PhoneDrone Android interface board now available

After some delays in sourcing components and setting up a good test procedure, we now have the PhoneDrone Android/RC interface board in production and available for purchase ($99). 

If you've been wanting to experiment with connecting Android phones or tablets to the world of RC vehicles, this is the board for you. It's the only Android ADK board on the market designed to work with RC equipment, and it can interface with APM (1 or 2) via serial, too.

From the product listing: 

"The board has 8 channels of RC in and out, with PWM-to-PPM conversion and multiplexing between RC and Android control. You just plug the Android's phone USB connector into the board and you have two-way communications with RC gear and any other board, such as APM.

 That means that you can switch between RC control and Android control or mix the two. An example would be "fly/drive by wire". You steer your vehicle via RC, but an Android phone does the actual control using its onboard IMU. On a car, that would allow every turn to be a high-speed controlled drift, for instance (we may show something like that at Maker Faire).

Or, with a UAV, you might have the Android phone doing high-level image processing and object tracking, sending mission commands to an autopilot board such as APM. You might also want to use the phone's long-distance wireless instead of an Xbee for two-way telemetry.

 This can either replace APM if you've got equivalent code running on Android, or compliment it with the Android device doing image processing or long-distance wireless comms.



  • 8 Input&output PWMs
  • Native USB host master (MAX3421)
  • Native USB slave (Atmega32-au)
  • Arduino Compatible
  • Atmega2560 as main controller
  • Atmega32-u2 as FTDI substitute and PPM encoder
  • Three spare serial ports to communicate with other boards (including APM)
  • Build-in 5V-2A switched power regulator (input range 6V - 36V)
  • Build-in 3.3V LDO power regulator 
  • Android TM compatible... 
  • All Atmega2560 pins exposed.
  • High quality PCB is ROHS/lead free, Gold immersed. 
  • Dimensions: 4" x 1.6"...

Views: 4552

Comment by iw28 on December 8, 2011 at 4:00pm

Very nice 

does someone know if it could be possible to transmit video over wifi ? just like the ar drone. would be neat! :) 

Comment by Randy on December 8, 2011 at 6:16pm


     Presumably you could use the phone itself (i.e. not this board but the phone that uses this board) to transmit the video to another phone in your hand using wifi or the telephone company's 3G network.  Much like calling your friend on skype you call your flying contraption.


Comment by Gary Mortimer on December 8, 2011 at 10:03pm

Now this is exciting stuff, I have recently acquired an Android phone and I can easily see it controlling a vehicle first and then taking to the skys. Hang on a minute that path sounds familiar ;-) 

Comment by on December 9, 2011 at 12:42am

Great stuff, looking forward to see what exciting projects the community creates with this!

As with all the main DIYdrones products, the new PhoneDrone boards can be found at our web shop shortly  -, for easier shipping within UK/Europe



Comment by Alex on December 9, 2011 at 2:01am

I was wondering when this would be in stock again after the initial pre-orders ages ago!!  I can put my android phone to some interesting use now :D

Thanks for the update Chris!  Any reason why the boards are white and not blue anymore?  I think they looked nicer in blue, was the colour changed to distinguish this product from others?

Comment by ct on December 9, 2011 at 7:49am

So who is going to be the first to port some AutoPilot code to an Android phone?

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on December 9, 2011 at 1:32pm

The simplest way to explain PhoneDrone, is to think of it as a micro controller programmable R/C and general low voltage electronics I/O interface for Android devices (phones, tablets etc). What type of calculations and algorithms you want to run on the Android in combination with the PhoneDrone is left up to you to choose. But a typical autopilot implementation would use the AVR chip on the PhoneDrone to process sensor data, and the Android device for high computational tasks like visual processing and AI based map/terrain navigation.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 9, 2011 at 5:45pm

Alex: The white color was Google's request.

Comment by Anthony Bee on December 9, 2011 at 7:12pm

We need a video demo!


Comment by alex jack on December 10, 2011 at 4:08pm

when well a demo video of this product come out 


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