Let's Make Robots!

Blade MCX2 (almost) Autonomous Flight

We equipped a stock Blade helicopter with infrared markers and tracked its position and orientation using a Vicon Bonita camera system. A Kalman filter gives us a full state estimate.

Then we hacked the remote and controlled the helicopter via computer.
This can be done with many Blade helicopters (all that have DSM2 compatible remote controls).

More sophisticated controls are to be implemented.

Blade MCX2 with infrared markers.


Vicon Bonita Camera Setup


Original remote control.




A preliminary version of the report can be found at http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~jrichner/main.pdf

GTK application to control any Blade helicopter by joystick, connecting the transmitter of the remote control to the computer via USB-to-Serial cable as described in the report: http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~jrichner/mcx2serial.zip

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great work

is possible to give more information?

Sure, I will upload a full PDF report and some code by June 12th, in case somone is interested in flying Blade helicopters using a computer and joystick.

The program will be requiring Python, pyGTK, pySerial and GTK. The only hardware additional to the Blade helicopter/remote will be a standard USB-to-TTL cable, and you will be able to pilot your personal Blade heli (almost all models work) by joystick from your home computer! =)

Uploaded a preliminary (but almost finished) version of the report and some code if you want to fly your own Blade helicopters using a joystick!

Hi your work is very impressive. I wanna know more about the matlab algorithm. Will i be able to communicate via e-mail rather than posting stuff as comments??