At the heart of any drone is it’s flight controller, we have derived our flight controller from one of the oldest opensource flight controllers MultiWii. It’s strength lies in its simplicity and maturity. For ahaDRONE we extended MultiWii by modernising it with latest sensors, including 10 axis sensors that are augmented by a GPS module. We choose MultiWii over other later opensource autopilots including ArduPilot, PX4 and Pixhawk, which are nevertheless advanced in their implementations but at the same time sophisticated, these later autopilots have a steeper learning curve and need greater experience from the drone user and developer.
Where ahaDRONE “apparently” lacks in having a sophisticated flight controller, it doubles up by integrating a full-fledged computing device with a 64 bit, quad core processor running at 1.4 GHz, having all the standard wired and wireless interfaces that we are all so familiar with along with a camera port. What makes this platform exiting is it’s familiarity, any engineering student or an enthusiast who has worked with Arduino and Raspberry Pi is instantly familiar with the inner workings of ahaDRONE.
At the other extreme of any drone is it’s airframe, after trying out every material that is out there, to make a lightweight airframe that has high stiffness, we narrowed our choice to corrugated board. We researched every aspect of corrugated technology from paper board, fibres in the pulp, glue, temperature, humidity and the very process of manufacturing a corrugated board. After countless experiments we re-engineered the entire process of corrugation so as to develop a board that is light weight and has high uniform stiffness. This helped us jump from engineering injection moulded parts to much simpler design engineering with shorter design-prototype- test cycles, thereby allowing us to iterate 100s of times instead of just one or two times using conventional product engineering.