Abstract for: Controlling the Direction of a Model Helicopter

We developed a feedback model for the control of the angular position of a model helicopter that has a single main rotor and single tail rotor. Basically, there are two mechanisms involved in the control of angular position in the horizontal plane; the torque resulting from the rotation of the main rotor and the opposite direction torque created by the tail rotor. For the purpose of this study, the rotational speed of the main rotor is kept constant. The angular position is solely controlled through the change in the tail rotorís rotational speed. Tail rotorís rotational speed determines the net torque on the fuselage; the net torque determines the angular acceleration; the angular acceleration changes the angular velocity; the angular velocity changes the angular position. Therefore, the angular position of the fuselage is indirectly controlled by the tail rotorís rotational speed. The delay introduced by the indirect control process makes it difficult to control the angular position of the model helicopter. After modeling the physical structure of the model helicopter, we simulated it with two different decision making heuristics. The Modified-VSL heuristic that is introduced in this paper performs much better than the simple naive heuristic.