First Build | Quadcopter | Autonomous Drone | RPi 3 B+ Navio2


My plan is to build an autonomous quadcopter drone.

  1. Name: Autonomous Drone Build v1.0
  2. Was sick a few weeks ago and had a dream about drones. I am a software engineer (Java, PHP, JavaScript, and more) and always wanted to integrate my knowledge and skill as a developer with hardware. A drone sounds like a pretty good project. I am from New Hampshire. I’m interested in practical applications of the drone in agriculture and more!
  3. Project Steps: Research, research, buy the parts, put the parts together, then do some test flights.
  4. Main components:
  1. Photos and Videos:

My constructed frame and the CanaKit still in boxes

Received my Navio2 autopilot like 2 weeks early! Here is picture of the Emlid Navio2 mounted on RPi 3 B+ board:

6. Documentation and building process:

  1. Assemble frame
  2. Assemble autopilot (flight controller) and Raspberry Pi B+ HOWTO Docs
    1. Flash Emlid Linux image to MicroSD card
    2. Connect to internet and update operating system
  3. Connect brushless motors to frame
    1. My quadcopter setup Emlid Docs
    2. ArduPilot documentation

    3. HELPFUL TIP - I am a novice at this. So my 4 motors (2 x CCW [Counter Clockwise], 2x CW [Clockwise]) came and I needed to place them appropriately. I found that with my motors (and I guess many other model motors) can be made to rotate CCW or CW… it just depends on the position of the ESC wires that are connected to the motor. The GOTCHA is that you want the nuts on the motors to be “self tightening” (ie. as the blade spins… the nut is forced in the opposite and tightening direction). But how do I tell?? This site has a really good explanation: CW & CCW MOTORS – THREAD DIRECTION AND PROP NUT

_ Mr. Mark


Hi @BinaryBlockDrone,

Welcome to our community forum!
Would be interesting to see the process of your drone building and the result :slightly_smiling_face:


I was able to place my order with Emild for the Navio2 and its estimated arrival date is Feb 1st. :smiley::disappointed_relieved: . Just a little bummed because I’ve got to wait a while.

I didn’t realize how much $$ would be a factor in this project… and that the parts are pretty expensive. I guess it can be more affordable depending on what a person wants to achieve. For instance, if you want a 4-5" FPV (First Person View) drone that you just operate with a controller… You can get everything under $100 USD. But, if you want something more complicated like autonomous… prices go up.

I still have the following on the “To Buy” and research list:

  1. Motors
  2. ESCs (Electronic Speed Controller)s
  3. Propellers
  4. Battery
  5. Camera (something connectable to the RPi [Raspberry Pi])
  6. Transmitter & Receiver (if I’d like to manually control the drone)
  7. Stabilizer pad for the RPi and Navio2 boards
  8. Any additional wires, cases, connectors

I will also post some of my research documentation (like terminology I’ve come across).

Thanks for the support. :+1:

  • Mr. Mark

I’m not sure the best way to document/track this build… but I am going to keep updating the first post with new pictures, links, and information. :smiley:

someone let me know if there is a better way


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