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[DPRG] Autonomous Flying Robots

Subject: [DPRG] Autonomous Flying Robots
From: Jeff Koenig koenig.jeff at gmail.com
Date: Wed Sep 12 12:24:54 CDT 2007

>From your description (and the price), the TREX-450 seems a lot more
sophisticated than the Blade CX.  Is it worth the extra money?  The CX
is a nice little helicopter, but mine seems to be pretty unstable.  It
shakes a lot - maybe it's just out of balance, but I've been unable to
trim it up.  I crashed and bent the shaft last weekend, so I've some
spare parts to order.

>...especially "nose in" hovering with the nose of the heli pointed
toward you... I've gotten quite good at that this summer ;)

I got quite good at making the thing fly straight towards my head, no
matter where I intended it to go!  BTW, flying over an open barrel of
styrofoam peanuts is a lot of fun, but don't let go of the controls
while you're laughing.  I did.

> So, is anybody else in this debating society <grin> working on a flying robot,
> or interested in doing so?

A heli?  No, I wouldn't be able to afford any mistakes.  I did
consider mounting an SRF-04 on each skid of the CX to override my
attempts to crash it into walls, though.

I read many years ago (mid '80's?) of a project to inspect reactors
with a remote controlled cylindrical helium balloon, roughly
human-sized.  The idea was that the balloon would be able to float
over debris that wheeled vehicles could not, and could ascend and
descend ladder accessable holes in the floors and ceilings.  It
described a couple of fans mounted on gimbals, but I don't know if
they had a working model or not.  I think it was a paper in an IEEE
publication.

I'm not working on one, but a robotic dirigible might be interesting.

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