Project: QuadCop

As the use of UAV’s in the military rises we wanted to find a more practical use for civilians such as law enforcement, search and rescue or other natural disasters. We have decided to focus on law enforcement going into a building and not knowing what is around a corner or behind a door. Our quad copter will be designed to help law enforcement by being in front of the officer in a building acting as another pair of eyes that keeps the officer away from any potential dangerous situation that might occur.




The QuapCop is a UAV designed to keep Law Enforcement and Military personnel out of harms way when initially enter a building that had enemies or has sustained damage. The QuadCop is a quad-copter that will have a camera so the officer controlling it can go through the building and see any possible dangers that may exist. To protect the quad copter from damages from water or impacts, two items were designed. The first id a water resistant cages for all the electronics and the second is a cage to protect the rotors from impacts that would cause them to break. All these features will keep the personnel safer and the QuadCop protected in a dangerous situation.



Design Concept:
To help create a quad copter that would be up to the needs of first responders, two main components were designed to give the copter the ability to be used in any situation. First is the water resistant enclosure that protects the essential electronic components. The electronics enclosure (EE) as we call it, was designed to protect against water coming from either broken pipes or fire sprinklers. Because QuadCop uses a barometric sensors for altitude position hold, the bottom of the EE has vents on the bottom to allow the altitude hold function to work. These vents also allow the electronics and battery to stay cool.

The second component designed was a cage that surrounded the copter to protect it from impacts into objects. The idea here is that because the pilot will be flying through a video feed, there is high potential for running into walls and other objects. When you do run into these things, it will cause the copter to crash because the rotors are stopped or in the worst case broken. To solve this a cage was designed to be as light as possible, but still offer the needed protection.



Complete Design:
This is a complete overview of the water resistant box. We have integrated the arms of QuadCop to fit this box and this box only, but we have assessed the idea of producing adapters for other types of arms. As we can see here the lid is located on the bottom of Quadcop to make it easier for the battery to be removed and in hopes that the water will have a harder time getting inside the box where the sensitive electronics are located. QuadCop is fitted with an o-ring inside the box to prevent any water from entering the box.

FEA analysis on the EE to make sure it would hold up to the force the motors and props would be exerting on it.

For the final design of the protective cage, we settled on a design that uses multiples of the same pieces like building blocks to allow changes in size to match different quad copter frames. Also in the middle of each side, there is a male and female connection that allows for fine tuning the overall size of the cage. The cage will be covered in a fine mesh to prevent unnecessary weight and to protect anything from the spinning blades. Below is a picture of the design in a size configuration to fit our frame we currently have.

quadcop cage




To build both protective cage and the EE, a 3D printer was used. The material that the components were printed out of was an ABS plastic. The assembly that was required to be complete was very minimal once the two components were printed. On the EE, the only things that had to be done were to paint, press in threaded inserts and install the o-ring and grommets. The reason for painting was to seal the very porous ABS plastic so it did not become water logged. The inserts were used to give the screws that hold the lid on ample strength threads. Install the o-ring and grommets were the final things we needed to do to seal the EE. Here you can see a close up picture of the installed ring in it’s groove.


This is a picture of the grommets installed as well as a picture with the wires fed through the grommets.
assembly 4

assembly 5

This picture shows the completed copter with the EE and all the electrical components installed before we painted the entire thing.
photo 1

To assemble the cage, the only steps that had to be taken were to drill holes for the fasteners and press in more threaded inserts. Also we elected to put a mesh cover on the cage to help protect people from the spinning props. The cage is made up of 20 individual pieces that each had to be connected. Using the slip joints, the pieces were inserted together and then drilled to make sure everything lined up. The only pieces that were not attached to the others were the motor mounts as we wanted to retain the adjustability aspect for demonstration. Unfortunately we all forgot to take pitures of these steps. The final step we do was to install the mesh to the cage to make it a little more save for demonstrations.

Here you can the the plastic mess being installed on the completed cage.
mesh installation

QuadCop with both the EE and cage installed, ready for testing.
completed copter big



For testing QuadCop, we had a few different test planned. The first was to test how well the EE was sealed to water intrusion. For this we set Quadcop under a homemade rain fixture. The results were just as we hope and no water managed to make it in through the seam between the lid and body or through the bottom vents. Below you can see a picture and video of the rain test in progress.
rain test

water test
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After this test, we added the protective cage to QuadCop to continue testing. Below is a video of the first flight with it on. The mesh and cage had a large negative affect on the flight because the weight and airflow issues. We were able to complete a flight time test, which only yielded us a 4 minute flight time. We were hoping for at least a 15 minute one. On the attempt to complete a lift test, one of the motors was friend and ruined cause our testing to come to an end prematurely. WE would have like to complete more, but due to the time crunch at the end of the semester, we would have never been able to get a replacement motor on time.

cage flight
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Colby Solari:

Colby grew up near Reno in north of Spanish Springs. He enjoys doing activities outside like duck hunting, fishing and riding bikes. He has worked in multiple bike shops learning how to wrench on bikes before obtaining an internship at a local military contractor.

Darin Gilman:

Darin grew up in Cordova, Alaska a small fishing community in rural Alaska. He operates a commercial fishing vessel during the summer months and enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and riding ATV’s and Snow Machines.

Tyler Williams:

Tyler grew up in a little town called Bishop in the middle of nowhere California. Enjoys all outdoor activities including but not limited to hunting and golf. He is a whiz at solidworks and helps his brother produce items for the company Deadeye Outfitters.

Kyle Hofer:

Kyle grew up in Hawthorne, which is 2hrs south of Reno and the largest ammunition depot in the world. He enjoys outdoor activities like rock climbing, riding bikes, and most sports. He currently works on campus at the central receiving office delivering packages.

Cody Shafer:

Cody was raised in the small town of Colfax, CA. Cody loves riding his dirt bike and runs a small motorsports shop with his Dad. He has had a few different internships including his current one for Cashman Equipment in Sparks, NV.