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THE DRONE FOR INVENTORS

Small and large, safe and sound, experts and learners, for and by inventors, teachers, learners, pilots and co-pilots




THE DRONE

A flight acrobat

PiCopter is a drone

THE VR-GLASSES

Full immersion

The VR-glasses lets your senses take flight

THE CONTROLLER

Lightning speed connection

Nothing does however beat a real controller. With the controllers real-life joysticks, you get unprecedented control over your drone, better battery life and increased range.







SIZE

23x23 cm

Carefully chosen and tested, this allows PiCopter to lift heavy gear such as GoPros safely into the air, but nimble enough to fly safely inside. The hull-to-weight ratio allows for large gears to be attached, while reducing turbulence in high-wind conditions.

BATTERY

15 - 40 minutes flight time

We wanted to find the best value-for-money and flight time LiPo out there. We chose a standard 3S 1400mAh battery, cheap enough to stock up on, but powerful enough for 15 minutes of flight. Now, careful consideration has been taken of weight and balance, and for optimised flight time. That's why you can chain up to 4 batteries for up to 40 minutes of un-interrupted flight, and PiCopter always ships with 3 batteries. Oh, and did we tell you? PiCopter has dual chargers built in, one in the controller, one in the drone itself.

SPARE PARTS

Standardised parts

The biggest pain-point with drones is that they fly - and anything that goes up must come down. Sometimes not as calmly as we want to. That's why every part of PiCopter is made of stock parts, available anywhere in the world. A broken motor should not set you back more than a day, and a fried flight controller should be in your local electronics-store.







RASPBERRY PI

Open Source UNIX

PiCopter chose to work with the Raspberry Pi Foundation's excellent set of micro-chips. They provide amazing power for inventions, stable UNIX core and extendability beyond imagination. Replacing the PiCopter brain should be cheaper than getting a hamburger. Squeezing every bit of computing power shouldn't reduce your flight-time, so Raspberry Pi-computers are the perfect fit for PiCopter.

CODE

HTML5/Python

Looking at the simplest, yet powerful languages, we've developed a tight and lightning fast codebase for PiCopter. With the interface running nimble HTML5, editing how your flight controller feels and looks is as easy as updating a website. The underlying flight controller is built in Python, a super-fast language that works much like the english language, to make learning to code easier. And naturally, all of PiCopter is Open Source!

APP

Customisable & hackable

We want everyone to be able to hack their flight-experience. That's why PiCopter can be controlled from any smartphone, computer, VR-glasses and tablet, all at once. The app can be rebuilt, redesigned and recreated so easily, and is always hosted on your own drone.







POWER

Torque beyond

The motors and speed controllers have been chosen to perform beyond all else. They are over-dimensioned for the stock PiCopter, but allows for very powerful flights, and for lifting new gear and inventions into the air. Because of the redundant power supplied, PiCopter safely handles unexpected events, such as loss of propellers, gusts and unexpected obstacles or attacks.

3D-PRINTED

Modifiable, spare parts close-by and structural integrity

The entire hull of PiCopter is made on 3D-printers. This has three significant advantages; You can modify and perfect the frame to your projects. Spare parts are as close as your local print-shop, leaving you only a couple of hours away from having a new spare part. And more than anything, 3D-printing allows for rigid structures and designs, with honey-comb-patterned hull for incredible strength-to-weight ratio, paramount on drones.

WIFI

200m high-power WiFi

When flying your device, you don't want to be limited by range. That's why PiCopter has the longest-range highest-power WiFi device on-board. This gives an astonishing 200m range, but naturally we've left plenty of ports open for your own custom or stock radio-systems for up to 2km flight.







PROPELLERS

5040 nylon for power and safety

When choosing propeller pitch, size and material, we took care to balance out the options. PiCopter takes flight with polypropylene 3-bladed 5-inch 40% pitched propellers. This makes PiCopter much more silent, with enormous thrust, but more importantly, makes the propellers snap on contact with humans, leaving you safe and unscratched when a pilot goes crazy.

