About this project
Hex is a completely open source nanocopter kit made by a community of makers from around the world. It's also the world's first consumer electronic product that uses 3D printing technology to achieve personalization.
What makes Hex so special:
1. Piloting made easy: With an extremely user-friendly control app, everyone can enjoy the feeling of being a pilot.
2. See the world from a different perspective: Put a camera on Hex and take video from the air, in real time.
3. Personalize your flying experience: You decide what you want your Hex to look like.
4. Be creative and hack: Hex is completely open source, modify it in any way you like.
5. No soldering required: Just click the kit to together to create your own personal copter in minutes.
New sensors added!
Piloting made easy!
• Smartphone controlled
Hex is controlled using smartphones and other mobile devices, so complicated remote controls are not required to get it off the ground. The control system we use, RC Touch, has an extremely user-friendly interface and is already available for iOS and Android devices.
• Multiple control methods
Hex can be controlled using the gravity sensors in a mobile device. It imitates the movement of the smartphone or a tablet in the air. In addition, traditional throttle, elevator, aileron, rudder control systems can be used to operate your Hex.
• Utilizing Bluetooth 4.0 for communication
Hex uses Bluetooth 4.0 since this communication protocol is available in most modern mobile devices. Bluetooth 4.0 provides Hex with efficient long distance communication.
Hex’s flight control system is paired with various sensors help to make flying more safe and steady. These components massively reduce the risk of crashing. The sophisticated electronics in the copter allow it to sense when Hex is not balanced and adjust the motor speeds accordingly.
See the world from a different perspective!
• Camera compatibility
A camera can be attached to Hex for aerial photography and videography.
• First Person View (FPV)
With FPV glasses provided in the Hex Spy Kit, you can experience the thrills and joys of being in the air! A 5.8G Radio telemetry module is used for real time transfer of videos to the FPV glasses.
• Real-time Wi-Fi telemetry
Hex also lets you see what the webcam sees on your mobile device in real time. A Wi-Fi communication module is used.
(The FPV glasses kit has no battery included. The external power port of the glasses can be used for supplying power. The voltage of the external power supply shall be at 8-13V)
Personalize your flying experience!
• Choosing shells
Hex can be customized in a number of different ways. You choose how you want it to look depending on what you like. We provide many 3D printed shells. All shells are directly mounted on top of the circuit board, and no soldering is required.
• Designing personalized shells
If you are a designer, you can design your own shells and print them out from Shapeways or a 3D printer at your home or a nearby hackerspace and mount them to your Hex.
Be creative and hack!
- Arduino compatibility
You can change Hex's behavior by changing Hex's open source code or hardware. Hex is Arduino compatible which makes it easy to fiddle with it.
- Auto-balancing hacks
The autopilot system of Hex allows it to auto-balance itself in mid-air, but if you are creative, the same circuit board can be used to balance other devices such as a two-wheeled robot car, fixed-wing aircrafts, camera gimbals, submarines etc.
Who We Are
We are a team of makers coming from different parts of the world who believe that drones will be a big part of our future. Our team is made up of designers as well as software and hardware engineers. We have been making and researching drones for the past year and hope this is just the first of many projects related to drone technology. With your support, we hope to develop Hex nanocopters into a very customizable experience.
(This picture shows the current prototypes, however we keep improving the shells so the final design might look a little different.)
o Size: 56x8.5 mm
o Fits shaft: 1.0 mm
o Diameter: 7.0 mm
o Length: 20 mm
o Shaft diameter: 1.0 mm
o Over 50,000 rotations per minute (rpm)
• Flight Control System
o Flight control: Microwii Copter
o Processor: ATMega32u4
o Gyro and Accel: MPU6050
• Flight Time: 7 minutes
• Communication protocol: Bluetooth 4.0
(We have reached the $500K goal, visit here to check out the details.)
- 8/30 Finish optimization of the bluetooth communication module.
- 9/15 Launch the beta version of Android controller app.
- 9/30 Optimize the assembly of Hex.
- 10/15 Further reduce the size of the autopilot and manufacture some for testing purposes.
- 10/30 Finish the optimization of gravity-sensor control method and design more 3D shells.
- 11/15 Start manufacturing.
- 12/1 Ship rewards!
Thanks a lot for your valuable mentorships, suggestions and the occasional (often?) butt-kicking that we deserved. Laser Shades for the win!
- DIY Drones
Great communities, where we learned a great deal and get loads of help from the members there.
- Silvia Lindtner
- Molecule Synth
HAXLR8R teams! It was amazing working together and learning from you guys. Your feedback on all of our stuff was really helpful, and stopped us from making huge mistakes. Thanks!:)
- Dan Ran
- David Li
Risks and challenges
There are always significant challenges in designing, developing, manufacturing and delivering any hardware product but we have been working hard to make our project a success. We participated in HAXLR8R, the world's first hardware accelerator program, earlier this year and got invaluable help from them, and their great mentors and teams.
We have been living and working in Shenzhen, China, the manufacturing capital of the world, for the last several months. During this time, we have visited many manufacturing factories and realized the advantages of digital fabrication over the traditional methods. We have been using 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC machines for rapid manufacturing and prototyping, and using digital fabrication has helped us a great deal in iterating our designs based on user feedback. We have also established relationships with Shapeways, so users can get their personalized product easily.
Although we have been in touch with several shipping companies that provide services across the globe, the physical delivery and shipping is always a slight risk due to unpredictable circumstances. We aim to use reputed companies for shipping to reduce this risk and ensure that you can get your rewards quickly and in perfect condition.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Right now the app is available on iPhone, and an Android version will be available by the time the copters are shipped. The Android version will be compatible with Android 4.3 and above. Currently no Windows Phone version is available, but we are hoping to release that sometime next year.
The quad copter can carry 12 g. The hexacopter can carry 30 g.
Yes, during our Kickstarter campaign we are selling complete units, but we plan to sell components such as the control board and wifi camera on our website after the campaign is over.
Hex uses bluetooth 4.0, which works best within 50 m.
Hex can fly for about 5 minutes if it is carrying a camera, and for about 7 minutes if it is not.
A USB style charger will be included when we ship the copters. The charger also includes a wall-adapter. It takes Hex about 30 minutes to fully charge.
Yes, we will release all the design files in .stl format. You can print it using an 3D printer by yourself. If you are a designer, you can design your own shells and print them out from a 3D printer at your home or a nearby hackerspace and mount them to your Hex.
Support this project
- (45 days)