• Crazyflie 2.0 now available

  • Crazyflie 2.0 with LED-expansion

  • Crazyflie 2.0 traffic light using prototype expansion board

  • Crazyflie 2.0 using Bluetooth LE or computer with Crazyradio USB dongle

Bitcraze and the Crazyflie

Ever wanted a development-kit that flies? We did, so we developed the Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter! The goal with the Crazyflie was to give users a flying base for their development. We wanted to create an open source platform that would be fun to use, as well as give the users the possibility to work on and experiment with a wide range of features and areas.

In order for users to quickly get going with their flying and development we provide a virtual machine with everything that is needed, documentation of the project and design as well as a range of different software. Flying is done from our main client software where you can use a variety of joysticks as well as the Leap Motion. You can also use our custom SD-card image for flying from the Raspberry Pi or our Android client for flying from your smartphone.

We are constantly working on improving the design and trying to come up with fun new hacks and experiments that we implement and show users how to do. Through our community everyone get the chance to join in the discussion and development as well as take part and contribute to all the documentation.

Crazyflie 2.0 decks

Some time ago we decided that it would be nice to have a name for the Crazyflie expansion boards, a bit like the Arduino shields or the Beagle bone capes. We organized a poll on our website, that ended with cheating so we organized a local vote and flykit won. In second place was the deck. Over time we started liking deck more and more since it fits better with the actual look of the boards. Finally we pushed ourselves to decide on one and we went with deck. This comes from the naming of floor in ships, planes and (more importantly) space ships. We also though we could write a bit about the Crazyflie 2.0 expantion capabilities and the deck architecture. In this post we are forcing ourselves to say deck instead of expansion port, lets see how it goes :-).

On Crazyflie 2.0 decks can be installed both on top and bottom. Each deck we make has a symbol indicating its correct orientation:

deck_conf  Expansion board orientation

 

Lots of signals and functionality has been routed from the Crazyflie 2.0 to the deck port:

Connector_multiplexing

 

The OW pin is used to connect a One Wire memory with a specific data format, this allows Crazyflie 2.0 to know which board is connected and to activate automatically the right driver, so this is kind of plug-and-play. This is currently used to enable the LED ring deck driver. The aim is to develop an API that will allow anyone to easily create decks that would be automatically detected by Crazyflie.

The deck architecture opens lots of possibility. We’ve already made the LED ring that faces down, but it would be possible to make one that faces up as well. In the future we hope to have have ground facing camera, GPS boards, Camera boards. And more than one can be installed at the same time. We also investigate doing bigger expansion board for example to have Crazyflie acting as the brain for a bigger quad.

On the firmware front, we are finishing the merge of Crazyflie 1 and Crazyflie 2 firmware. Currently the source code for Crazyflie 1 and Crazyflie 2 is on two different branches which makes it harder to maintain both of them. We have come so far that we have a working merge that can compile and fly either for CF1 or for CF2. There are loots of cleaning up to be done before it can be pushed though but we are giving a heads up as the changes will affect forks that are doing rebase as well as pull requests.

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