Raspberry Pi Drone Project

Introduction

So at some point around December 2019 I came across this instructable, and I was quite hooked. I’ve never followed an instructable before, and while I have tinkered around with Raspberry Pis for many years, I’ve only really done software projects, not anything to do with hardware. Making a Pi drone sounded like an exciting thing to make as a first hardware project.

So I thought seeing as I had some spare time, I might as well see if I could get this working, just as a concept. The instructable uses a Raspberry Pi as a receiver, and an Android phone to control the drone, talking to the Pi over WiFi. The flight controller itself is a MutliWii (http://www.multiwii.com) (a popular hobbyist flight controller a few years ago).

This is a complex project and it’s ongoing, so I’ve decided to make this a central page to link to a series of posts and other pages about the project, to make it easier to follow along. The series will follow along with the instructable in order, complete with purchase links where necessary (the instructable ones are mostly out of date or broken). I will also provide extra information on some of the more confusing stages. At the end of the page there’s also some information about the current status of the drone, so you can see where I’ve gotten up to.

Assembling the Pi drone

Part 1 – basic frame assembly

Assembly is pretty much done now, as you can see from the photo below.

MultiWii Resources

The MultiWii is an older flight controller, and the software for it isn’t actively developed any more sadly. Nevertheless, it remains quite an ideal platform for projects like this. Some portions of the website and other project pages are no longer available, so I have archived them and provided links on a special page here.

Current Status

I’ve finally got all the motors, added the higher shelf for the MultiWii and the Pi, and have successfully gotten the motors spinning! 🙂

There are still a number of problems to work out though, so it’s not going to fly just yet. As I’ve used very cheap generic motors I’m thinking they may need to be replaced, but there’s other debugging to do first so we shall see. Below is a picture of what it looks like at the moment.

The Pi drone with Raspberry Pi and MultiWii wired up.

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