Sunday, October 31, 2010

Evil Remote Controlled Ghost

Thanks for watching my little film! We had fun throwing it together!

As I started to get into multi-rotor aircraft, I came across the KKMulticopter platform as a good way to build inexpensive practice aircraft. As I looked at the design, I realized that it would be pretty easy to adapt it to a two-prop tilt-rotor design, but before I could begin coding the software for it, they released a firmware for just that! When I saw this video, I knew I was going to have to build one... and that I would use it for evil.

Before long, I had put together what we've come to call Mr. T.

Mr. T is a built on a very simple aluminum frame. There are two Turnigy motors driving counter rotating propellers, that are able to move forward and back under the control of some old servos. The motors are powered by a pair of Turnigy Plush 18amp speed controllers. The KKMulticontroller (I ordered the PCB from them, soldered on the components and programmed the microcontroller with a SparkFun USBtiny.) sits in the middle between the props, while the battery hangs below. It's important to balance the craft properly so it will fly straight (or straightish in this case.) That wire on the top is just to give the head its shape.

This is the KKMulticontroller, behind which sits a 6-channel Futaba reciever. You'll notice that the part of the frame that hangs down isn't centered below the controller, that's to offset the weight of the battery.
This is one of the motor-servo assemblies. That is a cabinet hinge with zip-ties through it to keep it from wobbling. The motor is bolted straight to it. The servo moves the hinge with some stiff wire, and there is a spring to keep it tight. This part could use a lot of improvement, but I wanted to keep it simple and quick.
This is Mr. T's costume. It's a bed sheet with the top sown over to make the head shape, holds for the motors, and shredding at the bottom, for ghostliness.

This is Mr. T flying around without his costume.

If you liked this, please pass it on. I look forward to your comments. Happy Halloween!!


  1. Hey nice project!

    I saw this project and thought it would be really good for Instructables halloween contest. You totally should enter!

    Check out this link:

  2. what type of camera is that? Great video!

  3. Hey everybody! Thanks for watching! Be sure to vote on Mr. T's Thanksgiving persona. Check my next post ( ) for more info.

    @cledjm Thanks! The aerial stuff was shot with an HD Hero by GoPro. The ground footage was shot with an old Panasonic DV camera.

  4. That is cool... any chance you are going to post a how to/parts list...

    would be neat to shoot some local (here in UT too) bike races with that...

  5. This is brilliant!

    Can I inquire... what are the part numbers of the motors and speed controllers you used? Also, what's the overall weight (a rough estimate) of the ghost, with battery and everything? I'm just curious as to how much weight four of these motors can lift in a quadcopter.

    Thanks very much,


    Ps. As web designer, I like your site theme very much!

  6. @gregclimbs I wasn't really planning on putting together a parts list. But in a nutshell it's a 4Ah, 3S LiPo battery, a 6 channel Futaba Radio Receiver, a KKMulticopter flight control board (I ordered the circuit board and assembled and programmed it myself.), 2 Turnigy 18amp ESCs, 2 Turnigy brushless motors (about 1000Kv) and some generic hobby servos. The propellers were 10" and both spun in opposite directions (So they need to be mirror opposites of each other.) The frame parts and hinges and things are all from Lowes.

    That might be enough if you've got some RC experience (which will be good because it's pretty hard to fly) if you'd like more detailed info, please let me know. I'll try not to take two months to reply next time.

    I'd love to shoot some races, I'll contact you about that shortly.

    @james Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it. You'll see some information on the parts I used above, I can give you specifics if you'd like, but I've used other parts with similar results so it's not like the ones I used here are the best.

    You ask about using this for a quadcopter. I can answer that a little more directly as those parts were temporarily removed from my quadcopter to fly the ghost. The quad, which itself weighs around 2.5-3 lbs has flown with a 2.5 bike lock hanging underneath it. To be safe I'd keep total weight to probably 4-4.5

    What did you have in mind to do with it?

  7. man, you should make it shoot nerf glow in the dark darts...

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