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The CrazyFlie

Check out this awesome quadcopter project

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Just when we think we have posted our last quadcopter project for a while, a new one pops up that makes us collectively go "Whoa." When we see a project like this, we just can't help but pass it on. Check out the CrazyFlie:

What you see there is not your average quadcopter. It's a custom-built, really, really tiny quadcopter! Weighing in at just over an ounce and 4 inches on each side, this is just about the smallest quadcopter we have ever seen. On board it has a 3-axis accelerometer, two gyros, and a tiny model airplane battery. That means its flight time is about four and a half minutes.

Using a 64-MHz CPU, the CrazyFlie uses the data from the accelerometer and gyroscopes to keep stable flight. If you look closely, you'll see the nRF24L01 24GHz radio transceiver as well. This project comes all the way from Sweden, and is part of the Daedalus Projects, part of the Swedish technology consulting firm Epsilon. Awesome work!

Comments 41 comments

  • OK fellow SparkFunions...can we make this a kit? Because I would buy/build the heck out of a kit like that, if only to annoy my cats in the most hilarious way possible.

    • Make it an Arduino shield! lol

      • I can't tell whether or not you are poking fun at SparkFun

        • I think the Arduino would make it a little too heavy to lift

        • Goodness no! Not that I am above taking a playful jab at the good folks at SFE.
          I was just thinking the the idea of a flying shield would be hilarious! It'd have to be bigger to support the extra weight, bigger battery, etc. Still... the more I think about it...
          Okay, seriously, somebody make a Quadcopter shield!

          • I know of the AeroQuad shield, but I don't like it and will not recommend it.
            I have several of my own designs but I need to learn to solder the BMA180 and ITG3200 by hand before I can make them.
            This one http://i.imgur.com/C2rCF.png is one such design that I will probably never actually make, unless I get some sort of pre-order for 100 of them
            This one is not a shield but it's sort of a Sanguino designed for flying http://i.imgur.com/5Ngy6.png , I'm making one to start, but I'll make more if there are buyers
            I've got plenty of other designs that I might make

    • I'd buy this kit!

    • I want a kit too :)

    • What we could do is design a pcb, and use a simple 328, and use it in one of those 28-pin holder things, so then we can take it out to program it easier. or not, and just make holes.
      It doesn't look like it would be that hard of a pcb to make, but the code would kill me.

    • omg that would be awsome!!! not an srduino shield but just a whole kit!! maybe a way to help people learn how to communicate via radio waves or even just a good smd project =)

    • I'd like a source for these small motors and propellers, the ones used in this project were recycled from another quadcopter.
      A kit with MCU + gyro + accelerometer + 2.4 GHz RF + Li-poly charger + MOSFET would be great, but I'd rather make my own frame design (maybe laser cut plastic for something this small)
      A ATmega32U4 would work nicely for this job since I already know where to get code to make it fly, I wouldn't complain about an ARM Cortex-M0 or M3 if it came with working code.

  • DO WANT!
    Many have said this, but the truth always bares repetition. This desperately NEEDS to be a kit of parts or a pre-assembled thing to buy. People are gonna go bat sh*t crazy over this if it were for sale.

  • This video would go so well with "flight of the bumblebee" as background music

  • It is so small!
    I have been trying to go smaller and smaller on my own quads, but my smallest one is still somewhat bigger than the CrazyFlie.
    The design might be a bit more robust to crashes, though.

  • You guys need to carry motors (and blades) like those, I have always wanted to see a Sparkfun avonics section. (I am a pilot naturally)

  • Moves and sounds like a fly =D

  • Umm I want one

  • Could they have picked a better place to fly this? I love how they had to dodge the cord hanging from the projector.
    P.S. would buy :)

  • What's the point of the 2 gyros? did they just not have a 3 axis one?

  • I would def buy one!!!

  • this would go good for maybe making a arduino mini pro and a small custom shield for it with the parts if u guys did sell this or something like this i would buy this very cool

  • The only change I would make would be to have the arms as separate PCB's. It think it would decrease the cost of the kit and also make it easy to fix when they break.

  • This is awesome.
    Someone was asking after a source for these tiny motors. I bought a phone vibrator motor off eBay cheap and drilled off the eccentric mass. They are tiny. Anyone else know where to get these???

  • I WANT ONE!!!!

  • you guys should offer a multiwii copter sheild. just some headers and holes for a wii motion plus

  • If you build it...
    I would buy a kit at reasonable cost! The use of the PC board for a frame is a great idea to keep weight and cost down!

  • sdfdsdfsdf

  • Hey, SFE - notice it comes with a JTAG interface !!!! Could you put one of these on the UltimateIMU so we can debug it and make it work (at all) ? Maybe then we could build our own quad copter with it.
    For some of us, it's kind of important to set breakpoints, look at variables and step through code. If you haven't figured it out yet, building code, throwing into a boot loader and letting it fly doesn't always work the way you wanted it to.

  • ...What about NC-ONE?

    • WOW!!!!! Thanks for the link! There quadracopter is WAY better and a sleek PCB design!! June 2011 is v3! Can't wait! Thanks again!

  • Wow, kinda ironic. I came over here today to look at parts, thinking about building my own quadcopter, and I find a post on one! haha.

  • 64mHz! At 4clock cycles per instruction for most arithmetic, that's about a 1 minute instruction cycle!

  • This would be hard to do with a breadboard, lol
    This could really approach a really micro spy cam, cool

    • I am 3 years late to the game, but it won't work well on a off the rack board. It should be easier to build today. It must be as light as possible. The battery and motors are critical. The lighter it is the less energy (MVV) it has when makes an unplanned contact with the ground, wall or other object [crash]. So the longer a battery can keep in the air and the less likely it is to break.

      I once made a control line flying wing using an 0.20 Cox engine so light an all balsa and tissue plane could repeatedly dive from full over head 90 degrees into the ground and only occasionally suffer a broken propeller.

      The down side to this is the less mass it has the more easily air currents disturb its flight and the less stability it has in flight.


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