UAV::Pilot Presentation for the AR.Drone


Hi all, I'm the creator of UAV::Pilot, a library for controlling the Parrot AR.Drone under Perl. It supports controlling the AR.Drone, its nav data stream, and real-time video display.

If you happen to be around Madison, WI, you can come join us for a presentation that I'll be giving on Sept 10. If you're not into programming but just want to check out some flying robots, feel free to come; I'll be covering the basics of drones along with the programming parts.

For those of you who can't make it, I should have a video up on YouTube afterword.

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  • There's already a pretty large community of people using node-ar-drone, which has a REPL, to program the AR.Drone in a similar way using javascript: (for example, see

    $ node repl.js
    // Make the drone takeoff
    drone> takeoff()
    // Wait for the drone to takeoff
    drone> clockwise(0.5)
    // Let the drone spin for a while
    drone> land()
    // Wait for the drone to land
    A node.js client for controlling Parrot AR Drone 2.0 quad-copters. - felixge/node-ar-drone
  • Thanks Timm. Does anyone have a used AR Drone they would like to donate to the cause? I would love to have a go with this and tinker.
  • Right now, it's AR-specific, but I always intended to implement other UAV systems. The AR.Drone was just a cheap way to get started.

    I'm not sure what kind of WiFi access we'll have at the venue, which is the only reason I'm hesitating to promise a livestream. I'll give ustream a try and see what happens when I get there.

  • Timm...if someone in the crowd has a smartphone, they could download an app like ustream and make an event. I was thinking something akin to that, not a full streamed presentation. Either way, I will watch on the Tube after. Logo is very much what I was thinking! Would your software be able to control other systems, or is it to AR specific.
  • I don't think we're equipped for a livestream, but I'll be putting it up on YouTube for sure.

    Teaching new programmers is definitely something I had in mind--something like a modern take on Logo. There's a script in the distribution, "bin/uav", which can work something like you describe:

    uav> takeoff;
    uav> yaw 1.0; # Turn right
    uav> pitch -1.0; # Pitch nosedown
    uav> hover;
    uav> land;
  • Note: I envision a system allowing step programming instead to waypoints. For example, "Forward 3. Turn 90. Forward 2. Down 1." This would requires students to think of solutions to, say, a 3D maze, for example. I know waypoints can allow more complex manuvering, but this is not the point behind my idea.
  • I am on a mobile device, so I can't post a link to a previous blog I wrote, but I did at one point speculate about an educational drone which would allow middle school and high school students to program simple commands into a UAS and then have it fly the preprogrammed flight path. Having looked at your page, it seems you are building something similar to my idea. I would be interested in discussing your work further. Would you be able to set up a live stream for the event? I am in Ohio, so it is unlikely I would get to Madison.
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