Crazyflie Nano quadcopter is a $173 open source, programmable flying machine
You can pre-order one now for $173, and kits are expected to start shipping April 25th, 2013.
The kit features a flying machine with a motor, battery, four propellers, sensors a wireless radio and more — with some assembly required. The platform is open, so not only is the firmware source code available for viewing and modifying, but the hardware schematics are also available.
You can use a standard microUSB cable to charge the battery, a PS3 compatible joystick to control the machine. there are sensors for detecting altitude and heading — but there’s currently no software to support those sensors. This is a developer kit after all, so the idea is to get the hardware into the hands of folks who can write software to make it more useful.
The kit can be connected to a PC for programming, and it supports Windows and Linux.
The Crazyflie Nano is a tiny, light-weight quadcopter that weighs just 19 grams (about 2/3rds of an ounce) and which can lift items of 5 to 10 grams… if you happen to have any extremely light-weight items you need to transport.
Unfortunately the included 170mAh battery only provides enough power to fly the Crazyflie Nano for about 7 minutes… which I understand is about par for the course with this sort of device. The good news is that it takes just about 20 minutes to fully recharge the battery.
While the upcoming MeCAM is expected to sell for less than a third the price of the Crazyflie Nano, this open source dev kit will be available first and it could be a much more versatile solution for folks looking to assemble and program their own tiny flying machines.
via Hacker News