Is your drone truly autonomous if you tell it where to go using the sticks of a remote controller? Isn’t the true definition of a drone “autonomous”? You’ll need to pre-program your drone’s flight to operate it in its full form – that is, to enable it to fly autonomously without you telling it where to go in real-time. And, while it’s easier said than done, programming a drone with Python isn’t all that difficult.
Drone-building prodigy Caleb Berquist works as an engineer by day, but he has a fantastic side business that can benefit anyone. He founded Drone Dojo, a website that offers how-to online drone classes in a variety of formats, including free instructional videos, lengthy written guides, and comprehensive, multi-hour virtual courses.
Yes, Berquist has a fantastic free guide called “How to Control a Drone with Python.” Because Berquist is the expert, I’ll let you visit the link and read his guide, but I won’t abandon you altogether. Before you head over to Berquist’s great tutorial, there are a few things you should know:
To program a drone with Python, you’ll need the following items.
To function, a computer (and, by extension, a drone) requires hardware, firmware (code that controls the hardware), and software. We’ll assume you already have the hardware ready to go if you’re programming a drone (those are the propellers, motors, batteries, etc). However, if you just want to learn how to program a drone with Python without putting the findings to the test in real life, you don’t need to have any hardware on hand. To test it virtually, simply utilize a simulated MAVLink quadcopter. You can also build your own drone if you want to put it to the test in real life (and hey, Berquist’s guide to building a Raspberry Pi drone can help you with that). You’ll need firmware and software regardless of which option you choose. What you need to know is as follows:
Ardupilot is one of the most effective ways to control the hardware of a drone. It has the ability to send 400 orders per second to the drone’s motors. Many of the most popular flight control boards, including Pixhawk and Cube-based drones, support ArduPilot.
Drone kit python software
Drone kit python, an open-source python library that supports high-level operations such as commanding drone movement or checking vehicle status, is recommended by Berquist. Here’s where you can learn more about it:
Drone kit Python and ArduPilot can also communicate through the MAVLink protocol (which Berquist alludes to in the video above). That’s all you’ll need to start writing your first Dronekit Python Script, which will allow you to tell your drone to do anything you want, including takeoff, landing, and anything in between.
The course is aimed at everyone from an entrepreneur working on a big drone delivery project to a student who wants to learn about engineering in a fun, practical way (you’ll need a basic coding experience, like Linux command line and python). Drone Dojo’s self-paced online drone programming with Python course may be found here.