This project was the eye catcher of my Artist In Residency at Instructables.
As RC blimps are my passion, I definitely wanted to do some blimp project during my stay at Instructables. When I came across the Dension WIRC system, the lingering idea of building one with live video feedback became a real plan. The Dension WIRC (for Wi-Fi Remote Control) is a plug-and-play system to control remote control models with an iOS or Android device and send a live video stream to the device.
It is very easy to set up and use, but at about a 100g, it is rather heavy compared to my other blimp projects. Taking in account an extra 100g for propulsion, batteries and construction, I went looking for a readily available balloon with a lift capacity of over 200g. A 3ft latex balloon turned out to balloon carry 180g to 330g depending on the diameter it’s inflated to (2.5ft resp. 3ft). It also turns out these balloons can hold for weeks, coming close to the performance of foil balloons.
From the spherical shape (and from watching Doctor Who) sprung the idea to make it into a large eye. I named it ‘In the Blimp of an Eye”.
I tried to keep the build as simple as possible to make sure to have a functional end result. I was a success, be it that it is very sensitive to drafts and controlling it was quite a challenge. I will discuss some ideas to improve on that throughout this Instructable.
Here is video (I converted the recorded mjpeg with VLC, but with quite some quality loss):
I dedicate this Ible to Noah, for managing the AIR program like an unstoppable force of nature during the very busy time involved with moving Instructables to Pier 9 and at the same time being a warm host to us artists.
And I thank Audrey for the great main picture.