For the Trade Show Booth That Has Everything, a Blimp!

Trade shows are all about attracting attention and getting people to learn about your product, so what could be better than a custom-built RC blimp? Sure, you could just buy one, but what’s the fun in that? After several design iterations, [Tretton37] came up with a blimp known as the [LeetZeppelin] controlled by an Arduino, an XBee module, as well as a Wiimote controller connected to a computer.

The hack itself is a great example of repurposing off-the-shelf materials into something more interesting and unique. In addition to the components listed above, hobby servos were modded to allow for thrust motor control in conjunction with Legos for the gearing and “pillow-block bearings.” A list of the “important” parts used in this hack is furnished on their site as well as a video of it in action, which is also after the break.

As for the results of this hack as a trade-show attention grabber, Fredrik Leijon had this to say: “We think that all the gazing at the sky and half opened mouths proves that it was a huge success!”

Comments

  1. .net + agile huh… something I like and something I hate… wish that added up to “love it” ;-)

    Cool blimp though!

  2. adam says:

    i’ve been trying to get permission/funding to build an antonymous blimp to fly around our engineering department for a while, but apparently it would interfere with the biology students on the floor above :( guess i’ll just have to build it for home

  3. Velifer says:

    1) Fill blimp with hydrogen.
    2) Navigate to competitor’s tesla coil exhibit.
    3) …
    4) Profit!

    I’m thinking step 3 has something to do with your Hindenberg-themed merchandise…

  4. Patrick says:

    That’s a great South Park reference Velifer.
    Very Funny !!!

  5. Bobikas says:

    I had a chance to control one of these in local exhibition. After a bit of flying I noticed it has a tendency to fly to one side better than to others. Few moments later ventilation pipes almost sucked it in. I never touched it again.

  6. Aaron says:

    Looks suspiciously similar to the Blimpduino – gearing and servo setup is the same, and everything. Uncredited ripoff, or convergent evolution?

  7. El Duderino says:

    We built one of these for the gadget show in the UK two years ago (Wii, Arduino, repurposed motors, home built H bridges). Added an ebay short range ‘spy camera’. Biggest problem we faced was the props flying off occasionally.

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