The Quadshot is a remote-controlled aircraft we have created that melds advanced Open-Source hardware and software with a unique airframe design. It can both fly forward like an airplane and hover like a helicopter - but without the usual complicated, expensive, and fragile moving parts. The Quadshot also incorporates a threaded mount so you can attach a small camera and capture aerial footage.This is what comes to our minds when we try to explain the Quadshot:
BRAIN + AIRFRAME + YOU = AWESOME
Let’s briefly go through each part:
BRAIN - The Quadshot differs from a typical remote-controlled airplane or helicopter in a big way: it has a brain! Our brain is called Lisa/M, and here she is:
Like the flight computer on an advanced aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Lisa is equipped with a sensor suite called an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), shown above right. The IMU contains 3-axis solid-state accelerometers and gyroscopes to keep Lisa up-to-date on which way she is pointing and how fast she is rotating.
Lisa combines all of this information with your commands and then decides what to do hundreds of times per second. The advantage of being so brainy? You can tell the Quadshot to hover like a helicopter, fly slowly and steadily like a trainer airplane, or give you full control for aerobatics - all at the flip of a switch.
Lisa may be small, but she’s powerful - and hackable! Lisa’s hardware is open (OSHW), and she runs flight software based on the Open-Source Paparazzi project - which means you have the power to make changes, and also benefit from improvements made by others in the community.
AIRFRAME - We designed the Quadshot’s airframe to be lightweight, yet durable. It consists of a one-meter (39 inch) wing, four pylons with motors and propellers, an enclosure for the electronics, and a standard threaded mount suitable for a small camera. The wing is made out of EPP foam, with a carbon-fiber spar for strength. The pylons are plastic-reinforced foam, and act as landing gear, motor mounts, and tailfins. They are set farther apart on the bottom of the wing to give your camera a clear view.
YOU - The most important part! You’re in control: hover around, or improve your skills in the beginner airplane setting with assisted, graceful banked turns. Feeling adventurous? Try the advanced mode and perform exciting aerobatics. Attach your camera for aerial footage, or even a pan/tilt mount for flying with a first-person view! Want to hack the software, build a UAV, or do something no one has thought of yet? Just get an airframe and use your own gear, or join the worldwide community of Paparazzi developers!
We designed the Quadshot to be three things: a novel controls research platform, a fun R/C toy that combines aspects of helicopters and airplanes, and a platform for hobby aerial photography. We have made about 10 working prototypes, but hand-building them from CNC-machined blocks of foam and 3D-printed parts make them too expensive to share. To bring the Quadshot into being for everyone, we need your help! Our project goal is to get enough early support so that we can afford mass-production tooling. This will let us make high-quality parts at a reasonable cost.
What are the rewards for backers?
We will produce different flavors of the Quadshot for people with different interests:
The Mocha: the best model for people most interested in flying - we think it is the most capable and fun R/C aircraft ever! This version will include everything you need, including the fully-assembled Quadshot, a radio transmitter, lithium-polymer battery, and charger. While ready to fly out of the box, the Mocha still has room to hack! It includes a streamlined version of Lisa (called Lia) featuring through-hole solder connectors, which make it simpler to connect up accessories like GPS or XBee modules. To keep costs down, Lia does not include some components that are not used by the Quadshot, namely the magnetometer and barometer sensors, and CAN and I2C communication support. Mochas will start to ship after the unassembled kits. Retail price will be $400 - Kickstarters save $100!
The Espresso: for R/C and software enthusiasts interested in hacking with the aircraft. It includes the airframe, four motors/propellers/motor controllers, two servos, one Lisa/M module, two XBee wireless modules (for bidirectional communication to a groundstation computer), and all necessary wires, connectors, and fasteners. You will need your own Spektrum-compatible 2.4GHz R/C transmitter and receivers. The Espresso is a kit and requires assembly; directions will be included. Retail price will be $750 - Kickstarters save $250!
The Kopi Luwak: for controls researcher and hardcore hackers. Identical to the Espresso, but with the Lisa/M upgraded to the larger and more expandable Lisa/L. Lisa/L pairs Lisa/M’s STM32 microcontroller with a piggy-backed Gumstix Overo Air computer module, featuring wifi and the powerful OMAP-3 processor. Lisa/L also expands on the sensors included with Lisa/M by adding a differential barometer for measuring airspeed. The Kopi Luwak comes fully assembled, and we even throw in a t-shirt, thank you video, and link to your site! Retail price will be $2000 - Kickstarters save $500!
In addition to complete vehicles, we will offer:
The Latte: a bare airframe kit, which is the wing, spar, pylons, winglets, and electronics housing. Unassembled and great if you have your own project in mind, or want spare parts. Retail price will be $75 - Kickstarters save $25!
The Cappuccino: Same as the Latte, but also including four motors and motor controllers, the wiring harness, servos and a set of propellers. DOES NOT include a flight computer or software. This is best for people who already have/wish to create their own flight computer or software compatible with this vehicle configuration. Retail price will be $150 - Kickstarters save $50!
The Decaf: Want to support the Quadshot, but are more fashion plate than flying ace? No sweat - get a t-shirt silkscreened with our stylin' logo, and your name on our site's thank you page.
What is the production plan?
By pledging your support, you are pre-ordering your Quadshot and ensuring you are among the first to get one. And since we can't do it without you, we're offering Kickstarters substantial discounts over future retail prices.
If we are funded, we will go into production in two phases. During phase one, we will focus on producing high quality parts and ship the Latte, Cappuccino, and Espresso rewards as unassembled kits. We will also assemble, test and ship the super awesome Kopi Luwaks ourselves.
During phase two, we will focus on the Mocha, which will be fully assembled and ready-to-fly out of the box.
Thanks very much for checking out our project, and we hope you decide to support it!
-- Piotr, Chris, Jeff, and Pranay
http://www.thequadshot.com - homepage, FAQ, and videos
http://forum.thequadshot.com/ - Quadshot discussion forums
http://www.facebook.com/theQuadshot - announcements, links to more video
http://paparazzi.enac.fr/wiki/ - Paparazzi onboard control and ground station software
http://jobyrobotics.com - Lisa hardware, accessories, and information
- (45 days)