Sparton partners with the Robotics Association of Embry – Riddle Aeronautical University

Students of the Robotics Association at Embry – Riddle Aeronautical University utilized our Attitude Heading Reference System – 8 in the AUVSI International Aerial Robotics Competition. They won Best Technical Paper and Most Innovative Design. View their journey to the competition below.


The compass is adapting to the quadrotor environment. We have found this leads to much more stable flights.

7/6/12 – Quad Terminal

We used to use a serial terminal to view data from the quad-rotor. After much deliberation (not really, it was obvious) we decided we needed a much better way to talk to the quad-rotor. Randy, a LABView expert, put together a really cool interface. We can now graph all the data we receive from the quad-rotor, talk to the quad-rotor, activate a pass through and talk to the Sparton compass, adjust gains, log all the data received to excel files, and many other things. We are constantly adding features.

7/8/12 – Micro-controller Explosion

Our first micro-controller fatality. We added a voltage sensor to the quad-rotor in order to monitor our battery in flight. The sensor was defective and sent raw voltage to the Analog/Digital Converter (ADC) on the micro-controller. He was a fast and dependable micro-controller and will be missed.


7/10/12 – Vibration

We recently discovered that our ultrasonic sensor used for altitude is sensitive to quick vibrations at heights greater than 1 meter. We have been trying different vibration damping materials to resolve this problem. Pictured above left to right are fuel tank isolation foam, Scorpion Motors packaging foam, and a pool noodle. So far the best results are from the fuel tank foam and the pool noodle.


7/12/12 – Cleaning

There is an inverse relationship between approaching deadlines and the cleanliness of the workbench. Every once in a while we have to stop for a few hours and just clean. Here are before and after shots of our workbench.




One of our grad students, Q, is standing on the counter so that he can lift a piece of foam higher or lower over our laser range finder. We were confirming the altitude readings it took before installing it on the vehicle.



Gene is doing connectivity tests on the RC and motor signals line on the circuit board in the quadrotor.



We won the “Most Innovative Design” and “Best Technical Paper” awards. Thank you to the entire Sparton team for their help!

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