Sub 250g Micro-Drone Flying More than 25 Minutes!

In my last post (A 210g Micro-Quad that Flies for More Than 21 Minutes) I showed a sub 250g micro-drone flying for more than 21 minutes. After replace the motor by a 4500kv one, the flight time was improved to 25min26sec. I thought this was a world record for a DIY sub 250g micro-drone constructed with commercial off-the-shelf components, but it’s not yet. In the end, there is a closer look to the drone. Greetings!


I’m not sure about the record, in rcgroups forum its full DIY 2" - 3" - 4" - 5" sub 250g quadcopters in 1s-2s, really lightweight and similar performance.

It’s my effort in the last 2 years with arducopter working on small quad, and I really welcome all this new fresh and light size copter to help to improve our beloved ardupilot with ALL this small size craft so beautiful :slight_smile:

P.S.: in our lab we are working with a swarm of APM based 5" custom quadcopters for swarm academic research, its weight 180g - 200g with battery, 2S, with the little battery it fly 35min, with the massive 5000 mA, close to 50 min! no joke! next step 1 h, we already reach to save like 20g in the new revision and some new batteries are ready too

Thanks for congrats!
Man, you need to share the setup of the quads of your swarm! Would be awesome! This will contribute a lot for safer flights and research with drone swarms around the world. If you can, please, make a post showing us your quads and specs. I built a big one 2 years ago that flies for 58 minutes with 6S 8000mAh Li-Po battery, but it weights 2.4kg. When possible, I will build a Li-Ion battery package for this big one to try to improve this flight time… I’m expecting more than 80 minutes. But my focus now is on sub 250g micro-drones for safety reasons. If people start using more micro-drones, certainly manufacturers will try to reduce even more the size/weight of electronic components needed to build them… Cheers!

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Sure, we are working hard to record a first video showing you all our so long work on this project, its here only because this AMAZING project exist and permits to people like me and you of be active and play with robotics and grow together, thanks!
…so we have not showed our works because we would love to present you the first video, in 1 month it will be ready if all goes right. Our Swarm, its a performer group, based on Ardupilot, they have 60 individual LED to make magical community scale aerial show at nights.

P.S.:I’m working on a 80g new quadcopter, this one will be amazing! :wink:

Fantastic, Giorgio! I think Li-Ion batteries will replace all Li-Po very soon… Good luck with your 80g! Don’t forget to share! :slight_smile:

Man… Look what I found:

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around 2 years old guys… you are to late :wink:
240g TOW with battery
40min flight time (and still a lot to improve, some components are now a LOT lighter 60min is doable with todays components)
up to 7 m/s wind
photogrammetry camera 17mp with special lense
and of course ardupilot powered!
the best feature:


Awesome, Hans! Congrats, man! Very inspiring… Can you share the specs? :+1:

I wonder how that GPS dipole antenna performs from the “32.4km Long range FPV…” vid, compared to the tiny patch antenna on the mro/matek gps’s?

All the copters people posted in this thread are amazing!

2x US18650VTC6 (now you can get better ones)
pixracer fc (every plugs, connectors removed)
modded 5x3 props
DYS 1306-2300KV motors
Hobbywing XRotor 4-IN-1 Micro 20A ESC 3-4 (much to heavy today)
Beitian BN-880 gps
my frame is around 9g, motors are glued, no screws
legend 1 camera striped with modded firmware and lense

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Yes… I will try this mod with one of my Matek Compass+GPS. I found two mods that can be usefull for endurance improvement too. The first is to decrease the 1306 motor KV to around 1800 and the second is to remove the LVC from ESCs. I’m studying these subjects now…

Okay… it is very close to the one I posted in the video above. I ordered some 1306 motors and 5” propellers to go further. There is a Kakute F7 Mini now, weighing only 4g. I found a BLHeli_32 28A 4in1 ESC with only 4g too. Everything is on the way… :crossed_fingers:

no bec and no current sensor?

Yes… Not mandatory, imo… Anyway, I ordered Airbot Ori32 too. It is a biiiit heavier, but have full telemetry. :wink:

current/voltage is very important for me.

I think the voltage sensor is really important for security reasons, but current is not so much. Considering the weight of a simple power module (2.54g) to provide the voltage measurements, maybe the Airbot Ori32 would be a better ESC option, because it have full telemetry too. Also, my hope is that, as both ESCs firmware is BLHeli_32, I can disable the LVC function. BLHeli_S does not have this option… :confused:

PS: I just figured out that Kakute F7 Mini seems to have a voltage monitor… :wink:

The Ori32 esc is the worst I’ve used as far as low voltage… So bad, Airbot admitted it was an issue and refunded me! It cuts out at 7v!! 3.5 per cell! It’s not suitable for 2s. It’s a hardware limitation of the mosfets they use, is the way they described it to me. Changing the LVC in BlHeli didn’t do anything.

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there you go :wink: its not as easy as it seems to be to get to that goal.

Man… it cutts-off power at 7V? Did you turned off voltage cutt-off in blheli32 configurator? I hope this other one works… . I sent an email to Holybro to check if Teko32 mini really does not support 2S. Few options below 8g. Let’s wait…

Yes, that’s true. Hard work ahead…