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Drone Adventures, Pt. 1: Building a Drone (z.svbtle.com)
59 points by zsupalla on Nov 17, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 8 comments

I really like my Crazyflie and I've been meaning to use it with my Spark Core. So far I've controlled it with a Leap Motion controller but haven't had time to finish the controller entirely mainly because of time[2].

Also, the word "drone" has negative connotations in the media that FliteTest[1] cover here.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMe0J-mTtLM

[2]: https://github.com/jonalmeida/hack-the-north-crazyflie

On the use of the word "drone"

I agree it's awful that the news has contorted a word to mean such evil things in the eyes of the public. I have come to the realization that the word is here to stay. We can't stop using it just because the meaning has been colored somehow. It is still the correct noun. There is no other word to use in its place. I have given in to using the word and correcting any one that starts in on their MSM provided 'drones are scary' narrative.

I'm been sticking to UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) "Drone" has some negative connotations attached to it.

I like to use the term 'flying robots' to make the distinction between a 'dumb' remote controlled vehicle (which RC hobbyist have for 30+ years) and intelligent machines which are capable of autonomous flights and executing complex missions.

I've actually found the word "multicopter" is used in it's place a lot. There's even a subreddit /r/multicopter for it. RC planes is equally common as well.

Awesome, this is a great resource; thanks for publishing it. How did you find the Crazyflie's autopilot? I've got to order one to test it out.

My experiences with the Crazyflie come from a newbie's perspective since it's my first (nano) quad-copter.

There isn't any autopilot with the Crazyflie, but it does come with an Xbox/PS3 key mapping that that lets you control the quad. I learned this the long way, but you have to take extraordinary amount of precision when building it to make sure, the battery is centered, the propellers are balanced, and there is minimal vibrations (messes with the gyros). This is mainly because it's a nano-copter so these variables add up to a lot and you'll struggle with flying.

TIP: Map the XYAB keys to change the pitch/roll so when you hover, you can trim it inflight.

The python code is a bit raw and seems a bit hacky imo (they still update the software, so it's getting better). I learned how to use it from the examples which were good enough.

It's a ton of fun though because you get to muck about with anything that you want since it's made to be hackable. The downside however is that the price is pretty steep.

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