Drone Flight Controller

ESP32 nano drone | Wearable Technology Designing

This ambitious project aims to revolutionize drone technology by creating a lightweight, cost-effective, and programmable drone. The drone is designed to be controlled through a Software Development Kit (SDK), making it highly versatile and adaptable to various applications. By leveraging sophisticated technology and innovative design principles, this drone sets new benchmarks in drone performance and functionality.

Core Components:

  • ESP32 MCU:
  • Serves as the central processing unit, managing computations and communications effectively.

  • Sensor Suite:
  • 6 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU):
    Provides comprehensive data on the drone's orientation and movement.
    Time of Flight Sensor:
    Offers precise distance measurements crucial for obstacle avoidance and altitude control.
    Flow Sensor:
    Enhances the drone's navigational capabilities by detecting the motion of surfaces below.
  • 6 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU):
  • Captures comprehensive data on the tracker's spatial orientation and movement, ensuring precise activity tracking.

  • Battery Management IC:
  • Guarantees optimal power management, a pivotal feature for the device's operational longevity.

Structural and Circuit Design:

  • PCB-Integrated Structure:
  • The drone's structure ingeniously expands upon the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) itself, contributing to its lightweight and compact form.

  • Communication Paths:
  • I2C and SPI communication paths are meticulously designed with matched impedance, ensuring high-speed data transfer and operational integrity.

  • Noise Analysis and Filtering:
  • Careful analysis of electromagnetic interference and noise generated by motors leads to the implementation of analog filters, guaranteeing a stable power supply to the MCU and sensors.

  • Power Line Design:
  • The power lines of the PCB are robustly designed to handle a maximum current of 15 Amps, accommodating the drone's dynamic power requirements.

  • Onboard Battery Charger:
  • Incorporated within the circuit, this charger facilitates the recharging of the LiPo battery, the drone's primary power source.

Software and Control Systems:

  • Custom Sensor Libraries:
  • Developed to expedite data reading, with special enhancements like overclocking the I2C line for optimal performance.

  • Advanced Filtering Techniques:
  • Orientation Calculation:
    Utilizes the Madgwick filter for accurate orientation data.
    Altitude Calculation:
    Employs an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) to fuse Z acceleration and Time of Flight measurements, ensuring precise altitude control.
  • Cascaded PID Controllers:
  • The system boasts six simultaneously running cascaded Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers, meticulously maintaining the drone's position and stability.

Innovations and Improvements:

  • Optimized Code Execution:
  • A significant breakthrough in this project is the optimization of wireless communication and flight control loop codes within the same MCU. This optimization ensures that the flight control loop maintains its critical constant rate, unaffected by potential delays in wireless communication.

  • Integration vs. Segregation:
  • Unlike conventional drones that typically use separate ICs for wireless communication and flight control to prevent interference, this drone harmoniously integrates both functions within a single MCU. This integration not only conserves space and reduces weight but also enhances the efficiency and responsiveness of the system.