Crazy Quadcopter Takes Flight

Here’s a great new office toy that is sure to delight/annoy your co-workers: a radio-controller quadcopter.

It’s not exactly production quality, though, being just a naked circuit board and four rotors (hence the term quadcopter). It’s called the CrazyFlie and it’s being built by a company called Epsilon located in Sweden. Epsilon specializes in building embedded systems.

They’ve released a video of a the copter in flight and the CrazyFlie seems to definitely live up to its name. It flies, and its flight pattern looks pretty crazy.

The copter is based around an Intel ARM CPU, popular for embedded applications, as well as gyroscopes and an accelerometer to keep the copter stable, as well as the aforementioned four rotors. The copter takes commands from the radio, which the engineers say has pretty low bandwidth. The software running the  device can be updated from the radio as well. The CrazyFlie is controlled using an ordinary game controller. The CPU takes the measurements from the gyroscopes and the accelerometers and adjusts each of the four rotors accordingly to keep the copter in the air.

CrazyFlie 1

CrazyFlie 2

CrazyFlie 3

CrazyFlie 4

It looks like it’s fun to play with even in its rough, unfinished state. The engineers seem to be having a good time in the video they released. If they put it in a more attractive housing, I can imagine that offices would be filled with swarms of these things flying around. But perhaps the last thing we need are small qaudcopters causing a drop in productivity in these interesting economic times.

Even better would be releasing the CrazyFlie as a kit and let people hack and modify the copter to their heart’s content.

If you’re feeling a jones for more Walyou copter goodness, you should check out our post on the RC jumping 3-in-1 RC copter car and our post on a Kinect-powered helicopter.

Via: Daedalus Projects (Thanks for the tip, Kim!)