. It would work in such a way that every negative (downward) velocity would be become positive at around 10 feet from the calibration height.

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