First “Flight”/Flop (Photos and Videos)

I took the quad for its first outing in the backyard today. It’s nowhere near ready to fly, but the basic code that controls stabilization is there. I wanted to see if it will be able to balance itself up in the air, at least a little. Of course, PID constants are not tuned at all. But one has to start somewhere. At first I tested a basic prop spin on the ground:

Then it came to trying to balance in the air. I looked for a way to tether it to an object in a backyard that wouldn’t allow the copter to damage anything, anyone or itself, but didn’t find an acceptable solution. So, I thought, “I can hold it in my hand, it’s not THAT powerful.” And it’s not, but as I found out pretty quickly, when it starts to flop violently in your hand it is still very difficult to hold. Soooo, don’t try this at home. I did end up with a minor scratch from a prop and won’t be doing this again. I need to figure out a good test harness setup for tuning the flight control. Here is a 30 seconds video of that experiment, together with curious, but ultimately disapproving looks from our dog:

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