by alex012008

Published on May 11, 2016


We have been thinking for several weeks about some kind of flying stuff made on LittleBits basis.  After several attempts we finally managed to build a simple model of airship. It made from an air balloon with helium, two electric motors from nano-quadcopter and “remote control board” based on LittleBits slide dimmers & proto modules. The “control board” feeds and controls airship motors by wire (proto modules are used to connect wires and LittleBits circuit).


Duration: 2 hours

How To Make It


Motor Frame a.) Take two electric motors (power 3.7V) from nano-quadcopter. b.) Stick them to wood coffee stirrers to form a frame c.) Solder wire to electric motors


Airship car (gondola) Stick motor frame to plastic lid from paper coffee cup


Control board a) Assembly “remote control board” and connect it to motors by wire b) Test electrics


Balloon Choose appropriate balloon: a) Weigh all equipment that has to be attached to the balloon. In our case motor frame + wire is about 15g. Also add weight of balloon “skin” (in our case 7g). b) Take into account that 1L (litre) of helium at “normal conditions” can lift ~ 1g and that the sphere volume is V = 4*R^3 (R – sphere radius). If we substitute R in decimeter (1dm = 0.1m = 10cm ) we get V in litre. c) In our case we need balloon that can lift 25g-30g. So 40cm balloon will suit (40cm = 4dm, R = 4dm/2 = 2dm; 4*2^3 = 32L i.e. balloon is able to lift 32g). d) Please note that if we increase balloon size in 2 times the weight it can carry increases in 8 times. For example 20cm (2dm) balloon can carry 4*2dm/2 = 4g but 40cm balloon can carry match more ( 32g).


Airship assembly Stick “car” to an air balloon


(Optional) Additional ballast Although the electric wire works as ballast but to balance airship you may have to add additional weight. We attached small packet with coins.