Questions about Hardware and Software for a Selfie Drone

Hello everyone,

I write this thread because I’d like to have some answers to my questions about uavs hardwares and softwares. I’m actually in high school and we have an ambitious project : build a selfie drone ourselves. We would like to create an app for Android and the smartphone would be the controller, but instead of receiving commands from the user it will give instructions to the Uav depending of his GPS coordinates so that it’s gonna follow automatically the smartphone. We’ve thought about using an ardupilot flight controller card with autopilot like the Pix4 for the UAV and the libraries of Drone Kit for the android app.

  • We would like to use the smartphone to make all the calculation about drone’s positioning and just send to the UAV basic command like rotate or shifting instructions. Is that a good technical solution ?

  • What precision could we have with a GPS Module ? (in cm)

  • What is the ardupilot card with the best Reactivity / Weight and price ratio for our use ( A selfie UAV )?

  • Does Ardupilot cards integrate PID algorithm ?

I thank warmly all the people who will take time to answer my questions ,

That’s all folks :wink:

Théo Hoenen

You can try the flight mode “follow me”. The wiki work with computer mission planner. The android app like “tower” also can do this.

Ok thanks, is tower an open source project ?


Nice , and what fligth cards are compatible with this app ?

It support the ardupilot software stack. So if your “flight card” can use ardupilot, like pixhawk, it can use Tower. Even the diy flight board use mavlink.

So, thank you for your answer, can i ask you one question please ?
I want to know, if I can use a Raspberry Pi 3 or zero for this project because pixhawk is very expansive for our budget
If raspberry : is it more difficult than with a Pikhawk card for exemple ?

What a coincidence. What I’m doing now is the raspberry pi. You can use ardupilot on raspberrypi, see this
Pixhawk wins the stability and has enough docs on internet. And raspberry pie is computing power, and they’re going to cost about the same price if you actually assemble a flight control.

Ok , and what about beagle Bone card ? Is there more documentation about how yo do it and what performance can we expect ?

  • R Pi 3
  • R Pi Zero
  • R Pi Zero W
  • Beagle Bone *
  • Odroid XU4
  • Nvidia TX2

The list goes on, … you can use all of them to build a ArduPilot based autopilot … BUT:

None of them brings the sensors you need. So you need to add a separated board like the “Navio I/O”.

Only when you add the price of both boards, and only then, can you compare it with the price of a Pixhawk 1 or Pixhawk 2.1
Those last two boards already contain all the sensors you need except a GPS receiver.

Ok so I can for exemple buy a R Pi 3 and connect it to a Navio 3 to have all the sensors and I must also buy a 3 Dr telemetry to use follow me . By the way what precision can we expect we 3dr telemetry ?

Ok so we choose the beaglebone blue card for the UAV . But 1 question : what is the best GPS module for a UAV and what precision can we expect