AR.DRONE Vs DIY-DRONES (Question session)

Hi Guys,

I wanted to learn the difference between AR.Drone platform Vs. APM (used in DIYDrones) platform.

This will also be helpful for all the new folks getting a fair view of the open-source platforms available out there. Just jot in your views..



- Which is easier to work with?

- In terms of processor capabilities, which is better and why (AR.Drone used ARM Cortex9, APM uses Arduino2560 boards).

- Does AR.Drone have same facilities as APM Mission planner. How does one do mission planning using AR.Drone?

- APM uses arduino compatible code (open source), AR.Drone uses C++. Is it also open source, I heard it was harder to manipulate and work with.

- Does AR.Drone support pure windows like APM?

- Cost Vs. Quality Vs Ease of usage Vs Stability.

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • Hi!

    Can anybody explain how is now the state of the art of APM vs ARDrone?

    Last post is from 2013 so I can imagine that APM and ARDrone had will evolve a lot.

    As far I am concern, APM now have pixhawk. There are a lot of ground station software and there are a few APIs starting (droneAPI based in python, using MAVProxy, Gobot based in Go...) 

    How about ARDrone?

    p.d.anybody knows if its possible to use ARDrone API to work via MAVlink with a pixhawk now?

  • Luke

    I  got a X8 and I am trying to fly this in warehouse and want to control it to move slower (like the AR Drone) but I was not successful. Can you please give some idea as what to do.

    Thanks for your help.


  • Couple of things about the AR.Drone 2

    There is an active modding community. Many people in the modding community have noted and destroyed the limitations commonly mentioned when referring to the stock AR.Drone or AR.Drone2. The exception is payload. Compared to many hobby quad platforms used with APM the AR.Drone(s) are ultralights. This means their functionality is based on maintaining their light weight. Any task, mod, or function that is based increasing the payload makes the AR.Drone is still an unacceptable choice.

    1) Flight time.

    Plenty of modifications have been done to increase flight time, mainly basic weight loss. Light weight performance gears; CF propshafts, ceramic bearings to replace the brass bushings. Higher that stock Ah batteries like 1500Ah and 2000Ah over the stock 1000Ah; the brickmod which effectively chops the neck that the camera is mounted on moving the camera closer to the center of the drone (this also make the AR.Drone significantly more stable in the wind). Recently an aftermarket stronger lighter weight "Sport" central cross has been announced by an aftermarket parts supplier.

    2) Range

    The effective range of the AR.Drone 2.0 is limited due mainly to low broadcast power and crappy stock antenna's in both the drone and also in the control device. This limitation has been canceled-out with multiple tactics. First with an external antenna mod that disables the weak stock drone antenna and allows superior external antenna to be mounted and Second using linear 2.4ghz signal boosters. Control device limitations have been eliminated using WIFI base stations configured in repeater mode or higher power directional antenna. 

    3) Control Interface.

    The limits of using the Android or IOS phone or tablet device as both display and control interface have been removed with the use of the PS3 controller or the 60beat controller

    The result: Using basic chassis weightloss, external antenna and a 1500Ah battery my AR.Drone 2 gets 20-22minutes of flight time at an easy range of 100meters.

    One enthusiast more focused on range has a setup with an effective range of 1.4miles.

  • Hi all,

    i'm glad to read that i can replace the onboard computer of Parrot with PX4 an evolution of APM? 

  • Following up with the discussion I started long ago. AR.Drone has released its 2.0 version, with QGroundPilot for mission waypoints.

    I now raise back the question:

    1) What cannot you do with AR.Drone 'now' that you can do with ArduPilot? With improvements to AR.Drone 2.0, things look less murkier.

    2) Is AR.Drone really not open source? When would one want to change the low level firmware and can we use its GPIO pins in any way for interfacing?

    2) I see ArduCopter can really swing fast in open field and AR.Drone looks to glide much slower, and is thus safer? Can Arducopter speed be controlled via Mission Planner, if so how?

    I appreciate your inputs.

  • I have been wrong before, and expect to be wrong again but here is my opinion.

    A.R. Drone is basically a proprietary OS with an API. APM is an open-source software and hardware. If you want to understand the technology behind aerial robotics go with APM; if you want to fly a walled garden fly AR.Drone.

  • The AR.Drone has potential but is basically a fancy toy out of the box. There's an open API but the AR.Drone is not open source. There are lots of hacks and mods to get more from the AR.Drone including completely replacing the onboard computer (like the PX4 autopilot) to give it more functionality. It all depends on what you plan to do with it. Both are great platforms for different things, for my needs the APM was a much better choice (unlimited airframe choices including hexacopter and octocopters for larger payloads, stabilized camera gimbal support, autopilot to waypoints using the GPS).

  • As I understand it, AR.Drone is solely based on quads, where as the APM can fly traditional helis and fixed wings, among other things.

    The Parrot our lab uses does not have GPS, but I'm not sure if this is true for all AR.Drones. the parrot used optical flow tracking for localization and orientation.

    The AR.Drone has more sophisticated DSP stuff. It can track objects and process data from a video camera directly. The APM can't process camera data.

    My basic impression: APM is better for fully autonomous navigation in open skies because of GPS and multi-platform support. AR.Drones are better for ground level, slow speed flight and experimenting with things like collision avoidance, because of the supeior DSP capabilities.

    I haven't used anything with the AR.Drone other than the phone-based software, so I can't speak to the effectiveness of any GCS they may have.

This reply was deleted.


DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @a1k0n: Decided to just see what happens if I run the sim-trained neural net on the car, with some safety rails around max throttle slew…
2 hours ago
DIY Robocars via Twitter
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: @a1k0n @diyrobocars I learned from this. This is my speed profile. Looks like I am too conservative on the right side of…
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @a1k0n: @SmallpixelCar @diyrobocars Dot color is speed; brighter is faster. Yeah, it has less room to explore in the tighter part, and t…
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @a1k0n: I'm gonna try to do proper offline reinforcement learning for @diyrobocars and throw away all my manual parameter tuning for the…
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @circuitlaunch: DIY Robocars & Brazilian BBQ - Sat 10/1. Our track combines hairpin curves with an intersection for max danger. Take tha…
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: Had an great test today on @RAMS_RC_Club track. However the car starts to drift at 40mph. Some experts recommended to ch…
Sep 11
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @gclue_akira: 世界最速 チームtamiyaのaiカー
Sep 10
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @DanielChiaJH: Always a good time working on my @diyrobocars car at @circuitlaunch. Still got some work to do if I’m to beat @a1k0n howe…
Sep 10
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: My new speed profile for @RAMS_RC_Club track
Sep 10
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: Practiced at @RAMS_RC_Club today with my new @ARRMARC car
Aug 28
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Aug 24
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @gclue_akira: 柏の葉で走行させてるjetracerの中身 #instantNeRF #jetracer
Jul 4
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Cool web-based self-driving simulator. Click save when the AI does the right thing
Jul 4
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @donkey_car: Human-scale Donkey Car! Hope this makes it to a @diyrobocars race
Jun 25
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Jun 25