Controlling UAV w/o transmitter

I am beginning a project where I will be replacing a DJI S1000’s avionics with a Pixhawk. The purpose of this is to enable some of the features and open source nature of the Pixhawk. The S1000 was chosen due to its payload capability.

I am interested in the possibility of controlling the S1000 using the ground station instead of an RC transmitter/receiver. The ground station will be a laptop most likely. My thought is to use a 2-joystick USB gaming controller plugged into the laptop. The hope is to use the controller for manual operation, and then have the UAV fly GPS waypoints otherwise

Is this possible?

I am very new to this so please forgive me if this doesn’t make sense.

It’s possible, but it’s still recommended to have a separate transmitter as a backup. You can read more about it here: