Computer controlled RC helicopter

rc helicopter

RC helicopters have become so cheap that they’re now a really attractive robotics platform. This guide gives a jumping off point for starting your own project. It covers how to integrate a Gumstix embedded linux system into the helicopter. Code is provided so that you can hook up a usb controller to your laptop and control the helicopter over Bluetooth. All you need to do after that is build some cool controls, hook up a speaker and start streaming Ride of the Valkyries.

[thanks Neurolizer]

24 thoughts on “Computer controlled RC helicopter

  1. Man I read this site every day and I wish I knew how to do any of this stuff. I have very basic electronics knowledge (put two battery ends to a motor and it spins! wow!) so I hope one day I could learn how to actually use a resistor and a soldering iron. Are there any beginners’ kits around that are actually easy to use?

  2. Look on amazon.com…I believe there’s a book called ‘hardware hacking for geeks’…that’s what I’d recommend, just getting books. Or just starting with sites like these. I still can’t do much but I can do resistors at least…lol…simply because of doing stuff based on what other people told me.

  3. i got a dummies book on electronics but for soldering you really should just buy an iron and start using it. Most of the time i use it to fix cables that my sister’s cat has chewed through so you might find it handy outside of electronics.

  4. Wow, the stuff here is fantastic, I can’t believe people can really do this kind of stuff!

    Batteries; motors, geeks …O my!!!

    ??? what’s a battery ???

  5. I saw something like this at the University of Delaware. Some graduate student was using an IR link to remotely control a model helicopter. He was using all off-the-shelf components. It really didn’t seem that impressive then, and it seems even less impressive now that it’s a “hack.” The funny thing is this guy’s project was supposed to be some really heavy graduate research or something and the college was really impressed by it. He did have the whole copter rendered in 3d which was pretty cool though.

  6. If they made it wifi it could to what? over 100 miles instead of 30 feet… that would be neat… but somehow to fbi and nsa would consider it terrorism.

  7. l am building a car which will be controlled by the parallel port.l am having problems on the programs is there anyone who can help.If possible l can forward my circuit diagram and the programs.

  8. derwin, take your electronics class at school, and read about applications of stuff you’re interested in at home. i took the class and read hackaday religiously, so when i didn’t know how the transistor worked in a circuit on the hack, i learned about it in class, and then i was like, “wow, i can use a similar setup for ________ i saw on hackaday!!!”

    when i first started electronics class i knew about what you do, but i just read and listened in class and now i am going to try the emanual featured on the site. i hope it works

  9. pmike- warming pepperoni pizza with a heat gun… priceless

    cool helicopter setup, whate kind of range were you able to achieve?

  10. ronak- we only need about 1mi range for our competition. We havn’t fully tested range, but we think it should be around 2-3 miles.

  11. The graduate student’s work mentioned here in one of the comments involved not only 1, but a whole fleet of these things, programming them to fly around as a flock, disperse, communicate, distributive real-time in the air computational problem solving, and their possible uses.. ie. monitor traffic, “criminal” activities, and other potential Dept Of Defense interests, so if you see a whole bunch of little dots above, pull your baseball caps down tight.

  12. hi, i am brazilian and i very interresed on this project, but i not understand this:
    i can use bluetooth OR 41 mhz transmiter?
    the gumstix i not found on the net, its are needed on this project??

    sorry for my very bad english….
    10x

  13. I need a working link to this computer/helicopter file!!! I have all the required parts and am inprocess of installing video.

  14. I need several indoors and outdoors helicopters
    that can be controlled by wireless Bluetooth 2.0, Class 1 (300 foot range)either directly over Bluetooth or from a PC interface.

    I will supply all materials and pay t hae the integration done.

    Anyone out there that can do this ?

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