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Easiest way to control the DJI Phantom via software?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by roineust, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. roineust

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    Hello!

    I am working on this project, where i have learned how to control an AR drone, using a simple script language commands that i found in a robotics development tool. All i have to do, is open that robotics development software environment in my PC and execute a set of simple commands, such as up/ down /takeoff /forward etc... with each command having the amount of time to act indicated in milliseconds.

    Now, my problem is that i discovered that the AR drone is not strong enough to handle the payload for my project. I understood that the DJI Phantom can handle 2-3 time more weight. 2-3 time more payload (350-700 grams) would be good enough for me.

    My project includes flying in a limited closed space with no obstacles around, so i am really not interested in learning how to fly the drone to great altitudes or distances or how to get to be a more sophisticated or advanced quadcopter flyer, I am very project task oriented here.

    Is there any way that i can control the DJI Phantom to make such simple moves executed as a batch of simple script commands via a PC?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. OI Photography

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    I've never seen any API's for the DJI firmware or software, but that's not to say they don't exist. I'd be surprised if they were in the public domain though.

    The NAZA flight controller does have the native ability to be controlled via a two-way Data Link setup that DJI sells separately. The ground station end of that connects to a PC via USB, and allows the aircraft to be controlled via DJI's software. However, that's generally more intended for waypoint mapping on longer-range flights, I'm not sure if it would scale well for what you're planning. Can also be controlled by iPad via a Bluetooth link on the groundstation. http://www.dji.com/dji-released-2-4g-bl ... d-station/

    EDIT: There are other flight controller options out there besides the NAZA, some of which have sprung from open-source projects and may offer what you need. The catch is that none of them come in a turnkey package like the Phantom.
     
  3. roineust

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    Hey OI Photography!
    Thanks for replying!

    Yes! that is exactly my problem! i need a turnkey package! I know how long it took me to get where i got to, application wise, with a nice and tight API and AR drone environments (took me months), which are very user friendly and turn-key style products and i don't even want to think of how long it would take me to get to the same abilities, in a less user friendly environment, where electronics and software and assemblage are all at the savvy engineering level.

    I wish the AR drone was a little bit more stronger...all i need is 150-200 grams more of lifting ability, but the AR drone just can't handle that extra weight and still keep on my application needs track, accurately enough.

    I took a look at the link you sent me and as you were concerned about, i also don't understand if through this datalink box product and the NAZA PC software i will be able to give the Phantom a set of movement commands, at the scale of 20-50 centimeters of movement which translates, at least with the AR drone, to commands at the order of 100-1000 milliseconds in any direction i wish, as mentioned, stacked as a list of serial commands, in a sort of an executable batch file.

    Do you have any idea, where and how i can find out further, if what i describe, is possible if using that Phantom data link box?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  4. OI Photography

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    No problem!

    I actually have the 2.4GHz Data Link package from DJI, or I did until I discovered the one I was shipped was missing a part. The replacement should be here shortly, and I'll be happy to poke around with it and see if anything like what you want (sequenced commands run as a batch) is possible. But, I'd be very surprised if it can be done at the level of precision you need.

    There's very little documentation on the Data Link available, this thread at RC groups probably has the most/best real-world insights available: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2000208
     
  5. tristanb

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    You might want to check out something from 3DR - The do exactly what you want, and have RTF quads as well.

    http://store.3drobotics.com/
     
  6. RoToRx88

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    Hi roineust,

    I found your topics, and I have exactly the same problem today ! EXACTLY ! So did you found a solution for your project or not ? I should be realy happy to talk with you about that !

    Thanks,

    RoToR