Using a Parrot Disco for aerial mapping

Ever since the Parrot Disco was released, I knew it was just a matter of time before someone took this RTF fixed wing and made it into a mapping platform. 

That being said, I haven't seen it yet. For this reason, I'm going to post about my experience getting one to map.

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  • Yes !184g


    Richard Podolsky said:

    Does any know how much the CHUCK weighs?
    Using a Parrot Disco for aerial mapping
    Ever since the Parrot Disco was released, I knew it was just a matter of time before someone took this RTF fixed wing and made it into a mapping plat…
  • Does any know how much the CHUCK weighs?
  • Hi Paul,

    I just bought today a Disco for me and saw your post here. Is there any progress/update you could share? Would be happy to meet you soon in SC or Munich ;-)


  • Paul. What happened to all the pictures? Thanks.
  • Interesting discussion. Any progress on this ?

    Having a good camera is an issue  on this size of wing. Sensfly uses the Sony WX-150 which is 123 gr only.

  • Hey Paul! I had no idea you started this thread. Let me contribute a little!

    1) I used this guide to get APM running on CHUCK. You can use the latest build, and make it persistent across reboot.  Make sure you get your file permissions right!

    2) I can't get the compass to pass calibration. I'm running with 500+ on the offsets, but it navigates fine. I had to disable the compass pre-arm check.

    3) I would start with FBWA mode for launch. It works well, and default tune is manageable in this mode.

    4) Manual mode is a hand-full. You need lots of reflex/up trim. It took me a while to dial it in.

    5) For mapping in AUTO, you can use the standard polygon -> Survey Grid workflow in Mission Planner. Here's a link to the WP file I used with auto take-off and land.

    3702367741?profile=original6) To launch in AUTO after pre-flight checks: Move throttle stick to full down-right to arm. Select AUTO mode on Tx. Shake the Disco to start motor. Throw into the wind. Here's what the full auto mission looked like.


    Long on the landing, but it worked.

    I'm going to start with a Hero5 that has its own power source, intervalometer and geo-tagging.

    Hopefully Tridge sees this. I know he had the OEM camera working at some level, but I can't seem to find the details.

    Hope this helps! Let's see how it goes!

    Setup Guide for Parrot Disco — Plane documentation
  • Following for the update... really interested..

  • Any progress on this? What's reasonable payload for the original Disco setup? Can it carry a small mirror less camera ~300g?
  • Very interested in following this. I've bought a disco myself intended to get a mapping platform.
    I will have to get a good camera and some way of triggering it, but then? New motors that can handle the new weight? New more powerful battery? Some signal extender or RCSystem to get better reach?
    Totally new to this, coming from the GIS/surveying industry.
  • Though in my above post, I said that running the CHUCK flight controller with Ardupilot would be the best for the RTF Disco, there's another aspect to consider: Parrot sells whole air frame for $238: $69 for the fusealage, $69 for set of wings, and $99 for the servos and wing adapters.


    I just so happen to have a Pixhawk laying around and all of the gear. It turns out that where the ultrasonic sensor sits on the CHUCK, is the perfect size for a Pixhawk, but depending on what camera I use, I may use the existing hole to mount the camera there.


    Since the weather hasn't been the greatest, I decided to put some paint on it. I'm trying to decide on what camera: RX-100iii, SX610, NEX7 or something else. The weight is what will determine what prop and motor combo that I use.


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