Crazyflie control with Leap and Kinect


The gang at Bitcraze is at it again, this time developing Leap Motion control for their Crazyflie quadcopter, as well as releasing a Kinect-driven autopilot proof of concept. If you haven’t seen the Crazyflie before, you may not realize how compact it is: 90mm motor to motor and only 19 grams.

As far as we can tell, the Crazyflie still needs a PC to control it, so the Leap and Kinect are natural followups. Hand control with the Leap Motion is what you’d expect: just imagine your open palm controlling it like a marionette, with the height of your hand dictating thrust. The Kinect setup looks the most promising. The guys strapped a red ball to the Crazyflie that provides a trackable object against a white backdrop. The Kinect then monitors the quadcopter while a user steers via mouse clicks. Separate PID controllers correct the roll, pitch and thrust to reposition the Crazyflie from its current coordinates to a new setpoint chosen by a click or a drag. Videos of both Leap and Kinect piloting are below.

Tight on cash but still want to take to the skies? We have two rubber-band-powered devices from earlier this week: the Ornithopter and the hilariously brilliant GoPro Slingshot.

9 thoughts on “Crazyflie control with Leap and Kinect

  1. There’s something smaller than that! Check out the multiWii Femto(duino) tri-copter uploaded to YouTube by phineasIV:

    It’s under 19 grams (18.9), is 40 mm less (it’s 50mm motor to motor), and flies like a loud bee.

    Though in all fairness, it doesn’t have leap motion integration just yet. :0)

    1. You should really build yourself a proper PCB for that project, It performs very nice considering all the excess weight it’s having to carry around.

    1. I’m certain he could. That’s software control. The hardware isn’t radically different from other quad/tri copters… besides the small size. Don’t get me wrong… the Crazyflie is a wonderful piece of engineering. But there are smaller copters out there.

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