Flybrix – Lego based mini drone

I saw a super idea for the boy’s birthday that combined two of his passions. Aeronautics and Lego.

Flybrix promised a relatively low cost entry to mini-drone design and flight – with some interesting possibilities around the Arduino platform. Automation!

I placed the order pretty early – and eventually the kit arrived.

Unboxing was fun. An anti-static bag with a mini control board, a bag of lego bits, a bag of motors and a bag of props.

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We built the first Lego drone using the online instructions. Meh. No fun. Having the battery above the plane of the props meant this turned into an inverted pendulum – with inherent instability for the drone. We had many crashes and a particularly disappointed boy.

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Lots of video showing a five second flight and then a massive crash.

Also we found that the Lego design was not particularly strong. Every flight, every crash – and rebuilt.

Back to the drawing board – with two goals.

  • stronger Lego model – less rebuilding
  • place the battery under the plane of the props to give more stability.

After several tries – here’s what we ended up with. It flies, it hovers, it’s actually fun.

The boy is now learning to hover an inch off the ground like a hovercraft and maneuver in three dimensions.

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