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Friday, March 28, 2014

Parrot AR Drone 2.0

So I am starting a new hobby.  The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is an awesome piece of equipment.

Here are some interesting points.
  • 720p Camera mounted to the front
  • GPS Supported
  • Linux 2.6
  • MAVlink compatable for use with Qgroundcontrol
  • Uses Wifi 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n standards for control and configuration
  • And more...
I have only embarked on a single outdoor test flight.  And it was very successful.  Since then I have ordered the GPS module and the 2000mah batteries with balance changer for quick charges.  Once everything comes, I should be able to support continuous flight.

There are also a lot of mods that can be performed.  Camera mods, hull mods, transceiver mods, and more.

I have also started looking into an opensource solution on github called ardrone_automony. Linked here: So far I have been successful at connecting to the drone and looking at settings, however I have not yet been able to issue commands.  Ultimately I would like to be able to map my joystick input.

Do you work with these types of devices? let me know your thoughts.

I was able to configure both a Joystick and a Gamepad to control the AR Drone using the SDK from Parrot.   Once you get the code to compile and run in QT, it is quite easy to use with a little testing.

Also got the GPS working with qgroundcontrol.  this was really a cool experience and I have had many flights via GPS.  WARNING, pay attention to altitude settings and ensure the MAX altitude is configured on the drone before using the MAVlink GPS.  If your drone's max altitude is set to 3 M, then it doesnt matter that you may have 10 M in the GPS flight.