Autonomous Fixed-Wing Delivery Drone (3D Printed)

Introduction: Autonomous Fixed-Wing Delivery Drone (3D Printed)

Drone technology has evolved very much as is much more accessible to us than before. Today we can build a drone very easily and can be autonomous and can be controlled from any where of the world

Drone Technology can change our daily lives. Delivery drones can deliver packages very fast by the means of air.

This type of drone technology is already used by zipline(https://flyzipline.com/) which provides medical supplies to rural parts of Rwanda.

We can build similar kind of drone.

In this instructable we will learn how to build a Autonomous Fixed-Wing Delivery Drone

Note: This Project is in Work-In-Progress and will be heavily modified on later versions

My apologies for only 3D rendered photos since was unable to finish to build the drone due to supply shortages during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Before starting this project it is recommended to research on parts of Drone and Pixhawk

Supplies

Pixhawk flight controller

3548 KV1100 Brushless Motor and its compatible esc

6S Li-Po battery

Raspberry pi 3

4G dongle

Compatible Propeller

Step 1: Structure

The structure was designed in Autodesk Fusion 360. The structure is divided into 8 parts and is supported by 2 hallow aluminium shafts

Step 2: Control Surfaces

our drone has 4 types of control surfaces controlled by servo

  • Flaps
  • Aileron
  • Elevator
  • Rudder

Step 3: Pixhawk: the Brain

For this drone we are using Pixhawk 2.8 Flight Controller which is capable of autopilot.

For this project we will require the bundle containing these items-

  • Pixhawk 2.4.8
  • M8N GPS
  • Safety Switch
  • Buzzer
  • I2C
  • SD card

Step 4: Wiring the Pixhawk

Helpful link for first time set up>> https://ardupilot.org/plane/docs/arduplane-setup.h...

After finishing the first time setup connect the ESC of the motor to pixhawk and other servos for the control surfaces to pixhawk then configure them one by one in the Ardupilot software(https://ardupilot.org/plane/docs/plane-configurati...)

Step 5: Autonomous Control Over 4G and FlytOS

After finishing wiring our flight controller with the system we will start building the Autonomous Control system

This can be achieved by using Raspberry pi with a 4G dongle and a PiCam to receive the footage

The Raspberry pi communicates with the Pixhawk flight controller using a protocol known as MAVLink

For this project i am using Raspberry pi 3

Setting up raspberry Pi 3

  • First download FlytOS image from their Site by Registering yourself and going to downloads tab-

https://flytbase.com/flytos/

  • then create a bootable media using Balena etcher and the plug it in to raspberry pi.
  • After booting flytOS contect to your LAN cable and then go to this link in your PC browser

http://ip-address-of-device/flytconsole

in the "ip address of device" type your rasp pi ip adress

  • Then activate your licence(personal,trial or commercial)
  • then activate rasp pi

Now Configuring in your PC

  • Install QGC(QGroundControl) on your local machine.
  • Connect Pixhawk to QGC using the USB port at the side of Pixhawk.
  • Install the latest stable PX4 release in Pixhawk using QGC by following this guide.
  • Once done, visit parameter widget in QGC and search for parameter SYS_COMPANION and set it to 921600. This would enable communication between FlytOS running on Raspberry Pi 3 and Pixhawk.

Follow the official guidelines to setup by flytbase- https://docs.flytbase.com/flytos/getting-started/s...

Step 6: Delivery Drop Mechanism

The Delivery bay door is controlled by two servo motors. They are configured in the autopilot software as servo

and they open and close when the aircraft reaches the delivery waypoint

When the aircraft reaches delivery waypoint it opens its cargo bay and drops the delivery package which land gently to the delivery point with the help of a paper parachute attached to it.

After delivering the package the drone will return to its base

Step 7: Finishing

This projects will evolve over time and will be more capable deliver drone.

A shoutout to ardupilot community and flytbase community for developing these technologies

3D Printed Contest

Participated in the
3D Printed Contest

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Summer Fun: Student Design Challenge

      Summer Fun: Student Design Challenge
    • Make it Fly Challenge

      Make it Fly Challenge
    • First Time Author Contest

      First Time Author Contest

    4 Comments

    1
    DominicS6
    DominicS6

    Question 1 year ago

    Looks great, well done. What is the wingspan? Should the motor angle be tilted down to prevent cartwheeling as the motor increases in speed?

    0
    MandraSaptak Mandal
    MandraSaptak Mandal

    Answer 1 year ago

    The wingspan is about approx 300 cm.

    0
    Daniel Hingston
    Daniel Hingston

    1 year ago

    This was really interesting to read, well done! I hope you get the chance to build it after the pandemic passes.

    0
    MandraSaptak Mandal
    MandraSaptak Mandal

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your appreciation.I will surely complete this after the pandemic