A.R.Drone Parrot

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The A.R.Drone Parrot quadricopter.

A.R.Drone Parrot is a commercial, low cost quadricopter, which can be driven remotely by computer or by a smartphone. It has a camera on board which can send images via WI-FI.

The robot home is the AIRLab in Lambrate (over the SENSOR CABINET) and it is used to implement Robogames.

In the box there is the drone. Over the main box, in a smaller box there are the charger, the power supply for the charger and a supplementary battery. Batteries lasts usually for about 15' of flight, and take about 2 h to be recharged.

There are two versions of the drone: version 1.0 and Version 2.0. The newest one has improved libraries and HW, included a higher resolution camera.

Interfacing with A.R.Drone

To try the A.R.Drone for the first time it is advisable to download the SDK from the developer site, compile what inside the Examples/Linux, if you are using the robot from Linux, and run the ardrone_navigation binary. To test the flying mode of the drone with a gamepad you have to make some changes inside the source code of the ardrone_navigation before using it.

  1. Connect the gamepad to the computer.
  2. From terminal write lsusb and read the gamepad address.
  3. Write the gamepad address inside Examples/Linux/Navigation/UI/gamepad.h, where the GAMEPAD_LOGITECH_ID constant is defined.
  4. Compile again.

Now your gamepad is paired with the application and you can use it to fly the A.R.Drone. If you are using one of the logitech gamepad in the lab, this should be the main function associated with the button.

  1. BUTTON 9 -> Activate the drone (led switch from red to green).
  2. BUTTON 10 -> take off/land the drone.
  3. BUTTON 4 -> up
  4. BUTTON 2 -> down
  5. BUTTON 4 -> yaw (clockwise?)
  6. BUTTON 5 -> yaw (counterclockwise?)

For more information on how to change button functions, please refer to the official documentation.

An alternative to try the drone are the apps available both for iPhone and Android from the respective repositories. These interface a mobile device to the drone. Many of them are free.


If you need to take it from there, you should first ask Andrea Bonarini, and then book it in the table below.

Take care when you take the robot from the box, since the hull can be easily broken.

Day Time Person Project
Date for xx days Andrea Bonarini Name of your project page