If you can’t wait until 2014 to get the MeCam, Seeedstudio has something for you: The Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter, which looks similar to the MeCam, but does not feature a camera, its control board is powered by STM32F103CB MCU @ 72 MHz with 128kb flash and 20kb RAM (so, no it won’t run Linux), and at $173 the price is significantly higher.
Here are Crazyflie key features:
- Small and lightweight, around 19g and about 90mm motor to motor
- Flight time up to 7 minutes with standard 170mAh Li-Po battery
- Standard micro-USB connector for charging which takes ~20min for the stock 170mAh Li-Po battery
- On-board low-energy radio@1mW based on the nRF24L01+ chip. Up to 80m range (environment dependent) when using the Crazyradio 2.4 GHz USB dongle
- Radio bootloader which enabled wireless update of the firmware
- 32 bit Cortex M3 MCU: STM32F103CB @ 72 MHz (128kb flash, 20kb RAM)
- 3-axis high-performance MEMs gyros with 3-axis accelerometer: Invensense MPU-6050
- 3-axis magnetometer HMC5883L (compass)
- High precision altimeter MS5611-01BA03
- Expansion header 2×10 pins 1.27mm (0.05”) pitch including power, I2C/UART, SPI/ADC. Header also contains ARM Cortex 10-pin JTAG (header not included)
- 4-layer low noise PCB design with separate voltage regulators for digital and analog supply
- Supports payload of 5 to 10 grams (e.g. for camera)
The Crazyflie is sold as a kit with a Crazyflie control board, a Crazyradio, one Antenna 2 DBi, 4 motor mounts, 5 Coreless DC motors, 4 CW propellers, 4 CCW propellers, and a LiPo battery. You’ll need a tweezer, a soldering iron, and some hot glues to assemble this together.
Once this is all assembled, you’ll need a standard micro-USB cable for charging, a PS3 compatible joystick to control it via a Windows or Linux PC which is used to control, log, and/or upgrade the Crazyflie.
This devkit is fully open source, and you can now download documentation and development tools, and (presumably) before it ships, you will be able to download the schematics, gerber files, and firmware source code on Crazyflie wiki.
The short promo video below is pretty interesting. It first shows some of the abilities of the kit (e.g. stability, even in windy conditions, programmability, etc..), and then hacking possibilities: keychain camera, inductive charging, training wheels (to safely hit the walls), flying LED light, etc…
SeeedStudio takes pre-order for the Crazyflie until the 18th of February, and will ship the kits on the 25th of April.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.