Introduction: Drone Helipad

This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse at the University of South Florida (

This is an instructable about how to build a cost efficient drone helipad using radio frequency to communicate with an arduino to trigger a motor.

Step 1: Material List:

1. Arduino Uno

2. 4 Leds

3. 13 Jump Wires

4. Male to Female Jumper Wires

5. 16 ft of (5/16 in) plywood

6. Solder-less Breadboard

7. Saw and Saw Table

8. Drill

9. Wood Glue

10. Hot Glue Gun

11. High Torque Servo Motor

12. Acrylic Glass


14. 3D Print Pulley System

Step 2: Control Block Diagram and Circuit Schematic:

The control system consist of a 315 mHZ transmitter and receiver (latching) from The transmitter sends a high or low signal to the output pin when a corresponding button is push on the keyknob. Leds are attach to pins on the arduino and will turn on and off to indicate that a button has been pressed on the keyknob.

Step 3: Frame Build:

The frame of the heilpad was constructed from 5/16 in plywood. I started off by cut four 1' by 2' foot panels for the sides and one 2' by 2' foot panel for the base. I used wood glue, and a nail gun to secure the panels in place for bonding.

Next, four 3 in column-like piles when cut to hold the false bottom of the helipad in place, this is where the electronics will be held.

The driving pulley is hot glued to the high torque motor and held in place with a set screw.

The big pulley is attached to the acrylic glass to slide with the glass material as it opens and closes.

Step 4: Arduino Code:

The arduino sketch uses the Servo library to control the high torque servo motor. I then began defining and assigning variables to each of the output pins on the RF receiver, this was necessary in order to let the arduino know when the receiver is getting a high or low command from the transmitter in the users hand. This will activate a pin and trigger an led to turn high and the high torque motor to rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise.

Step 5: Final Build:

The final build is shown with all the components and frame assembled to make the system.