Autonomous Quadcopter Charging Station

The IML is starting to collect quite the stable of UAVs. Unfortunately, as the fleet grows, so does the need for routine maintenance, such as battery charging. Wouldn’t it be nice if the charging were automatic?

Charging station

Here we see the full charging station. An Arduino runs the logic to turn on and off the discrete battery charger.

Quadcopter underside

The underside of the quadcopter is covered in some conductive tape. There is a relay system to switch between the flight controller and ESCs and the battery charger. This is an essential part of the system, as otherwise the battery charger gets fooled by the constant current being consumed by the flight electronics.


Quadcopter in socket

The socket itself is made out of 3D printed plastic and conductive tape. The shape of the socket ensures that good contact is always made between the quadcopter and the charger. The contact pressures are sufficient for the relatively low current required to recharge a 700mAhr 2S battery.

Here’s a video with a little more information: