My team and I have always joked about building a flying robot, but I want to know if you guys think it’s actually possible.
First, here are the rules:
100% VEX V5 approved competition parts.
It flies with the entire brain, battery, and radio system on it (no super long cords that allow the battery to be held by the pilot or any other funny business like that).
Modifying parts is allowed to the extent that you do not bring in any outside parts or change the function of electronics/mechanics (example: you could take casings off motors for weight reduction, but you can’t modify the motor electronics/mechanics)
I agree that flying robots are a pretty cool concept, but the fact that they fly could easily end up not manageable when it comes to actual matches. It would be much harder to contain, and have a field for if it were to be flying.
Also, the fact that you say there’s no size or motor limit could prove very controversial later on.
All the electronics are going to be very hard to lift, and I don’t imagine the motors have enough power to spin the propellers fast enough through gear ratios. You could add more motors, but that also adds more weight. You’d have to make the propellers out of plastic to be light enough, and the vex legal polycarb probably won’t be rigid enough without significant modification.
It is completely and utterly impossible the components required to hold the ¨drone" together and to gear up the motors so that you could produce the RPM necessary to let your 3 dprinted or plastic propellers get enough lift would be way to heavy there is a reason why drones are made out of thin plastic and have small high rpm motors with small battery ect… The only way i could ever see this happening is if gravity completely ceased to exist.
The hardest part would be crafting propellers from flat polycarb. Doesn’t have to be a quad copter, could be a double rotor like https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/ingenuity. Would help to save a ton of weight on structure and could have bigger props with only two needed.
Were it feasible, it might be the killer app for the new free-spinning turntable bearings. Think counter-rotating coaxial blades as you see on Ingenuity (oh, @Jobe alreay mentioned Ingenuity). Gut feeling is not a chance, and I wouldn’t be willing to supervise heavy (definitely more than a kilo/2 pounds) experimental spinning or translating things. Don’t do it. justdrones.com.auTdrone----Open source coaxial drone! - Blogs - diydrones
It’s definitely possible if you scale back your expectations, think fixed wing with only thrust control.
Assuming we’re limited to VRC legal parts, an unlimited supply of legal sized polycarbonate could be exploited.
You could form the wings by using polycarbonate to form the ribs of the wings, standoffs as the stringers, and super thin polycarbonate as the skin. The fuselage could just be a couple C-channels bolted together to form an I beam. The props could be made from polycarb sheets and thermally formed (It’d be extremely impractical but technically feasible). If you take out the gear cartridge from the motor, you can use less external gearing.
Also, a certain Youtuber with a cordless drill RC plane comes to mind.