Fonera-based quadcopter can be controlled from a web browser

fonera_html_controlled_quadcopter

[Tiakson] just wrapped up the construction of a quadcopter which piqued our interest due to the unexpected mix of hardware he used.

A good portion of the copter is made up of the essential bits we have come to expect from a quad rotor system. Instead of using an Xbee or hobby wireless controller however, [Tiakson] opted to use an old Fonera router running OpenWRT to control the system. He wrote special software that allows him to direct the quadcopter using an HTML 5 interface, adding a few kernel tweaks along the way that enabled him to emulate I2C ports over GPIO pins.

The Fonera takes in data from Wii nunchuck and Motion+ sensors, relaying commands to the on-board PIC 16F976 microcontroller. The PIC is used to manage the electronic speed controller modules using PWM, which the Fonera could not handle on its own.

This is a great use for a old router, and the cost is obviously far cheaper than buying off the shelf wireless control modules. We would love to hear how much extra weight the Fonera adds, as well as if there is any controller lag introduced by the web-based interface.

Continue reading to see a quick demo video of the quadcopter in action.

Comments

  1. Pixel says:

    Great. Yet another Quad working when I can’t get mine to come even close to being able to take off without oscillating to the point of flipping :(

    Nice project though.

    • Mike Nathan says:

      Have you been able to narrow down the issue at all, e.g. a code problem vs. weight distribution issues?

      I’m sure there are plenty of helpful folks that might be able to give you a hand in our forums. Pop in ask around if you have a chance.

  2. kabukicho2001 said, says:

    that’s nice. a flying router! but dangerous coz lulzic can take control and use like a weapon again someone else like u.

  3. MRC says:

    routers are a great inexpensive embedded platform.

    I have an asus router sitting on my workbench for exactly the same purpose. i’m garbage at software though, so my project never took off.

  4. dext3r says:

    I love router hacks…such a flexible and overall cheap dev platform.

  5. Luke says:

    Very cool! Any plans for FPV? Since there’s already WiFi connectivity what about a small IP camera?

  6. Thanh says:

    That’s neat!
    So am I right that you fly it using a game pad to control the quad? Can it hover without touching the touch pad?

    Thanks

  7. Pixel says:

    I think my issue is a mixture of both; hardware instabilities exacerbated by minor code issues. It’s hard to confirm one way or t’other without having at least one element known-good. The chaps on the DIY Drones forum are helping me get to the bottom of the issue.

  8. taikson says:

    Hi!

    Glad to see my project in HackAday :)

    Fonera is not a weight problem, because it has no housing. Major problems becomes with mass distribution, it is not well optimized :/.

    HTTP requests are not laggy but they must be sent not too close one of each other. Because of this, I have to make a fixed-time request program. I’m investigating an UDP solution.

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