Startup AngelEyes in China is working on a HEX Air Robot project: an open source robotic aircraft with 3D printed components.
HEX Air Robot is a portable robotic multi-rotors copter based on open source code. It has many features such as autonomous pilot and pre programmed air maneuvers, obstacle avoidance, trajectory movement, etc. In addition it can auto tracking the target and film with an airborne camera. HEX Air Robot can be used for rescue research, 3D re-modeling, geographical surveying and mapping and short distances transportation.
After several months' hard work, the team built its first prototype of HeX on Nov.24th, 2012.
HEX Air Robot has a honeycomb design and is designed to be portable and flexible. It consists of a controlling centerpiece, 4~6 removable dynamic units and a peripheral interface. Users can easily assemble and disassemble 6 dynamic units and make Hex a multiple rotors copter from the minimum size(the controlling centerpiece with 2 dynamic units) to the maximum size(the controlling centerpiece with 6 dynamic units). All the pieces of HeX can be stacked into a box.
The controlling centerpiece is the brain of HeX. It is a IMU and airborne computer which respectively control various air maneuvers and tasks. The peripheral interface allows HeX to carry various peripherals for multiple purposes, such as a PTZ dock with a camera, a fetch claw or a Kinect. For ensuring smoothly take off and landing they designed a support so the Hex can carry loads under its center piece. The support is removable and can be DIYed by any users.
Additionally the team also designed and built a dock for stabilizing a GoPro camera in air filming.
After a few trials of the first generation prototype of HeX the team started to use a carving machine and a 3D printer, a Makerbot type DIY 3D printer to produce its frame and other components. 3D printer is an easy, fast and most affordable tool for making good quality prototypes.
(All images credit: AngelEyes)
Watch the videos below the kit had its outdoor and indoor trial flights.
Hex is expected to be able to accomplish various tasks in industrial, military and civilian uses. For more information about Hex, please check out the website.
Thanks Jia Bao for the tip!
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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George Liu from Angeleyes wrote at 1/4/2013 5:32:24 PM:
Thank you so much for giving us a coverage. I am a little curious about how did you find us?