DUAL FLIGHT CONTROLLER

Atmega644 & Raspberry Pi

Battling with the power of the Raspberry Pi, with interrupts and further inventions, PiCopter comes with dual flight controllers. The redundant Atmega644 is there for all us inventors. When you need more I/O than the 1.2GHz processor can handle, you can rely on stable flights with the extra flight controller. When you run facial recognition in-flight, you can rely on the Atmega to keep your drone flat and safe. And best thing is that it's only adding a tiny 8g for immense increased security.

CAMERA

8MP filming in 1080p down to 90fps slow-motion

Immense testing, far and wide search for cameras, we've landed on the latest-version Raspberry Pi-camera. It's an excellent 1080p/90fps camera, with great built-in optics. It lets you take raw photos, shoot slow-motion videos and HD-quality fly-overs from a complete new angle. Sitting on a single-axis gimbal, the camera stabilises any movements by PiCopter, keeping your shots and videos nice and stable.

EMBRACE THE DETAILS

1: Hull

Teardrop-chassis

The carefully designed chassis holds all electronics, keeps them safe in rough landings and allows for vibration minimisation and heat transmission.

4x 140mm arms

With built-in motor-holders, the arms are truly a piece of art-engineering. Weighting less than 10g, they keep PiCopter from it's vicious motors, dampens vibrations and gives PiCopter its characteristic looks.

4x drone-legs

Extending from the arms, these keep your drone up and about before take-off

3x Gimbal structures

A carefully folding structure keeps the camera safe upon take-off and landing, and extends out far beyond the field of vision for the propellers. It also dampens vibrations, and allows for smooth precise camera movements in all 3 axises

Teardrop-hull

Fly with style in the all-protective casing

2: Electronics

Raspberry Pi Zero

With a 1.2GHz x64 ARM processor, on-board GPU and 1G ram, this Pi comes with a punch. Managing image recognition, flight stabilisation and GPS tracking, delivering the app-experience, the Pi is truly a marvel when in-flight on the PiCopter.

8GB micro-SD

Store up to 80 minutes of HD-video, 60 minutes of slow-motion or millions of photos. It's easy to take out, connect to your computer or phone, and download the photos. PiCopter can also post photos online.

16-channel 12-bit PWM-driver

The PWM driver is what lets the Raspberry Pi communicate safely with the motors. It works on a pulse-length, converting speeds on a resolution of 4096 at a mind-boggling frame-rate.

Ultimate GPS

The Ultimate GPS (MTK3339) has an incredible resolution, allowing for automated flights, safe return-to-home and whatever inventions you may put on it.

9-DOF Gyro/Acc/Compass

Our tried-and-tested combo of ITG3205, ADXL345 & HMC5883L takes exact readings of the environment, being a gyroscope measuring accurate rotations, accelerometer reading plane-orientation and the compass, finding north and anything in-between. Their data is directly at your disposal.

High-power WiFi

The RTL8192cu chipset with an extended antenna takes PiCopter flying in new directions. You get up to 200m of WiFi-range from a normal smartphone, allowing for plenty of room for flights.

8MP Camera

The 8MP Raspberry Pi camera comes with an excellent open lens, on-board processing to ease the life of Pi, 1080p (Full-HD) video-resolution and down to 90fps recording (slow-motion)

LiPo USB charger

Charge your PiCopter directly from any USB socket, for easy portability

3: Flight electronics

4x Multistar brushless

The Japanese-manufactured high-end motors are delivering on thrust and torque. With a combined max-thrust of 1600g, you can lift way beyond the Pi itself.

4x 12A AFRO ESC

With specially streamlined firmware, the PiCopter speed controllers gives more control and offers no latency. They are also over-dimensioned for the motors, to allow a life-long cycle and long flight-times.

Atmega644

The special Atmega made for multi-rotors is flashed with latest firmware. This allows smooth flights for when you choose to use it. The Atmega comes with an interface, buttons and a display for ease of use, and hooks straight into the PWM on the Pi.

3x NANO Servo

The super-light servos fills one core function - to stabilise the camera-picture. It works within the gimbal, also offering control over angle of shot and smooth panning movements.

3x 1400mAh 3S LiPo

The standard LiPo for multi-racers, here for durability and simplicity. PiCopter comes with two units, but you can chain up to 4 batteries for astonishing flight-time.

