Over the summer of 2015, I designed and built a Quadcopter from scratch.

I was inspired by drone videos I found myself watching. The aerial photography, speed thrill, and engineering technicality fascinated me, so I decided to build my own.

A quadcopter would give me a stable development base, where I could test out some more of my aerial ideas. The four rotor design was the best blend of robustness, price, and modularity. After many crashes and one fire, I got it in the air.

Technologies I used include:

  • R/C communications
  • PID Control loops
  • 3D Printing
  • Solidworks CAD
  • Vision Processing
  • Brushless and Servo motors

I designed with modularity in mind. I wanted to treat this as a testbed, so the quadcopter body has slots to add other modules. I designed a hook release system, so I could drop payloads at different distances. I also made a First Person View (FPV) module, so that a live video stream could be sent back to the ground station in real time. This allowed for long distance travel and immersive controls.

Aerial photography is a core ability of the quadcopter, and I mounted a camera on a shock absorbent platform on the drone. Some of the photos I took can be found below.

Later on at Harvard, I met  Nicholas Horbaczewski, the CEO and Founder of Drone Racing League (DRL). He explained the future of competitive e-sports, and the role Drone racing would have in that scene.