Hello! My name is Marcelo Lavrador, just building a human drone with some friends...
During a visit to the Deutsches Museum's Historical Aviation Section in July 2019, I realized that even more interesting than the flying machines themselves, are the stories of the inventors behind them. This inspiration came from the quasi-anonymous heroes who devoted their lives to the evolution of aeronautical science, specially from those who had little or no achievements, after all science evolves slowly and through failure. So I had a great desire to be one of those people, regardless of success or any obligation other than pure engineering pleasure. This human drone will not be an innovation itself as there are people already flying human drones; the goal is just to add some innovative capabilities. Anyways, despite the final result, I hope this project can inspire others to move the big wheel of scientific evolution That alone is worth it.
By the time I returned from July's European vacation, the plan to build a human drone was already taking shape. I invited my friend Alvaro Calvo to join this project, without any commitment, just for fun. He joined without hesitation, therefore securing the right to be the second pilot to fly the aircraft. But we're not that crazy: before flying, we are making a small drone in scale, keeping the same proportions of the big one to tune up the software and become familiar with any flight control mishaps that may arise during the project. In addition, when the final drone is ready, we will initially send some sandbags in our place, controlling the aircraft by radio. We don't have a deadline to fly the drone "in-loco". No rush, this is a hobby!
First, we assumed that flight control hardware & software on our human drone would not be much different from that used in small drones, for which much of the technical information shared through forums and open source documentation on the web. So really our first job was to understand what was available in the market for motors, batteries and propellers, so that we could determine all basic design elements such as weight, geometry and performance. Once the requirements were defined, our challenge became to design a lightweight, sturdy, rigid, and reasonably priced frame. After a month of and more than 10 simulation models, we came up with a design that fulfilled the design elements and essentials. Later, motors, ESCs, Flight Controller, batteries, sensors, and propellers will be bought over the Internet as well as aluminum, which will be cut into rods and sent to a welding shop. Prior to final assembly, we will fine-tune the software through the scale model since our goal is to build it to be as safe as possible. At the time you are reading this text, many of these tasks might be already done; that's why you should look at our latest posts to stay updated!