Tag Archives: Arduino Drone

It’s never been so easy to build your own Arduino-based quadcopter

The YMFC-3D V2 flight controller enables everyone to create their own Arduino drone. 

Quadcopters, or “drones” as they are sometimes inaccurately known, seem to be getting a lot of attention currently. There are, of course, many off-the-shelf components to control your flying contraption, but if a stock flight controller (FC) isn’t geeky enough, you can always turn an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) into one.


That’s exactly what Joop Brokking has done. As the creator puts it, “I made the YMFC-3D [Your Multicopter Flight Controller] V2 flight controller software so everybody can build their own Arduino quadcopter and having a great learning experience.”

The video below explains things nicely, but to summarize, his Arduino software is divided into three sketches that attempt to automate much of the configuration procedure. First, a setup program is loaded into the Uno, which outputs specific steps for the user to go through to set up the transmitter and gyroscope. Next, a separate program is employed to help calibrate the electronic speed controllers, commonly known as ESCs, that directly power the motors. Finally, the actual FC program is loaded into the Arduino, so you can actually test out and fly your ‘copter.


For more information, as well as source code, you’ll want to check out Brokking’s website. He also has information there on his earlier version, which is meant for those already experienced with radio controlled flight and the Arduino.

One neat thing about a build like this is that, in theory, one could program the Uno to do all kinds of tricks, like control an LED strip while in flight or turn a servo. This concept could, it would seem, even be expanded to maneuver other kinds of RC vehicles. On the other hand, one would need to be careful not to tie up too much processing power and quite literally “crash” your system!


Students create a rubber band-flinging drone with AVR

When shooting a single rubber band just won’t do, its time to build a UAV to do it for you!

For those who may not know, PennApps is the granddaddy of college hackathons converging over 1,200 hobbyists and tinkerers from all over the globe onto the campus of University of Pennsylvania. Students work in teams of up to four people for thirty-six hours to create a web, mobile, wearable or hardware project, and show if off at the final expo, which is open to the public.

A Carnegie Mellon University team — going by the name “Bodyguard” — comprised of Makers Kumail Jaffer, Angel Zhou, Kyle Guske and John Lore recently decided to create a rubber band-flinging drone for their PennApps project last fall. In order to do so, the team affixed an Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4) to a servo motor that would power the rubber band cannon. To do this, they connected the Arduino to the drone’s own Wi-Fi network and relayed signals to shoot.

You can watch it in action below!