A tribute to the hacker origins of MultiWii

Hackaday gives a well-deserved call-out to the creators of the MultiWii project:

With more than five years down the road in this successful hack, [Alexinparis] and his pioneering Nintendo controller hack have been taking eager enthusiasts to the skies with homebrew multicopters armed withMultiWii firmware.

The MultiWii firmware, like most other glorious moments that gloss these pages, was as a hack, and a darn good one. By harvesting the (I²C-based) accel-gyro sensor package in a Nintendo Wii MotionPlus, [Alexinparis] developed control firmware for an Arduino Pro Mini, and, thus: the MultiWii Controller Board was born. With a successful WiiMotion Plus pcb extraction, an Arduino Pro Mini, and some help from the forums, the dedicated hobbyist could build their own flying platform with customizable firmware enabling bi, tri, quad, hex, octo, Y6, and Y4 propeller configurations.

With a working flight controller, [Alexinparis] sent his firmware skyward in a tricopter built from scratch. For a light-but-sturdy shell, he opted for a lost-foam cast hull made from fiberglass and carbon fiber tow. This hull houses most of the electronics safely inside the hollow shell while maintaining the strength to sustain heavy blows from crashes. (The version shown above features additional carbon fiber reinforcement in the center.)

multiwiiLostFoammultiwiiLostFoamHousingmultiwiiDone

More than five years later, MultiWii is a mature open-source project with firmware and wiki under constant update. If you’ve ever considered getting started with multicopters, this project stands as a tested-and-tried road to success. In fact, even RC vendor HobbyKing offers low-cost Multiwii PCBs compatible with the firmware. For more details on the project’s humble beginnings, head on over to the RC Groups thread and followup documentation thread.

We’ve seen MultiWii countless times in the past as the firmware in numerous multicopter builds. It’s about time we give [Alexinparis] some well-deserved credit for paving the way.

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Comment by Giovanni Esposito on April 20, 2015 at 12:42am

Alex absolutly deserve the credit for starting the easyest, most friendly and best manual flying diy wiihack multirotor project. Long live MULTIWII!!

But don't forget that at the time he started, Ted Carancho had the wii hack already flying with his Aeroquad, that was already way more developed than many other diy projects.

Back in the day I was one of the very early adopters on my quads, prevously using aeroquad with wii motion+ hack.

Kudos to them all!

Comment by Harry on April 20, 2015 at 10:15am

I do like Multiwii.  The only serious problem I ever had was when I had too much beer and wrong model selected on the transmitter.  I asked for a bug fix on that and decided to put a breathalyzer on the transmitter was the solution. 

Comment by Antonie Kruger on April 21, 2015 at 6:16am

Big Cheers - I've also used MultiWii. Love it with the versatility of using various IMU's. I find the code easy to read and structured. Great legacy.

Comment by jasper on April 26, 2015 at 4:07am
Good article and shout out to alexinparis eosibandi and others. I also started on Multiwii and still use it on many quick experimental drones it's a great system to get your hands dirty with the tech. They even have GPS navigation. When you need to go commercial APM is the way to go. The APM baro hold performance is unbeatable.

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