Jul 3, 2009

Controlling Mikrokopter with a SpaceMouse on an OpenWrt Router

I improved my SpaceMouse MikroKopter flying setup so that it's now more practical. In the old setup for piloting the MikroKopter with a SpaceMouse ( look here) - I used my notebook for running Riddim. This mainly had 3 drawbacks:
- setup time until i can start flying with this setup was very high
- not reliable enough ( I install software and do experimental stuff on my notebook too often to believe it could be a reliable MultiKopter Controller )
- in the notebook setup piloting was only possible when sitting

In the new setup i use one openwrt router ( asus wl500g premium ) to run the riddim software:
side top

The Datalink to the Mikrokopter is done with ZigBee Pro - which is connected over one MK-USB to the router ( later i can get rid of the MK-USB and use one of the 2 native serial ports in the router to save weigth and power).
The keyswitch to start the mikrokopter and the other switches are connected to an mini gamepad i bought for ~5Eur and took apart to connect wires.

The whole thing is powered by a 2S LiPo ( to ensure the 7805 is not getting to hot).



- very intuitive ( you move the mouse as you want your QuadroKopter to fly )
- one free hand - only one hand needed for flying ( so you have one hand free for operating other functions, for a cigarett, a mobile phone ,a tissue , ... )
- keyswitch to start the Multikopter often lets spectator smile ;-)

- router needs ~1min to boot ( i deactivated some stuff in the init.d allready but i have some more options left i can try like boot_wait_time, removing modules i dont need , ... - i hope i can get it ready in <30s )
- landing ( more touch down than soft at the moment with preasure sensor )
- not really suitable for acrobatic flight

- xm for help on porting to openwrt
- sublab for infrastructure