3D Robotics

SaceMouse for copter control



3DConnexion just released a new wireless version of a 3D mouse (link). These things are awesome for CAD but I think they could be a great way to control a copter. I would love to see support for these 3D mice on mission planner. This could also be a good way to control our copters when using a tablet for telemetry. It can provide the feedback we don't really get from virtual sticks. I just want to get away from clunky RC transmitters soon.


Sam sent me the video below:


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  • Is it possible to get the space explorer to return neutral pulse values around centred to 1500 when you let go of it?  Maybe throttle being the only one that holds current position.

    Trying to fly a delta wing looks like you would always be chasing mid stick after a turn or pitch command. looking at it on the bench. 

  • Luke, where you ever able to get this working? I use the spacemouse on a daily basis and can easily imagine one pilot with two of these puppies to fully control quad and gimbal.

  • I'm always curious why some people dislike the RC controller so much?  What is "clunky" about it exactly?  I know they aren't perfect, but... will anything ever be?

  • This is very neat, but I feel like a small controller would strain the hand. The range of motion is too small. Or maybe that's just me.

    This would probably work nicely for FPV since you could sit at a table. I think at that point I'd just go with a full 3-axis joystick.

    I'd certainly prefer RC control over Mavlink. If I'm not mistaken, the higher you crank the telemetry radio's data-rate the more problems you're likely to run into. 

  • You can increase the mavlink rc updatefrequency but there is obviously a good reason for it being so low: bandwidth.

    Going via the normal rc link seems to be the easiest way for the lowest latency.

    I can not imagine the spacemouse giving me the same fun flying rc than my normal rig. Maybe some dataglove/motiontracking/imu device. The main problem with the spacemouse is, that it needs some kind of table or other strong support plate because it's designed for stationary use with little input movements.

    It could be suitable for people with a severe medical condition (like single hand operation), or pure computer geeks....

  • Already working on it :) Been working on a prototype RC controller based on a SpaceTec SpaceOrb360 with an Arduino Nano to convert the SO360 serial protocol to a standard HID interface, currently awaiting a Taranis controller to reverse engineer/adapt the control board to interface with the FrSky RF components...

    I'll post more details when I get some time :)

  • Mmmh crashpilot if i remember the update frequency can be adjusted and raised in mission planner or i'm wrong?

  • Interesting, this might work nice.  How are they flying that helicopter with it?  Is it full manual control and they just have an RC interface?  Or they have some kind of flight controller on the heli?

  • Throttle is not needed just lift up the spacenavigator knob (althold mode...). I still have the older spacenavigator and use it with google earth - great fun!!

    You will need some "adaptor"(pc/cpu board) to interface it with an rc transmitter. Arducopter/Mavlink implementation is way to laggy with 2Hz for that.

  • You don't really need a separate throttle.  You pull up or push down on it, to change altitude or power depending how you want to set it up.   I have an older version of this, and really could not find anything to use it for.   Might have to try it.   I also think the leap motion also seems like another way to do similar controls, and have seen others who think the same. :)

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