Introduction: Clockwork Balloon Drone [A Simple Drone]
I'm going to present my idea about this Balloon Drone, which should work in real life. Unfortunately, due to the lack of material, I couldn't make it in real life so I thought you people can make this if I give you my idea. I will be demonstrating with pictures, drawings and animation which are not good but still I'll try my best that you understand the concept of this drone. That is why I recommend "Go through the full instructions first before you start making, to get the idea of this drone." It is really simple.It works with motor attached to a propeller, which is then attached to a Clock's minute hand and it's uplifted by the Hydrogen/Helium balloon. The concept is that a minute hand move's a complete circle and reaches its final position above the hour hand. Now if you attach a motor with a propeller to it, it should move forward and take a full circle around your locality and return to it's final position because it's being pushed forward and upward at the same time (The radius of the circle depends on the speed of your motor). But when it will return, it will be in a higher position due to the uplift of the Balloon. So we will make a timed parachute drop-off system with it.Since Drones are supposed to be autonomous spying or guarding units, this was a simple Idea I could think off. Now, the real disadvantage of this Drone is that, If it's pushed by wind, then it's returning position might get displaced, for which, I recommend a tracking system, so that you can track it and retrieve it. Now, on to the build-up.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE BEFORE YOU START : This is a conceptual Idea so it can differ heavily from the real life thing as there's a heaven and hell difference between Theoretical and Practical things. That's why I suggest this for those who have experience in making RC/Miniature Aero Vehicles. You can make improvements by yourself to make it working. Also don't forget to post your improved idea or the real working vehicle in the comments so that I and others can see it.
Step 1: Working of the Drone
1. The Balloon helps it lift and the propeller pushes it forward. [GIF below]
2. The minute hand turns 1 degree every 10 seconds, changing the direction by 1 degree every 10 seconds.
3. Due to its turn in every 10 seconds, it will return it's original position after 60 mins, but at a higher position [GIF below]
4. The camera is attached to the second hand of the clock, giving you a total 360 degree view, by changing it face 6 degree each second in clockwise direction. [GIF Below]
[Click on the animated images below to view the animation for a better idea of the Drone's working]
Step 2: The Things You Will Be Needing :
1. Clockwork System with Batteries in it (I'll be calling it Machine)
2. Motor with a Propeller
3. Battery / Batteries (lighter and efficient = better)
4. Aluminium wires [or any thin and strong wires] (Framework)
5. Threads/Strings and 2 Plastic bags (for the parachute)
6. Another Motor or a Servo. (I'll be calling it Para Motor)
7. Two cardboard pieces [or any 2 strong and light plate like pieces] (Balloon holders)
8. Clip (cloth hanging clips preferable or any clip like that)
9. 2 Hydrogen/Helium Balloon capable of lifting minimum 100 grams
10. Some Counter-weight (optional if you choose very big balloons)
11. A stick of size the cardboard strip attached to a thread/string tightly, width : pencil like.
12. A gear or disc for the Para motor with a small hole on it's side
13. A small/micro camera. (keychain camera ?)
Step 3: The Engine :
Attach a Small motor with a propeller to the minute hand of the Machine and keep the the hand side face downwards.
This motor's speed will determine the radius of the circle, the Drone is going to take in your locality.
Step 4: The Framework :
Take the aluminium/thin wires and fold them this way. Adjust the size of aluminium wires you're going to cut by how low you want your Machine to hang.
Also, make sure about the length of the aluminium wire, for instance cut 1 m and then try to make the framework, if it didn't work, take 2 m, once it works, cut out the unwanted length.
Step 5: The Balloon Holders :
Take two Slim Cardboard Plates and make a hole in the mid-bottom position [as shown] big enough to let a wire pass through, in both of the plates. Adjust the length of the straps by the side-wise radius of those two balloons. Then attach Clip [Cloth hanging clip] on the 2 cardboard strips, exactly above the bottom un-stretched part of the balloons, sandwich them between the 2 cardboard strips.
[In the picture below : It's not Straps, it's Strips, you can also take Slim Cardboard Plates. Sorry for the mistake !]
Step 6: The Framework :
I know the framework is little bit complex but there are no alternatives....
Instructions are pretty clearly shown in the picture I suppose, if not, then let me explain.
The wires that come from the Machine, first join them with a tight knot in the middle [tie them with another piece of wire] then separate them both to their designated corners (as shown) so that the both of the loops stays on the same height when pulled. Make the loops (big enough to let a pencil like stick pass through) just as shown in the diagram below, in the end of the Left and Right wires.
Then the wire that comes from the Balloon Plates, make a loop at the bottom end of the same size as the other loops.
Step 7: Holder Stick :
The stick goes between the loops like this, also with one end attached to the thread.
Step 8: Pulling the Stick :
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PART AS THIS SYSTEM WILL MAKE THE PARACHUTE FALL :
Find a slightly powerful motor and attach it with disc or a gear that fits 'perfectly'
Make a small Hole inside that disc or a gear.
Take the string from the stick and tie it to disc using that hole.
Place the motor and make the disc-side towards the end of the stick from where the thread is coming out from. Just as shown.
Step 9: Attaching the Papers :
Attach 2 paper sheets (dimensions are your choice) to each side of the wires (Left pair and Right pair as shown)
Using tape that is not stronger than the motor's torque, you're using to pull the stick.
Step 10: Paperwork :
Take a String and attach it to the Holder Stick 'towards the side of the end string'
And then, take the other end of the String and tie it to the far end of the paper.
You need to do this on the other paper too.
Step 11: Parachute :
If you know how to make a parachute with plastic bags, this shouldn't be tough for you,
Take two strings, tie one end to the wire near paper and other to the one handle of the plastic
Do this two times, one below the paper and one above the paper, and on both sides of the paper as there will 4 wires near the 4 corners of the paper.
Attach the left side strings to left handle of the paper and right side strings to right handle of the plastic bag
Then keep the parachute loosely above the paper without any kind of attachment to the paper, like just tuck it above the paper.
Somehow just Suspend the plastic bags on the paper without any kind of strong attachment.
Step 12: Electricals [Propeller] :
Just make a circuit as shown and pass the wires between the aluminium wires or framework.
And keep the light weight battery on the other side of the Powerful motor.
Step 13: Electricals [Parachute] :
The switch system of the Para Motor :
Cut the positive wire that goes to the motor into two, take two small metal strip and attach or solder them to the two halves of the wire you just cut.
Attach metal strips to the Hour and the Minute hand so that when they meet, the switch gets activated, turning on the circuit.
Then take one wire to the Battery and other to the motor.
Complete the circuit by joining the other poles of motor and battery directly
At Start, keep the Hour hand 30 degrees before the Minute hand for example, if the circuit turns on at 12, then keep the Hour hand at 11. Just 1 hour before the 'turn on' point
Both the metal strips will be on the same side, so that they touch each other to turn on the circuit.
This system is important as it's the timing of this system that makes the whole clockwork fall down and gets the parachutes activated.
There is a GIF in the next step, that'll help you understand this circuit better.
Step 14: Parachute Deployment Working :
Here's the working system of the parachute you have been making.
Step 15: [JUST IN CASE OF DIS-BALANCE] Weight Placement :
Here's how you place the counter-weights if you're experiencing Dis-Balance or very high Ascend Rate in your Drone.