When Microsoft announced the Surface Dial last October, I immediately knew, that no better application could be developed for this controller than controlling the flight path of drones. For weeks I checked availability in Europe, only to order an overpriced device from the US Ebay finally. As it arrived I probably got one of the first Surface Dials in Europe...

This device literally cries to be integrated in my virtual cockpit software FlightZoomer. It is a perfect fit as an efficient, yet simplistic man-machine interface, to control the FlightZoomer autopilot (FlightZoomer is a Boeing 787 alike UI + system layer on-top ArduPilot).

But it was worth the effort: Changing modes by pressing and selecting target values by turning - how more simple could flying be? One man - one hand - one controller!

In the video above, you can see how the controller perfectly supports relaxed flying as well as street canyon hunting...

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  • @ Wayne, I will release the software apps and detailed instructions soon. Initially there will be a launch discount so the app(s) will ship for free. Be aware, that FlightZoomer works on-top of an existing Arduplane or Arducopter setup which by itself brings a certain learning curve.

    More details can be seen under: https://flightzoomer.com/

    @ Andre, sorry I somehow missed your comment: in my setup HOTT became more and more a fallback system and thus I don't put much focus on it. Therefore it is not connected with the rest and works entirely standalone.

    FlightZoomer - Main Page
  •      I am new to the site and new to drones. Please let me know where you have this setup for sale, and the cost to purchase it. Thank you. 

                                                   Wayne Wicklund 

  • cool, do you have the madhacker mavlink to hott telemetry on the tramsmitter as well ? 

  • @Mateusz, I took notice of the SpaceMouse some months back. It is indeed similar, has even many more handling modes as it seems. I agree, that it could be integrated too and that it could serve as a quite intuitive flight controller too. The difference is, that it more reflects the classical stick controller. I might add it on my longlist for potential future extensions ;)

    @Hamish: how would you propose, to use the dial for flight path planning?

  • This is surprisingly good, and pretty thought provoking. I can imagine using it also to plan paths quite intuitivley.

  • How about using SpaceMouse and being able to control almost everything at the same time?

    3Dconnexion: SpaceMouse®
  • How do you mean?

    With one hand you can select either the Speed-, Altitude, Vertical Speed-, Flight Path Angle-, Turnrate-, TrackOverGround- or Heading-mode by pressing the controller. By turning it, you can change the target value for the select mode.

    There is no normal flight maneuver, that can't be flown this way. The video demonstrates it. 

  • for desktop use only.

    for flying you need 3 hands ...

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