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assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons? 
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Just flips over

Joined: 09 Sep 2011, 06:16
Posts: 67
New post assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
Hi

I had a crazy idea....

i needed to fly my ar AR.Drone w/ a goPro camera inside the mall for our event, but the mall wants us to keep the indoor hool on to secure the blades from hitting people and such...

i dont think indoor hull + goPro + our highcap batteries can be stable w/ the ar AR.Drone (perhaps the 2.0 is stronger?) , and might not even be able to lift at all..

so i had an idea w/c is such a simple solution, i needed to ask you guys if im missing anything..

simply put, attach a helium baloon on the AR.Drone via string! it's good enough for hours of flying around the ball right?

haha..im sooo sure there is no problem w/ this idea.. im extatic to have finally found a solution (even for outdoor flight during other events) ... but i have a feeling it may be too good to be so haha

any thoughts?


12 Apr 2012, 12:41
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Made it over nextdoor
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Joined: 05 Sep 2011, 03:04
Posts: 250
New post assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
Yeah, it would probably work... You will lose much maneuverability but it might be adequate for filming

See also: airswimmers.com ;-)


12 Apr 2012, 13:13
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Strange wobble

Joined: 08 Apr 2012, 21:26
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New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
You may need to work out the balance between the upward pull of the balloon and the added weight on the AR.Drone. Don't want the Balloon with Attached AR.Drone floating to the ceiling.


12 Apr 2012, 13:57
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Just flips over

Joined: 09 Sep 2011, 06:16
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New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
well yeh i'd find the right amount/size of the baloon where it just adds a bit of lift to the AR.Drone.. something that compensates for the camera.. im excited to test this out! haha this way i can have my GOPRO even w/ the case on lolz..

re maneuverability trade off, it's quite ok.. when recordin videos you dont really want fast movements and jerky movements anyway.. just flybies and elevation and birds eye view kind of stuffs. :)


12 Apr 2012, 16:19
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Just flips over

Joined: 09 Sep 2011, 06:16
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New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
szuu wrote:
Yeah, it would probably work... You will lose much maneuverability but it might be adequate for filming

See also: airswimmers.com ;-)



ey man i saw airswimmers.com and those are amazing!!! i ended up researching on RC airship/blimps and found some good ones too..

Now i'm re-evaluating my plans.. im thinking, why mess w/ an espensive device like the AR.Drone for aerial videography when one can simply use these cheap airships w/c does em quite well, i think even for outdoors too .. hmmmmmm


12 Apr 2012, 17:15
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Joined: 21 Jun 2011, 03:50
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Multicopter Type: AR Drone V2
New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
Good luck lifting a couple pennies with most r/c blimps. An r/c blimp big enough to lift a GoPro would likely be too large to fly in anything less than an indoor arena.


12 Apr 2012, 18:56
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Just flips over

Joined: 09 Sep 2011, 06:16
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New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
Schlauncha wrote:
Good luck lifting a couple pennies with most r/c blimps. An r/c blimp big enough to lift a GoPro would likely be too large to fly in anything less than an indoor arena.


ahhh.. i didnt know that.. i tought a 6 foot long blimp filled w/ helium is good enough to lift a goPro hmmm..

well i really need the drones for 2 things.. the aerial video and aerial advertising. i might use the blimps for aerial ads.. do you guys know of a good RC blimp not too small not too big?


13 Apr 2012, 02:07
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Joined: 21 Jun 2011, 03:50
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New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
I had considered adding balloon assistance to the AR AR.Drone before. The best I could come up with, that wouldn't too negatively affect flight characteristics by providing unnatural CG behavior (thus leading to instability and crashing) would be to run long carbon fiber tubes in an X under the AR.Drone, and then attaching four equally sized helium balloons, one to each end, out past the rotors far enough to be safe. I would then bind the balloons to the carbon fiber shafts using something like pantyhose, so that they wouldn't wobble and bob around, but instead, be as rigid as possible, to try and create the least amount of external variations affecting the AR.Drone, for the best chance of retaining controllable flight. Also, the four balloons would almost serve as bumpers too, in that shape.

If my AR.Drone weren't totalled I would probably try this myself.

