Now that Google's released the open-source Android OS for cellphones, who's up for creating an Android autopilot?

You can start with our Windows Mobile autopilot code.

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Comment by Howard Gordon on September 23, 2008 at 11:38am
Android is basically a Java development environment, so we plan to port our robot console code at some point. This would allow us to use Android as a base station. Not the same as your suggestion, but it might be cool nonetheless.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 24, 2008 at 8:52pm
The 1.0 SDK is now available here.
Comment by Arash Joorabchi on December 19, 2008 at 8:54pm
Hi guys,

This website seems to be "the place", because googling any interesting drone related issue I end up here :)

I was also thinking about the application of G1 Android-based phones in drones.
Both its software and hardware cover a wide range of drone requirements e.g. 3G, compass, GPS ect. The code is Java and the samples are easy to understand. Googling some more I came across this short article
The main developer of the Android has also used it to control a UAV.
Googling some more I found this article in the newyork times with a picture of him beside a
AutoCopter Express E which I assume he has used to make the prototype. Apart from some photos I could not find much more on this project.

I am thinking about building a quad UAV and use a G1 phone to control it. I would appreciate it if you could point me to some sources describing the basics of quads or maybe a DIY guide. The commercial ones like the Draganflyer6 seems to be quite stable but very expensive and probably hard to modify.


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 19, 2008 at 9:27pm
I don't that it's actually true that he used Android to control the heli. He developed Android and developed the heli, but they use different technology. The heli's just named Android ;-)

You'll need a RTOS to control a heli. Android is not that.
Comment by Jack Crossfire on December 20, 2008 at 4:04am
It's a Rotomotion SR20 & Andy Rubin didn't build it. His early videos R on GooTube.

The way to base a UAV on an Android is to build up a consortium whose purpose is to write a Java standard for a flight controller that others can use to write higher level Java software. Then outsource the implementation of the Java standard to someone else who writes a Java native interface for the phone & hopefully other devices. That's how you justify the cost of writing a Java native interface.

If you just want to fly something from the ground up, there's no point in using a standards based platform. You might as well skip the JNI interfaces, erase the phone & run native programs on it.

Funny that people doing Java standards have robotics hobbies whose budgets are proportional to their job title. Low Paid, Flat Broke Programmers: $4000 a year Director of Android standards: $17,000. Who knows how much he'd spend on UAV's if he was a VP of Android standards.


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