How Quadcopters Work

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First of all you have to know that QuadCopters (and multirotor in general) are one of the simplest aerial vehicles imaginable. They are not aereodynamic and they are completely unstable, so you need a flight controller to make them fly.

One of the most common and advanced flight controller is APM ArduPilot. Thanks to this small board, with time, patience, basic knowledge of electronics, hard work and some inevitable failures, you will be able to realize a fully autonomous aerial vehicle. 

**NOTE: you can use this board for Planes, Helicopters, Multirotor and Ground Vehicles too. There are also other boards on the market, but in these pages I will deal APM ArduPilot only, because it is the board that I use and I know better. 

 

 

By controlling the speeds of the four propellers, this machine can:

Quad-roll

Roll
Quad-pitch

Pitch
Quad-yaw

Yaw
Quad-accelerate

Accelerate
along the common orientation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is called the "X" configuration.
The quadcopter has two different types of propellers, Clockwise (CW) and Counter-Clockwise (CCW). So at the orange side we need pusher propellers with motors in standard rotation, at the blue side standard propellers with the motor in the opposite rotation.

 

 

 

 

 

There is also the "+" configuration.
Motors and propellers follow the same logic of the "X" one.
Pusher propellersstandard propellers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The YAW is controlled by speeding up one pair and slowing the other pair of motors
  • The ROLL/PITCH is controlled by speeding up motors on one side and reducing the speed on the other
  • The ALTITUDE is controlled by speeding up or slowing down all motors at the same time

 

 More information on How To Build a Quadcopter

 

 

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