Picture of quadrotor
This summer's Edgerton Center Engineering Design class produced four awesome projects in four weeks. One of the projects was a functional RC quadrotor built with commonly-available RC equipment and an Arduino microcontroller board. Here is the instructions on how to make the quadrotor. The video of the four projects can be found here.

Parts List:

- 1/32” aluminum sheet
- 2 of 8 x 3.8 slow flyer propeller
- 2 of 8 x 3.8 slow flyer pusher propeller
- 4 of Turnigy C2028 Micro brushless outrunner 1400kV motor
- 4 of Turnigy Plush 18 amp speed controller
- Turnigy nano-tech 1800mah 4S 35-70C Lipo Pack
- 1/2” 4-40 plastic machine screws
- 4-40 plastic nuts
- 1/2” 4-40 aluminum machine screws
- 5/8” 4-40 aluminum machine screws
- 3/8” 4-40 aluminum machine screws
- 2” threaded 4-40 plastic spacers
- Accelerometer + Gyros chip: Sparkfun 6DOF razor IMU
- Microcontroller: arduino mini
- Hobbyking 2.4 GHz transmitter and receiver + Controller
- 1.5” hex threaded 4-40 aluminum spacers
- 2 of Carbon Fiber square tube .25” x .25” (.180 ID) x 48”
- Strings
- Zip-ties
- Super glue
- Velcro
- Protoboard
- Female header pins
- 3.3 volt regulator
- Jumper Wires

Where to get parts:

Propellers- http://www.apcprop.com/pindex.asp?Page=2  


Carbon Fiber square tube - http://www.dragonplate.com/



Step 1:

Picture of
Cut 2 of 14”, 4 of 6.125”, 4 of 8” carbon fiber square tubes

Drill 7/64” holes 3/8” away from each ends of the cut carbon fiber tubes.

Drill 7/64” holes 1 and 5/8” from both ends of 14” long carbon fiber tubes. Drill 7/64” holes 1 and 5/8” from only one end of 6.125” and 8” long carbon fiber tubes.

When drilling through the carbon fiber tubes, drill very slowly with caution. Carbon fiber tubes can split if you don't pay attention. Also use a drill press instead of a hand drill.
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Ali Fazli11 days ago

Hi , we want design flight controller with arduino through model based design for a quad rotor , what sort of quadcopter is suitable for this aim ? a provided one or assembling separate parts ?

elwolv17 days ago
Phoenix174 years ago
I'm buying an Arduino Uno. I'm not sure if you know, but would you connect the same pins on the uno? Or do they have numbers and voltage correlations?
The Arduino Uno has a lightly different layout then the Pro Mini being used here. One plus is that you can skip that 3.3v regulator because there is one on the board already. You'll notice that there is a pin labelled "3.3v" to which you can connect the corresponding 3.3v port on your sensor board.

So the pins for the sensor board the line up as such;
3.3v = 3.3v
Gx4 Y = Analogue5
Gx4 X = Analogue4
Gx4 Z = Analogue3
A Z = Analogue2
A Y = Analogue1
A X = Analogue0

The rest of the pins should correspond plainly to the ones on your UNO
Digital pins 6,7,8,9 to the control pin on your ESCs. Human controls are on pins 2,3,4,5 to your receiver. Personally I am using an Xbee module instead so I will not be using that last set.

Hi, I came across your project and I am doing almost the same. However, I am using and arduino UNO and an MPU6050. The Pin alignment that you mentioned above; I am a little confuse about it.

I can not find the Gx4 Y, Gx4 X, Gx4 Z or the A Z - X pins on my MPU6050 board. THe only way I connect it to it is by connecting SCL - Analog 5 and SDA - Analog 4. So can you please explain how can I implement it?

SarveshT1 Bam Boy2 months ago

Hi, I am also using the same equipments : arduino uno and mpu 6050.

I have just interfaced mpu6050 with arduino and could read the yaw pitch roll values on serial monitor.

Instead of using RC Radio Controller, I want to use a bluetooth module and android app to control the flight controller.

Can you help me about how to use the onboaard sensors to give values and correspondingly how to make arduino give instructions to ESC and motors?

Really need help, reply asap.

Hi SarveshT1,

I'm too using an Arduino Uno R3 for making a quadcopter. I however use a MPU-9150 instead of an MPU-6050. But I do use the library called "MPU6050.h". You can download this library from github. It's part of the I2Cdev repo. Download this library and run some tests.

Like you've probably already guessed the MPU6050 runs on I2C. This protocol runs on digital signals, not on analog signals as described in this tutorial. For my quadcopter, I want to know the angle the drone's flying in, and from there calculate what to do with the motors. I think this is better because it makes the drone possible to fly on its own. I'm also planning to build an android app, and calculating the exact angle is needed for that too.

