I am working on building my own quadcopter from scratch. I noticed that many solutions available online use arduino, but I am not a fan of arduino. So my questions are: what microcontrollers should be used, what are the crucial features of those microcontrollers etc. I would like to build it from total scratch. I was thinking about PIC microcontrollers.

Also what should be used for ESC, since I would build that from scratch too.

Summing it all up:

  • 4 ESCs

  • Gyro,acceloremeter,gps

  • transceiver

    which is about 8 slaves and one master microcontroller.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, this is a shopping question. There are thousands of combinations, maybe millions? Go to RC Groups and read, a lot. $\endgroup$ – Spiked3 Jan 26 '13 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Spiked3: "how do I build it from total scratch" doesn't sound like a shopping question to me. $\endgroup$ – David Cary Jan 26 '13 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ Is he going to fabricate his own FETs? No one builds from scratch, that is silly. You mix components, and to do that you do a lot of research. Not to mention that new components are released almost daily. At best this would be an electronic question. $\endgroup$ – Spiked3 Jan 26 '13 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ Closed - but will happily reopen if edited to be more in keeping with the site FAQs $\endgroup$ – Andrew Jan 27 '13 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ If you could explain what practical problems you are having, I'm sure people would be happy to either point you at the resources you need to solve them in the standard way (with an arduino) or suggest other approaches that you may be able to investigate. It is often better to understand the problem rather than turn straight to shopping around for alternatives. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Jan 28 '13 at 1:41

You're asking about microcontrollers, but I get the sense that you're asking it for the wrong reasons. Since you don't list a technical reason for being "not a fan of arduino", I get the sense that you're trying to make a quadcopter that is different in every way from existing solution. This decision sounds at best arbitrary and at worst misguided. Why doesn't arduino fit your needs? What are your needs?

If many quadcopter designs are using arduino, that's a good indication that arduino is a useful element of getting quadcopters to work. There may be a better microcontroller to use, but how will you know what to look for until you experience firsthand a shortcoming in the arduino platform?

If your desire is to make a quadcopter from scratch, the best way to approach it is not to conceive the design from first principles. Take an existing design, study it, and improve it once you understand how it works. It will take a lot of prototypes, trial, and especially error.


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