PhoneDrones - smartphone powered drones

I just came across an interesting kickstarter project which uses your smartphone as the autopilot for your drone. Althogh its a great idea in concept I feel that most of the time its better to use dedicated hardware and separate camera. However although this phonedrone looks cool, I dont see much use in having a non stabilized downwards facing camera.

Other smartphone powered drones

Otherwise this idea is not that new, back in 2007 Christ Anderson (CEO of 3DR) build his first drone using windows CE, which used thermopile sensors to keep the aircraft level, and an iPaq 6515 Window Mobile phone for control and GPS. I also shared a post a while back about androcopter, an android powered quadcopter.

More recently in 2014 aeracoop created an instructable post on how to build the Flone, a smartphone powered miniquad.

And hte most recent smartphone powered drone comes from engineers from the Upen GRASP lab at CES2015. The main cool feature of this drone is it uses qualcoms vision processing library to do some cool things.

At the end of the day, do you think smartphone powered drones have a place? I tend to lean towards teh idea of augmenting your drone with a smartphone to do other tasks such as vision processing, or HD video streaming etc as its usually more reliable to have dedicated autopilot hardware.

I’ve thought smartphones could be really usefull as an auxillary componet, having it power your osd, or use its camera and gpu to supplement an altitude hold possible use its onboard gps as a backup signal for better precision.

Yep, well most of the flight controllers you find today use the same sensors you find on your phone, but just packaged into a smaller, more affordable board. But what has me excited recently is combining a raspberry Pi with some extra sensors to turn it into an raspberry pi autopilot with loads of extra computing power