But let's not talk too much about dreams. I use the gyroscope and the accelerometer to calculate this angle. I use a 'Complementary Filter' to calculate this angle as good as possible. This filter picks the best of both worlds. The gyroscope can drift, and the accelerometer is unsteady. How I've implemented it is like this:

#include <Wire.h>

#include <I2Cdev.h>

#include <MPU6050.h>

//This one is the same for MPU9150 and MPU6050


#define RADIANS_TO_DEGREES 57.29577951

MPU6050 mpu = MPU6050();

//The timer which is needed for the Complementary Filter

long timer;

//The variables where the data from the imu is stored in

int16_t ax, ay, az, gx, gy, gz;

//Variables to store the calculated pitch and roll in

double pitch = 0;

double roll = 0;

void setup() {

Serial.begin(115200); //Personal favor

Wire.begin(); //The library doesn't do this by itself



//Check if the MPU-6050 is connected, and wait one second before checking again

while (!mpu.testConnection()) {

Serial.println("MPU not found!");



mpu.setFIFOEnabled(false); //Make sure you always get the newest messages

Serial.println("Setup executed!");


void loop() {

long begin = micros();

//Get the accel and gyro data from the mpu6050

mpu.getMotion6(&ax, &ay, &az, &gx, &gy, &gz);

//First calculating the angle of the accelerometer for the pitch.

//More information google 'Accelerometers and gyroscopes on a chip'

long squareSum = (long) ay*ay + (long) az*az;

double accelAngle = atan(ax / sqrt(squareSum)) * RADIANS_TO_DEGREES; //I want my angle in degrees

pitch += (-gy / GYROSCOPE_SENSITIVITY) * ((micros() - begin) / 1000000.0);

pitch = 0.98 * pitch + 0.02 * accelAngle;

//And all the same for the roll but different formula

squareSum = (long) ax*ax + (long) az*az;

accelAngle = atan(ay / sqrt(squareSum)) * RADIANS_TO_DEGREES;

roll += (-gx / GYROSCOPE_SENSITIVITY) * ((micros() - begin) / 1000000.0);

roll = 0.98 * roll + 0.02 * accelAngle;

//And print the values to the terminal

Serial.print("Pitch: ");


Serial.print(" Roll: ");



Upload this to your Arduino and it will print the angle of your mpu to the screen. Check the baudrate!

About the ESC's I can't tell you very much now, I'm still figuring this one out. I've found out how to get angle, but now translating that angle to a pulse is the difficulty. I wish you good luck with your project!

RafliV Sanderv31 month ago

Can you send me all the code? I'm using arduino uno and mpu6050.. Please send all code and the Diagram wires esc to arduino and arduino to receiver... My email is rvalent86@gmail.com

Sanderv3 RafliV1 month ago

1. This is all the code for reading an MPU6050, which was the question. Download the MPU6050 library from http://www.varesano.net/files/FreeIMU-20121122_112... .

2. MPU:

Arduino 3.3v - MPU6050 Vcc

Arduino GND - MPU6050 GND

Arduino A5 - MPU6050 SCL

Arduino A4 - MPU6050 SDA

3. ESC

ESC-Signal wire - Arduino uno random programmed output port

ESC-Signal wire - Arduino uno random programmed output port

ESC-Signal wire - Arduino uno random programmed output port

ESC-Signal wire - Arduino uno random programmed output port

ESC-Ground wire - Arduino GND (Only do this with one ESC)

(Check if your ESC is a BEC or you have a 2nd battery)

ESC 5v (Only do this with one ESC!) - Arduino 5v (This ESC will power the Arduino and the Receiver)

4: Remote

Remote GND - Arduino GND

Remote 5v - Arduino 5v

Remote CH1 - Arduino input port

Remote CH2 - Arduino input port

Remote CH3 - Arduino input port

Remote CH4 - Arduino input port

I wish you good luck finding better sources with such an ungrateful attitude.

RafliV Sanderv31 month ago
Can you send me all the code? I'm using arduino uno and mpu6050.. Please send all code and the Diagram wires esc to arduino and arduino to receiver... My email is rvalent86@gmail.com

I am also using xbee...can you please share the code with me...please

my email id is dhrvjsh102189@gmail.com

What is a good way to get started with learning the Arduino?
Getting your hands dirty. Personally, I got myself the starter kit from Adafruit; and they also have an excellent set of tutorials .

I had some programing experience at the time already, so for me it was an exercise in learning how to bring code into the physical realm. The Adafruit tutorial were good for me to shore up on the electronics side of things.

