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Hexakopter: remote-control helicopter puts on amazing aerial display

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February 23, 2010

The Hexakopter microcopter has many inbuilt features that make it great fun to operate, an...

The Hexakopter microcopter has many inbuilt features that make it great fun to operate, and you can custom build your own

We've seen the value of using multiple rotors in unmanned microcopters like the CyberQuad, DraganFlyer X8 and more recently Parrot's AR.Drone. The HexaKopter is another case in point - the 1.2kg, six-rotor device has a flight-time of up to 36 minutes and can carry around 1kg along with a high-definition camera that delivers some amazing images. And it's also a lot of fun.

Creator by Holger Buss says the HexaKopter is easy to fly, robust and has plenty of applications, from aerial photography, environmental measuring and as a toy.

Buss, who has a pretty big following around the world, has taken lots of video (like the one below) to show off his devices, of which the Hexakopter is but one.

Apart from aerial photography, environmental measurements, we think the military might be vaguely interested in the maneuverability of this device too. It’s stability control is nothing short of amazing – as demonstrated in his latest videos.

What makes this device special is the built-in GPS locator that allows it to be programmed via a laptop with a "home" location (which automatically returns it to from where it was launched). Using an aerial map on the laptop with the flight control software, Buss demonstrates how easy it is to program different waypoints on the map and have the microcopter travel to each one in sequence. The laptop also beeps when each waypoint is reached. This would make it easy photograph or film various events in a single short flight.

An altitude control algorithm allows you to control the height of the device (nicknamed the MK) so hovering is a breeze ... even in a breeze. It also has inbuilt stabilizers to deal with wind correction, roll, etc. “Pilots” can also remotely adjust the camera angle to deliver the best possible video footage, which could be very interesting if you having a dogfight with another MK owner.

The MK has a Wiki page which lists all the components and “how-to's” that allow hobbyists to build their own personal MKs.

Parts for the build-it-yourself flyer are available at the MikroKopter site.

No doubt Buss makes flying the MK look dead easy, but it appears to be great fun and a good business tool for some clever entrepreneurs.

MikroKopter - HexaKopter from Holger Buss on Vimeo.

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7 Comments

This offers the completely autonomous delivery of a 1kg C4 high explosive payload, airdropped into a public event at a precise time and location. The operator can be out of the country (or dead) at the moment of impact. In fact, with the right wireless interface, the whole operation could be executed from another country.

Imagine 10 of these simultaneously detonated at outdoor sporting events, along with hidden canisters of anthrax timed to explode in the ramps as the panicked crowds race through the exits.

And that's not even what's terrifying. The real terror comes with the government's reaction to such an attack. After all, we have full (Xray) strip searches going into all major airports because one guy couldn't manage to light the fuse on his underwear.

I'm not at all suggesting that this be done; I am pointing out that terrorists watching this video must be thinking the same thing...

TedETGbiz
23rd February, 2010 @ 07:21 am PST

Can this be scaled up for human transportation as well?

Mohammad R Himayathullah
23rd February, 2010 @ 02:03 pm PST

Holger's design is absolutely brilliant. It is the most amazing gadget I have seen on Gizmag. Ted, it's sad that you have made your scenario. Let's vet everybody who sends off for the plans!

windykites1
25th February, 2010 @ 10:48 am PST

This device is fantastic! It seems to have inherent stability, without the torque-steer that common helicopters must deal with. Put a protective circular cowl around each of the rotors, and it can bump into most things without crashing!

Ike Rai
26th February, 2010 @ 10:09 am PST

to TedETGbiz

Well, crap..lucky for us, most tangos are friggin idiots...but THANKS for helping them out, giving them a little leg up on their efforts

...does that make you one too?

I ponder the question, not because I am trying to start a useless and trite argument (on a GREAT website) but to point out that wrinting about the possibility you outline SO WELL, in a public and wide forum...is NOT the same thing as pondering it semi-privately amongst your buddies... After all, a Hammer is a great tool, but it can also be used as a weapon...does that mean some dude should NEVER have invented it? Every application of "technology" has at LEAST two uses...one beneficial...one detrimental.

Let the bad guys figure their own detrimental crap out for themselves....

clay
10th March, 2010 @ 08:34 am PST

I was disappointed to see that most of the parts needed to build this are "out of stock". Wonder if that is temporary or permanent?

Yeah, and to TedETGbiz:

That is what is friggin' wrong with this world. Take a neat idea and there is always someone waiting to turn it into something ugly. Dang! Thanks for giving the bad guys a head's up. Hopefully there can be some limits placed on it so as to NOT be able to do what you're suggesting.

Anyway, I think it is cool. Just wish the parts were available (and they may be here in the USA) to build it!

Molly Crosby Pellettiere
10th March, 2010 @ 08:41 pm PST

Hello sir, that is a very great piece of creation. I am an Indian student of engineering. As being an Indian i am sad to notify you the circumstances over here, is not like your country. Like the apparatus, parts etc are not that much available. I have a project to make a robo-helicopter. If you kindly help me by sending me the list of necessary parts and circuit diagrams of the hexacoptor, I would be highly thankful to you. Thanking you, Tapojit Saha.

email:- tapojit_saha@yahoo.com/tapojit.saha@gmail.com

Facebook User
10th January, 2011 @ 12:00 pm PST
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