5V UBEC

The 3 ampere converter is what runs the Raspberry Pi and other electronics safely on a 5v-voltage, while the motors can perform full-torque at 11.1v

4: Parts

16 M3 6mm screws

Securing the legs and motors onto the motor-blocks

4 M3x16mm screws

Securing the arms to the frame

29 self-tapping screws

Securing all the electronics onto the frame

8x propellers

3-blade 5040 propellers in nylon for durability and safety

Cables

60 low-voltage data-cables bringing it all to life.

Sound-buzzer

For communication with the world, PiCopter has these immediate interfaces

M3 hex-key and phillips screwdriver

So you have everything you need to get starterd

2x zipties

Securing the batteries flexibly to the body

5: Software

Flight-app

Hook up to the PiCopter WiFi, and you're ready to go flying. No need to install apps, additional hardware or anything, just connect and fly. Works from your phone, computer or tablet. The app has two modes - single-controller or dual-controller, where the latter allows you to use your VR-glasses with your phone to fly, film and control beyond.

App-manager

Within the app, there's the interface to manage PiCopters flight preferences, WiFi name & passsword and the entire codebase for easy modification and enhancement.

Flight controller

The Python flight-controller lets you take control of what makes PiCopter run.

Auto-home, waypoints, image stabilisation, safety crashes

We're constantly building in new features to make PiCopter more fun, engaging and safe. Our community of makers create the codebase, it's thoroughly tested in real-life situation and rolled out frequently to users.

6: Specifications

300 x 300 x 8mm

Small enough to fit through doors and fly indoors. Big enough to handle real gusts.

450g

Even with all the added electronics, the PICOPTER with battery and all is a rather light device. Staying under both the important 500g and 1000g limits allows you to fly PiCopter without a license in most countries.

15 - 40 minute flight time

Chain up to 4 batteries for astonishing flight-time

400m range

Fly stable and safely from 400m from your PiCopter

7: Sensors

GPS

Tracking sattelites, you get direct access to the latitude, longitude and altitude of the PiCopter, for your inventions and drone-tasks

Gyroscope

Direct access to the Gyroscope feed, at an incredible resolution.

Accelerometer

Direct access to the Accelerometer feed, at an incredible resolution.

Compass

Direct access to the Compass feed, at an incredible resolution.

Ultrasonic sensor

Senses height, allowing for autonomous safe flights and flat learning-curve for beginner flyers

Additional sensors

Hook up any I2C sensor for additonal data, such as barometric pressure for exact altitude, additional ultrasonic sensor for more obstacle-avoidance or why not light-sensors for laser-tag.

8: Controller

Body hull and top

Folds together safely

2x Joysticks

Resistor-based joysticks.

MCP3008 ADC

Converts the joystick data to readable digital signal

10x Jumper cables

For hooking up the MCP3008 to the rails, and for connecting the joysticks to the ADC and rails

3A charger

Fitted in this unit, is your dedicated PiCopter charger

5V UBEC

The 3 ampere converter is what runs the Raspberry Pi and other electronics safely on a 5v-voltage, from the normal 11.1v battery/p>

2x M3x16mm screws

Senses height, allowing for autonomous safe flights and flat learning-curve for beginner flyers

13x self-tapping screws

Holds the joysticks in place, and as terminal-holders for the electricity

9: VR-glasses

The VR-body

Carefully carved in the 3D-printer for excellent fit on your face

Nylon Strap

For comfortably mounting it on your head

Optical lenses

Takes the strain off the eyes, by re-focusing the VR display far ahead

Raspberry Pi Zero

The Pi takes care of the Gimbal, and keeps the data-feed from the PiCopter-camera live

480p TFT Display

With adjusted brightness, this display performs very well with the data-feed

6-DOF Gyro/Accelerometer

Control the PiCopter-mounted camera with every movement of your head.

Data-cable

Feeds the TFT display with the data-stream from the Pi

6x Jumper cables

I2C feed fro the Pi to the gyroscope sensor, and power to the TFT

Controller connector

Hooks up the VR-glasses to the controller, with 7 individual connections

2x Self-tapping screw

Holds it all together

picopter

Questions?

ANSWERS