I don't have the info right now, but search the internet and you can find how much volume of helium is needed to lift how much mass. First you must lift the additional mass of the carbon fiber rods going out to the balloons, but that shouldn't be much. Also, consider using hydrogen instead, since there isn't much risk of ignition when using brushless motors. Not that it would even be enough for anything real dangerous to happen. Hydrogen would lift much better.


13 Apr 2012, 12:35
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Thinking of bearings

Joined: 22 Jan 2012, 03:35
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Location: Western Kentucky
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New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
Crazy idea that just might work. However before investing too much in a large enough balloon, just be sure to check the helium supply and cost. I read where there is a worldwide shortage and the cost is "going up and up". :P


13 Apr 2012, 14:23
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New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
Luckily you could make your own hydrogen gas. I think the local Hobby Lobby would carry one of those science kits with a hydrogen fuel cell, which if you supply voltage to it rather than draw from it, you can turn distilled water into hydrogen. There's also some method of doing it using acid and metal and running the output tube to a beaker upside down under water, we did that in high school but I forget the details. I would try the fuel cell car first. The trick is, once you generate the hydrogen, you'll have to find a way to store it, so you might have to output it to an underwater beaker, and then from there use something to force it into a balloon, such as drawing it from the underwater container through a rubber tube into a large syringe, and then this will let you force it into the balloon with enough strength to inflate it. Or you might be able to get enough pressure from the hydrogen fuel cell generator to just directly inflate a balloon. One way or another, make sure to purge the oxygen out of any container or line that is about to receive hydrogen - you don't want to be dealing with hydrogen when it has achieved its air/fuel ratio and is ready to go! I usually purge stuff using CO2 from a paintball tank, at least when I'm building stuff that will have propane running through it. So long as you get all the "air" purged from the system, then all that will be in there will be the gas "fuel", thus not achieving a dangerous air/fuel ratio.


13 Apr 2012, 15:30
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Up and hovering
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Joined: 24 Dec 2011, 11:04
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New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
This begins to sound like a Rube Goldberg invention (depending on your age, you may have to ask your grandparents what that means). Before you rig 4 separate balloons filled with your backyard hydrogen gas, may I suggest you simplify. We're talking about a single occasion, one-shot test: One balloon filled with enough helium to lift the GoPro alone (spring for the helium,worry about homegrown hydrogen later, tested indoors by attaching a string to the camera alone, since you just want to offset the weight of the camera), one long string/fishing line attached to your best estimate of the center of gravity of the AR.Drone. Voila! A GoPro-ed AR.Drone that weighs the same as AR.Drone + indoor hull! Assuming zero wind interference indoors you just might pull it off.

If you do and it works, shoot some 2nd camera video of the whole contraption flying, including the part where you shoot the balloon down so you can get the AR.Drone back. I just might wait for a totally windless day (yeah, right), hang my wife's Canon DSLR under the AR.Drone, attach a weather balloon to it, and shoot some of the best outdoor video footage ever seen from the tiny AR.Drone! :P


13 Apr 2012, 22:47
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Just flips over

Joined: 09 Sep 2011, 06:16
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New post Re: assist AR AR.Drone on heavy payload via Helium baloons?
thanks guys

re hydrogen , i might.. but ill do test on easier to find helium first.. we got a party store here that sells all sorts of baloons.

i really dont plan to OFFSET the whole weight of the goPro though as this would require a much larger baloon , and what's happening w/ this is AR.Drone simply becomes a motor thingy like on them RC blimps.. basically offsetting the payload means making an expesnive AIRSHIP/BLIMP .. the AR.Drone is capable of lifting the goPro in the first place, so that's enough power vs the RC BLIMP style. i just plan to use the balloon for

1) ASSISTED LIFT
2) STABILITY (i've seen some drones become so unstable w/ goPros and im thinking w/ the baloons it may be more stable


lastly, i just realized.. the AR.Drone IS capable of lifting the goPro w/ the outdoor hull.. so using the indoor hull is the problem and so i just have to counter the weight of the indoor hull, not the goPro itself.. so WOOT!! might be easier than expected..


14 Apr 2012, 04:07
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