Hacking Toy Quadcopters to work with CFRadio/Client/Firmware

Discussions about quadcopters/multi-rotors
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 7:42 pm

Hacking Toy Quadcopters to work with CFRadio/Client/Firmware

Post by humblehacker »

Since many people will be buying any number of cheap toy quadcopters this holiday season, I've found myself wondering what possibilities there might be to hack some of these devices to run with any one of Crazyflie components. At anywhere between $20-$60 I'm much more willing to take my chances soldering in a new header on these than my precious Crazyflie... Plus, the price point opens up new possibilities for running the devices in tandem.
Thus far, I've found this hack (http://headlinebug.com/index.php?page=v ... th-arduino) where someone managed to reverse engineer a toy quad to control via SPI on an Arduino.
Some of the more popular devices like the UDI U816a (http://www.amazon.com/UDI-U816a-2-4ghz- ... B009WGRGEQ) run on a 2.4GHz radio and some threads have questioned whether or not the MCU is actually an AVR chip with an MPU6050... in other words, and Arduino Uno with a gyro shield... If this turns out to be the case it would make testing easy as hell!
The strength of the Crazyflie is in the fact that it is not a toy like all the rest, but rather a full development platform. If we're able to use it to unlock the potential of other cheap products then it will be well-worth the price difference!

Pic of the UDI U816 from http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1777693
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Joined: Sun May 24, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Hacking Toy Quadcopters to work with CFRadio/Client/Firm

Post by michalsuchanek »

I think the easiest way to take control of a third party/toy quadcopter is to replace the joystick-driven potentiometers with digital potentiometers. Everything else stays the same - no modification to the drone itself, you can use the existing radio, etc.
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