Prototyping Zoë

Zoë is the child of Phoebe and Chloë, taking the best of both and adding a little bit of magic to the mix.  She’s only in a partial build state currently – there’s no point in completing the build until I’m extremely confident in Phoebe’s flights.

At first glance, the finished Zoë will pretty much like Chloë:

Chloë

Chloë

The difference is in the details – and specifically the base plate(s).  Phoebe and Chloë only have a single base; Zoë has two:

Silicone Sandwich

Silicone Sandwich

The lower (base) plate handles power distribution from the LiPo on top out to the ESCs on the arms.  The new intermediate plate lies just a few millimeters above, and carries just the Raspberry Pi flight controller.  This intermediate plate ‘hovers’ above the base plate on a set of silicone grommets.  These are extremely soft, hopefully providing extreme isolation from the power frame’s vibrations, thus allowing the sensors to pick up only real acceleration.  Other than the ESC cables and the micro-USB cable, there is no hard connection between the intermediate plate and the rest of Zoë.

The only slight concern I have is the placement of Zoë’s battery bank.  It can’t sit on the intermediate plate next to the Raspberry Pi as with Phoebe; its too heavy and will squish the dampers on that side.

Power bank placement

Power bank placement

The picture shows it under the bottom plate, but as the arms don’t have hands (see Chloë’s photo at the top), the battery bank would be what hits the floor on landing, and experience tells me it won’t survive many landings that way unless I’m careful!  On the plus side, the way I’ve oriented the bank, the USB B sockets is closest to the base plate given some protection from the USB B plug wrenching the socket off the PSB inside the bank.  I think it’s worth trying as any other solution seems very ugly in comparison.

Last but not least, here’s the top side view; currently, that’s Chloë’s flight controller; Zoë will have her own as there are changes I’d like to make to Phoebe’s controller too.  The nuts and washers attached to the silicone are where Zoë’s arms will connect; they have a rock-solid connection to the base plate right through the centre of the silicone grommets maintaining structural solidity, while the intermediate plate (top in the picture) chills out in her vibration free environment.

Top-side

Top-side

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