Did you have a project in mind already? I find that having a specific goal when learning something new greatly increases your chances of success and I'm more than happy to take a stab at it if you have any specific questions.
Thank you. That's very useful. The project I want to build is a semi-autonomous ground rover with a remotely fired paintball gun.
gandrew41 month ago
Can you post a picture showing the position of the motors and to the pins they are connected to.I'm also on facebook as yawgyakobo
SarveshT12 months ago
Thanks sanderv3. I will keep all that in mind. Be in touch. And update me if you utilize the android app and bluetooth.
pjkim4 years ago
Great job but I am having a hard time understanding the interface between the radio receiver and the Arduino. The individual channel outputs from the receiver are pulse width modulated-- usually about 1us for low, 1.5 us for neutral, 2 us for high. Yet you read in the channels using analogRead() so I take it that the Arduino is reading in the analog value of a pulse width modulated signal. I would have thought that would be a very inaccurate way of reading in the channels but you appear to have made it work. Is this by design, chance, or ?

Could this be contributing to the instability at takeoff since changing signal values might take more time to register through the pulse width to analog transition?
feet1515 pjkim4 years ago
The analogReads are only used to read in the values from the accelerometers and gyros which are voltages.

The inputs from the radio receiver are read by the pulseIn commands a few lines of code below.

hey, If I want to use a Bluetooth module instead of reciever and android app instead of transmitter, is it fine? I want less range.

As shown in step 19, if I use Bluetooth module, then I have to connect it pin 2,3,4,5(Human input)?

sir i m using arduinouno r3 for quadcopter and i have 10 dof plz tell me which pins should be connected between arduino and 10 dof. and tell me if there is a some need to modify above code. thank you

jhongudy3 months ago

can you please share the code with me...please

my email id is jhongudyy@gmail.com

praveen598714 months ago

sir i m making quad copter by using arduino uno r3, and i have 10 dof, i doesnt have idea how to connect them plz told me. and also tell me what is which i should use is the above code is useful for me? my email id is praveenkhatri831@gmail.com.

asweed6 months ago
Hello i want to ask you dose your code move the quad forward ,backward ,right and left where in the code dose it do this moving ??
And if it dose not how could i move it ??
ThaCodKilla7 months ago

Is this all of the code necessary to create a working quadrotor?

kidpad1 year ago

thanks this is a very good post! I just have a question: you said

"To find the current amounts of tilt on the X and Y axis from
accelerometer and gyro data, we used an algorithm that would average
previous accelerometer data and combine it with gyro data to reach an
angle measurement that was fairly resilient to linear acceleration."

Would it be possible to know where we can find this code?

Hi, thanks so much for your post! I have a quick question. Do I need the transmitter and receiver? Is there anyway I can make it work without it? I'm a physics student getting ready for a final project- I have everything but those parts. So a quick reply would be ideal, thank you SO much!

spdon981 year ago

i dont have motor, can it made by two different pair of motor

xianyanlin1 year ago

too little comments in your code such that it is difficult for me to understand your code. can you please explain me what does variables "GYRO_CON ACCEL_CON TIME_CON SEN_CON zhuman xaverage yaverage blah" mean? and how did you get the formulas like "xaverage= SEN_CON *( xaverage + TIME_CON * pitch) + ( 1 - SEN_CON ) * xin;" or "speeds[0] = zhuman - p*(xaverage - pitchin) - p*(yawin) - d*pitch;" ? Many thanks if you can explain me in detail!

I'm missing something;two questions
1. is this in inches?
2. is it 2" each side of the center line?
3. mark at points (.875,2.125), (1.375,.875), (2.125,.875), (2.125,0), (1.5, 1.5) from the origin or the point where the center lines intersect.
what is the two measurements?from center line i.e .875 from cl and 2.125 from cl?measured from which axis?
can i replace sparkfun mpu -6050 by inven sense mpu-6050? it costs less than sparkfun....
Hi, you can use whatever you like with MPU 6050. Sparkfun uses the MPU6050 IC manufactured from Inven Sense. From Inven Sense you can buy just the IC. From Sparkfun you can buy the chip soldered on a board and ready-to-use. The choice is yours :)
nrgful1 year ago
Hello, I was wondering how motor speed from the speeds[] array corresponds to the motors of the construction. Which equation is for the front, back, left and right motor.
Thank You in advance
chanlee17182 years ago
i want all the details of this quadrotor plzzzzz help me futurescientist10@gmail.com
mahdi dasl2 years ago
hi,i wanna build one,how can i estimate it's weight?
any one help?
jzambrano32 years ago
hello nice work. i have the data of the gyro x, gyro y and gyro z, and the inclination of pitch and roll too but i only want to make it stable in the air without using a remote control. ongly vertical takeoff and landing wo what do i have to change in the code?
the matter that u posted inspired me to make own quad rotor ,
i am bech final year student of SKU , i am doing project on quad rotor and i want to make quad rotor integrated with camera to send a signal to laptop...
can u pls help me with some guide lines...
thank you sir..
w0w0s0w2 years ago

could i also use instead of the IMU 6DOF Razor the IMU Digital Combo Board - 6 Degrees of Freedom ITG3200/ADXL345?
mooon2 years ago
hello friends
someone please tell me about motors rpm and weight used in quadrotor
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