Saturday, September 18, 2021

Drone made of Lego takes flight.

The first images that I saw of this Lego quadrocopter frame raised a smile. On contacting Ed Scott, C#/C++ developer by day and Lego flying robot wrangler by night I was impressed. I also recognised a pattern, last week one of my sUAS was engaged in parachute dropping duties for my sons 9th birthday party. Credit must go to Ed’s son’s Nicholas and Joshua Scott who designed the worlds first flying robot made out of Lego!

Equipped with a Go Pro camera to record it’s surroundings and a first person view (FPV) camera and transmitter sending back live video images to its pilot the Lego quadrocopter is an advanced machine. It is kept on an even keel and able to navigate waypoints via GPS thanks to an APM 2.5 autopilot from 3DR.

When I caught up with Ed he had the following to say:-

My son kept asking me to attach lego things that they made to my GAUI 330x we had lots of fun making there creations fly. One day I was on a field and crashed my GAUI, one arm was completely broken off, I went home and that night I remembered my son using, LEGO Digital Designer (LDD), so I though maybe my sons and I could make a quad and use the motors from the GAUI. If we could automate it we could make the worlds first flying LEGO Drone.

We came up with a design using LDD that had strength and we would be able to open the top to get at the wires. Then we used LEGOs Pick A Brick to order the LEGOs.. The Quad was built 100% by my boys and then I helped them glue it together together. Since we have been flying it we have had some very hard landings and a few flips, except the legs breaking off it has been superb and very very strong. I plan on changing out the legs from the “LEGO window frame” to a “2×2 brick” to give it even more strength.

Most people go to their favourite hobby store to get parts for their UAV, I go to my kids playroom.

Lego has had a played a pivotal role in the development of cheaper autopilot solutions. Chris Anderson ex editor of Wired and now CEO of 3DR used a Lego Mindstorm NXT to create his first autopilot back in 2007. His was the first using Lego, but I cannot think of another example made of Lego.

As I have read somewhere, “117 bricks of fun”

This drone business seems like child’s play.

Want to make your own and don’t have a bucket of Lego handy, test your design skills  in the software Nicholas and Joshua used

Well done to all involved another worthy entry in the UAVs Got Talent category.

Here’s Chris Anderson Lego NXT based flight back in the day.

Gary Mortimer
Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.