I would like to present my latest project, a scratch-built quadcopter with a special autopilot: an Android smartphone !
The phone is onboard (under the battery), and actually computes how to stabilize the drone. Of course, a phone cannot be connected directly to the ESCs, so an Arduino ADK bridges the two.
The idea came from the fact that smartphones now feature a lot of nice components useful for a drone. For example, the Nexus 4 used in this project has:
-sensors: accelerometer, gyrometer, magnetometer, barometer, GPS.
-wireless communication: Wi-Fi, 3G.
-a powerful quad-core processor, with a GPU.
For the moment, I can fly it manually from a laptop, with a XBox gamepad. I am currently implementing the vertical stabilization, using the barometer. The next step is the GPS. I am also thinking about implementing an optic flow algorithm, for indoor stabilization.
All the source code can be found on Google Code, in case someone is interested.
I would love feedback!