To make good use of the Mega 2560’s vast number of pins and memory space, a complex project is need. Enter the AeroQuad:
The AeroQuad is an open-source hardware and software project dedicated to the construction of remote controlled four-rotor helicopters, also known as quadcopters or quadrocopters.
AeroQuad hardware typically consists of an Arduino microcontroller (Mega-2560 or Uno) as the flight controller board, and an AeroQuad shield with various sensors, such as an accelerometer and gyroscope. AeroQuad software, written mostly in C and uploaded to the micro-controller via the Arduino IDE, currently supports ‘Acrobatic’ mode that uses only the gyroscope for flight assistance, and several ‘Stable’ modes that use both the gyroscope and accelerometer for auto-leveled flight assist. There are also additional sensors that provide numerous other optional functions, such as heading or altitude hold.
The Mega 2560 is the basis of the project serving as the central command center talking to the other components of the project:
• triple axis gyro
• triple axis accelerometer
• barometric pressure sensor
• triple axis magnetometer (for heading)
• AeroQuad shield
• radio system
With said components and some assembly time, the final product will be a highly maneuverable, radio-controlled four-rotor helicopter. That is just the beginning. Here are some ideas take the project a step further: add a camera to capture images from the air; add a Bluetooth module and write a simple iPhone/Android app to control the AeroQuad via BT on the smartphone!
More information and source code for the Mega 2560 is available at the source link below.