Building a Raspberry pi controlled drone without an autopilot

Hey guys, I’m embarking on my first drone project (FPV) and I need some guidance.

After doing a bit of reading up, I came across the flight controller. But in the search of a flight controller (keeping in mind that I want to use the raspi for computer vision), I think that an autopilot is just overkill for my needs and is very expensive too, and on the other hand, I couldn’t find a way to use the simple RF controlled (generic) in conjunction with the raspi.

Is there any way I could get a flight controller that connects to the raspi?

Any advice would be amazing.

(I’m using the raspi so I could program in python, and I only want my drone to fly at 5ft and stay there, nothing fancy).

I’ve used Navio2 a the HAT flight controller that goes on top of my RaspberryPi. It’s planned to go into a hexacopter with openCV being used to do the computer vision piece on the Pi.
Just as an explanation; the flight controller is what keeps the Pi in the air. Autopilot sits on top of that to allow you to do autonomous flight and manage the drone remotely.

One other option (not tried) is to get one of the latest flight controllers that use MavLink and then connect that to the Pi (probably via UART) and control it that way.

Anyhow, be interesting to hear how you get on with this project :slight_smile:

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I tried to do this a few years ago but trying to get information at the time was just about impossible, the Pi cannot control a drone on its own you do need a flight controller as this is what balances all of the motor speeds and keeps the beast in the air I tried to get one in the air just using a programmable transmitter (in the days before they all were programmable) and that was a lesson I will not try again the flight controller checks the position of the quad and the speed of all the motors around 200 times a second (for a slow one) and adjusts each motor as needed there is no way that the Pi on its own could do it.
Good luck with the project and keep putting updates on here so others can see.
Regards Poppy Ann.