RPG Quadrotor Setup

Matthias Faessler edited this page Mar 20, 2018 · 3 revisions

This page lists all the components required to assemble the quadrotor that we used in this video:

Differential Flatness of Quadrotor Dynamics Subject to Rotor Drag

Together with the Components and Wiring guide and the configuration of the Betaflight Firmware you should be able to replicate this high-performance quadrotor.



Onboard Computer:

Onboard Computer Alternative (Needs voltage-level shifting on GPIOs and Serial Ports!):

Flying in a Motion Capture System:

Might be useful:


  • We chose to have a frame that is capable of taking 6inch propellers but any frame will do as long as you have enough space to mount everything. Most FPV frames are built for 5inch propellers though.
  • Motors and propellers need to be compatible in the sense that the KV number of the motor must be something appropriate for the propeller being used. Our combination certainly works well.
  • There are different ESCs on the market that should work equally well, the most important part is that they support DSHOT.
  • By using this setup of motors, propellers, and ESCs you may use the thrust mapping parameters specified in the default sbus bridge parameters. Otherwise they need to be re-identified.
  • Also other flight controllers would work, we chose this one because it also integrates power distribution for the ESCs and enough 5V output. By using this flight controller you may directly make use of the provided Betaflight parameters. They might be different for other flight controllers!
  • Any piezo buzzer should do, they can directly be connected to the flight controller to have some low level battery voltage warning.
  • We put a capacity between the power input lines from the battery to smooth the voltage a bit since it might change a lot due to the active breaking of the ESCs.
  • We us Up Boards which uses 3.3V for their signal levels which does not need to be shifted but only one serial port is available. Therefore, we use the mentioned serial to USB converter to use one of the USB ports for additional serial communication if necessary.
  • Alternatively, we use Odroid XU4s with EMMC cards and the mentioned wifi module for feedback through wifi. Since they use 1.8V signal levels we use the indicated level shifter to get to 3.3V used with the laird and the flight controller. The Odroid XU4 provides access to two serial ports.
  • We use laird modules to send commands to the quadrotors when flying in a motion capture system since this works more reliably and with more constant latency than wifi. It is basically similar to using a remote control. The development kit board is connected to a base computer to send control commands which are received by a Laird module plugged into a breakout board which is connected to a serial port on the onboard computer. The received control commands are then send to the SBUS bridge running on the onboard computer which communicates to the flight controller. Probably the laird modules could be configured for the SBUS protocol and then be connected to the flight controller directly, making the onboard computer obsolete for sending commands. In this case, the SBUS bridge would run directly on the base computer talking to the laird development board.
  • Our setup does not have an IMU that we can read out!
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