So, this week, I didn't get quite as much done as I would have liked, mostly due to a nasty ear infection. However, on Saturday, I was able to complete much of my drone, getting all of the wiring done, and moving on to issues with the battery and the done's ability to talk with the OpenPilot software on my computer.
I was able to, after some troubleshooting, hook my drone up to the computer, and update the firmware on my CCPD OpenPilot chip. At this point, I was able to view pitch and orientation data from the CCPD chip on my computer, as I moved the drone, I received immediate feedback on my PC. At this point, I made the mistake of plugging my new, out of the box, unbalanced Lithium Ion battery into the drone. After about 4 seconds, I began to smell burning plastic and see wisps of smoke rolling out of the central power distribution compartment. After unplugging the battery, I could still pull data from my chip, so, at the very least, I haven't fried that. The problem was either caused by a short, which would be the absolute worst, contact with hanging nylon screws which I have since hacked off, which would be nice and simple, or a problem with the unbalanced battery.
Today I was able to go to the local hobby shop and get some help with the Lithium Ion battery, and I have since, according to my battery balancer, charged and balanced the battery properly. I had needed a connector which did not initially come with the charger/balancer, but I was able to purchase one at the shop, and should now be all good. Tomorrow I will work on the drone further.
This week I also started prototyping my NFC solenoid lock box, cutting out a cardboard door frame and working on different door angles. I will also have to finally decide on a specific solenoid to use for my lock mechanism, I can either go with a commercial solenoid lock, or use a more generic solenoid and adapt it to my project. I have had some difficulty thinking about the heat which both welding and cutting will expose the solenoid to, hopefully I will be able to find a good way of attaching it and building the box around it without ruining the solenoid.
Finally, in the "fun links" section, we have, the world's first reported use of a drone in shepherding. I am quite happy about this development, because last year, after watching a video of a helicopter being used to move a flock of sheep, I speculated that, in the future, drones would be used to carry out the same task.
As you can no doubt see, the drone effectively moves the sheep from one pasture to the next, with much less work, on the part of humans, dogs, horses, or helicopters, than would have been historically possible. The future is here, and it may not be evenly distributed, but rural Ireland is certainly getting its fair share.