Before you attempt to build your drone, you should first understand what an Arduino is. Once you realize what an Arduino is, it is possible to build an Arduino-controlled drone.
In this article, I’ll review some of the critical steps to building an Arduino-controlled drone, including hardware recommendations. After reading this, you should feel confident about building a drone yourself.
Hopefully, these steps will help you build a drone and get you on your way to flying one!
What Is An Arduino?
The Arduino is an electronics board that can perform a variety of tasks. It has inputs and outputs that allow the computer to sense and affect objects in the world.
Arduino boards are easy to use and are compatible with a wide range of programming languages, including C++ and C. A sketch is a small piece of code you write in the Arduino IDE, then load it into the board. Arduino hardware works in much the same way.
The board itself has pins for connecting wires. The Arduino has a set of pins for connecting external components, such as LCD displays and motor controls. The board can also support sensors to detect light, sound, or obstacles.
Various parts are sold separately, but you can build a project that utilizes both. The Arduino is compatible with a wide variety of coding languages, and many different clones are available for purchase online.
A shield is an additional component that can be added to the Arduino. These boards can include an infinite number of other components. You can add sensors such as GPS, radio connectivity, LCD touch screens, development boards, and more.
The shields can even connect to other Arduino boards, making it possible to create custom projects. There are many different shields available for Arduino, so you can customize your board with as many. For example, you can add a GPS module, a temperature sensor, or an accelerometer.
Building An Arduino-Controlled Drone
There are several different Arduino drone project walk-throughs online, but I would recommend this one:
It goes through everything step by step and builds an excellent drone. You’ll learn:
- Wiring your drone components onto your Arduino correctly.
- Building the drone frame.
- Installing your flight controller.
- Programming the Arduino (with downloadable code).
Some Arduino Hardware Recommendations
Before starting your own DIY drone, you must know a bit about Arduino. The Arduino project began in 2005 in Italy and aimed to provide a low-cost, easy-to-use platform for the creation of interactive devices.
The Arduino hardware is also open source and available as reference designs under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 2.5 license. You can find more information about the project on its website and download the layout files for various hardware versions.
If you’re considering building an Arduino-based drone, you should check out the Arduino Yun For A Drone project. Explicitly designed for Internet-of-Things (IoT) projects, the YUN combines the power of Linux with the ease of Arduino.
The YUN’s 512K RAM is more than enough to handle your next IoT project. In this project, we will look at creating a multisensor wireless node with the Arduino Yun.
You may also want to consider using an Arduino Nano. This tiny microcontroller can be programmed to control a drone’s flight system, so you don’t need to buy a GPS module or a fancy camera. It also uses a Bluetooth module to send data back to your smartphone.
Afterward, you can use your smartphone to control the drone. The MindWave drone, for example, uses an Arduino MKR1000 microcontroller and the Processing programming language to sense whether you are meditating or focused. The MindWave drone uses its processor to read whether you’re in a concentration or meditation state and blink your headlights.
The Arduino Nano is very similar to the Arduino Uno and nearly identical in functionality. It uses the Atmega328P microcontroller, a black square with two additional analog inputs.
You can upload the code to the Nano by changing settings in the Arduino IDE. The drone’s flight control system is much more precise and powerful than a simple radio. The Arduino Nano is the perfect choice for drone developers since it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
Using an Arduino Uno for a drone project is a great way to learn more about the possibilities of electronics. Making a drone that follows you with GPS location data and collects or takes videos is possible.
The MultiWii drone controller uses an ATmega328p chip for its flight control system and includes a distance sensor. The drone also flies in sync with the user’s Android phone through Bluetooth.
Once you’ve decided on the Arduino Uno for a drone, you can begin to program it. The Arduino Uno is easy to program, debug, and use. You can purchase many add-ons for it, including shields, which expand the possibilities of your drone. You can even replace the chip if it breaks or becomes too old or damaged. This board can even be used for sensors and inputs.
Starting A Mini Drone Project With Arduino
If you want to build a drone, the first step is to check out the link I mentioned above. It takes you right to the mini drone Arduino Nano tutorial. To complete the project, you’ll need a soldering iron and some basic soldering skills.
Try it, and you may surprise yourself at how much you can do with an Arduino and a little programming know-how!