JiaCheng's profile


The MakerForce Show #1

The MakerForce Show is a podcast recorded, produced and edited by MakerForce. We talk about ideas, hardware, software and occasionally interview friends.

Download: MP3 or OGG (RSS)

#1: The Beginning of the End

Trump just won. We go thorugh our experience at IDEA Hacks, and then mention Android's market share, last week's MacBook release, USB Type-C, touch, X, chips angled at not 45°, self-driving, electric cars and public transport.

Intro music: ZigZag by KevinMacLeod

The MakerForce Show #0

The MakerForce Show is a podcast recorded, produced and edited by MakerForce. We talk about ideas, hardware, software and occasionally interview friends.

Download: MP3 or OGG (RSS)

#0: try {} catch (e) {}

In this (less technical) episode, we start off the podcast with a quick overview on MakerForce and each of us, then talk about the Google announcement, Arduino merger and Note 7 recall.

Intro music: ZigZag by KevinMacLeod

The KSP Command Station

I have been playing Kerbal Space Program on/off for a few years now, ever since the 0.23.5 update. The game came of out of Steam Early Access last year and the recent update 1.1 upgraded the game engine to Unity 5, improving the multi-threading of the physics processing. And so when we were coming up with ideas to do for MakerFaire 2016, I suggested building a custom KSP controller.

There already have been numerous projects done by others in the KSP community. These are documented across the KSP forums, and the KSP subreddit. These mainly involve integrating a joystick into a platform together with a few buttons and switches that are essential to flying a rocket in KSP. Ambrose, however, had not seen these, and designed what is essentially a command station with inspiration from the NASA mission control stations.

The overkill command station is born


The middle section holds a 27 inch monitor, joystick and buttons on the bottom panels, and more switches and lights on the top panel. Eve

The Tic Tac Toe Quad

For SAFMC 2016, we built a custom frame to accommodate what we needed. I call it the Tic Tac Toe.



Before working on the frame, we first decided on a navigation system. To avoid reinventing the wheel, we chose a Naze32 to provide basic flight stabilization for our quad. It is tried and proven to be reliable, especially with an open source firmware with active development.

Onboard accelerometers and gyros allow the Naze32 to provide stabilization for the quad. It is most often used for RC micro race quads (watch out for a post!). Higher level navigation will mimic an RC input into the Naze32, hence controlling the attitude of the craft.

Working on a budget, we decided to give ultrasonic sensors a try. Data from the sensors is processed by the onboard Pi with a custom algorithm to provide instructions for the Naze32.


Hence with the navigation system set, we built our frame around that. The concept of the tic tac toe frame came about when we realised it could solve a few

Singapore Space Challenge


In October, the whole team participated in the Singapore Space Challenge (SSC) 2015 in the Unmanned Aerial Systems category. Teams had to conceptualize a system to perform inspection operations on aircraft using UAVs. UAVs are already used in many other industries and also recreation purposes. UAVs can be applied to the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul tasks on aircraft allow for timely access to parts of an aircraft normally difficult to inspect. Furthermore, the mission specifications state that:

The aerial system can comprise of more than one UAV. Systems comprising of more than 2 UAVs will be favorably graded, provided this does not impact the practicality and viability of the concept and solutions.

We started planning our project based on 4 fundamental objectives: Safety, speed, reliability and ease of operation. Some issues with the mission parameters became immediately clear:

  • There would be no GPS signals in a closed hangar where the inspection will likely take p