Ap.parrot minidrone

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Parrot Blaze

Without Paparazzi the Parrot Minidrones are nice small flying quadrotor that can be flown over a Bluetooth connection with an Android or iOS device. But there it stops... Not any more: With a few simple clicks you can run Paparazzi on you Minidrone and let it perform whatever you wan it to. Well that is the intend, volunteers are hard at work to make it a reality.

Although there are various different Parrot minidrones, the base of all the drones is the same. that is why you see all this info on just one page.

NOTE: This page is a work in progress (WIP) and partly will not reflect the current state of Paparazzi and will contain major errors. Till the end of December 2017 this page will have greatly improved. If you can help, yes, please help out, if not... hope that other are willing to spend their time on improving support.

Supported Minidrones

Paparazzi have been tested with the special EDU Firmware v2.6.11. The original firmware doesn't allow bluetooth network connections. Although one can upload Paparazzi autopilot application, one will not have wireless telemetry. Discussion are opened with Parrot to distribute the alternate firmware or integrate the modification to the standard one. The supported models are:

Tested and basics working (not in master sourcecode yet as of 20171019)

  • Swing
    Parrot Swing
  • Mambo


  • Parrot Rolling Spider


The Maybe is since these airframes cannot create a IP network over bluetooth (no BNEP interface) by defaut. While it is possible from a hardware component side, setup of drivers not in default firmware. If one has time to hack it in, great. Or if Parrow would provide an furmware with this option, nice, but don't count on it. One could still try to hack a Mambo firmware on it somehow. Note that Paparazzi does run on thes if upload over USB network, but no telemetry. A 100% GPS (or vision) based flight belongs to the possibilities if you fancy that.

  • Airborne Night
    • Parrot Airborne Night Maclane
    • Parrot Airborne Night Blaze
    • Parrot Airborne Night Swat
  • Airborne Cargo
    • Parrot Airborne Cargo Travis

The Jumping Sumo and the Hydrofoil extension, while Paparazzi likely can run on those, since they cannot fly there are no plans for testing or support. If you have one and tested it with Paparazzi, great! Please make a pull request with any improvements you made, you're welcome.


This article assumes that you have already installed Paprazzi software on you local development PC. Used is Ubuntu 16.04. older version have different Bluetooth support, instructions there maydiffer.



The minidrones have a Bluetooth Smart technology, Bluetooth V4.0 BLE device. Communication over older 2.0 bluetooth also possible after making some configuration changes on the Minidrone. Paparazzi can do this for you automatically


Accelometer and gyroscope

  • 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer (MPU 6050)

Pressure sensor

Air Pressure is available and gives valid presure ABI message output, a better integration into the code is worked on (MS5607)


WIP Not working yet...developer work is ongoing to enable readings as of 20171019
  • The Minidrone has a ultrasonic sensor, however this can not be used yet. It would be great if you read this to help write a driver for this sensor.

Info below is for developers and when it is working will be removed from here


Vertical camera

  • Vertical camera

Note that when connected to USB camera is disabled so use a bluetooth connection to telnet and debug and develop in Info below is for developers and when it is working can be removed from here

A development branch now got the first imagery out of the camera, needs TLC and fix timing issues, but cam use is proven possible


Parrot Minidrone Battery
  • Swappable: Yes
  • Type: Lithium-polymer 1s
  • Capacity: 550mAh
  • Charging time: about 25 minutes
  • Compatibility: Parrot Mambo, Swing Jumping Night, Jumping Race, Airborne Night, Airborne Cargo and Hydrofoil

How to connect

There are two ways to connect a Parrot Minidrone with Paparazzi. The first one is an USB cable and the second one is via a Bluetooth connection. Both have the possibility to transfer files through FTP and execute programs over telnet. Note that connecting over USB disables the vertical camera, as it uses the same USB bus. Also free flight with USB attached is not ideal.

Pre steps

Latest Parrot firmware needs some button pressing action before we can start using the connection in combination with Paparzzzi

4x Button press

Parrot Blaze on/off button location Parrot Blaze on/off button location bottom view

After the drone is fully started, on e.g. the Mambo visible by green LED's, then press the small on/off button four times (4x) in succession Note that it will take a while before the Connection is ready.


Always 4x pressing the button after a battery swap is not ideal. It is possible to disable this and automatically be able to have a connection. It is tested and work but a description or better automatic flag is nit the work an will be added to this wiki and the sourceode

Connect via USB

  • Plug in a micro-usb cable from your Drone to the computer
  • Switch on your Minidrone
  • A new network device will show up
  • Connect with, or depending on your firmware, through ftp or telnet

Connect via Bluetooth

Using blueman tool (tested with Ubuntu 16.04)

  • Install blueman via:
 sudo apt install blueman
  • Power up your Minidrone
  • Enable bluetooth on your computer, this can be done from blueman applet if present
  • Scan or select your Minidrone from the list of the peripheral
Blueman: peripherals list
  • Configure this peripheral and select the "network access point" connection type
Blueman: type of connection
  • A new network connection should appear
  • To test go to your terminal and execute this line:
  ifconfig bnep0

Result something like this:

 bnep0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 5c:e0:c5:63:8e:5d  
           inet adr:  Bcast:  Masque:
  • The minidrone has the IP, connect over bluetooth network with telnet via:

(With an USB the connection is via

Older Ubuntu versions using the pand tool

  • Execute "hcitool scan" and look for the mac address of the "RS_...." device. (If you cannot find it look at #Setup normal Bluetooth)
  • Install the bluez-utils package (if not installed) with "sudo apt-get install bluez-utils"
  • Execute "sudo pand --connect <MAC address> -dGN -n", to connect to the bluetooth of the drone. *
  • Execute "sudo ifconfig bnep0 up", to setup the ethernet device over bluetooth. *
  • Connect with the drone with telnet via:

Setup normal Bluetooth

This part doesn't seem to be needed anymore!!!

  • First connect over Bluetooth 4.0 or USB to the drone as described above
  • Connect with telnet to the drone. (telnet 192.168.*.1)
  • Open the "/etc/init.d/rcS" file and search for the line with "BLEproxy". (vi /etc/init.d/rcS)
  • Now change the "BLEproxy" to "BLEproxy --normalbt"
  • Reboot your drone by executing: "reboot". (This makes sure the filesystem is saved)

Upload Paprazzi

If you do have a connection, press the upload button in the Paparazzi center


At the moment, the Swing and Mambo airframes are supported and an example airframe is available. Choose Parrot_Mambo or Parrot_Swing

Note that while the Swing is a transitional airframe a full transistional configuration is not yet available but worked on to make it a reality soon.

Power button

Once the Paparazzi autopilot is running, the original Parrot software is stopped, but keeping the network connection open. A side effect is that the power button needs to be managed by Paparazzi as well. When pressing it, the board will reboot, restarting immediately with the original software. Pressing again the button will stop the minidrone.

Bottom camera

All minidrones have a camera which can be used for various purposes. 640x480 pixels. Note that a camera module for Paparazzi is not created yet. Feel free to help out.

Optic Flow

Using the Optic flow module and the bottom camera the Drone should be able to hover still.

Extend Hardware

GPS + Magneto

An GPS + Magneto module with I2C out connected to the USB port with a FTDI FT232H to 12C adapter] board, while possible, not done yet. Work is on its way to test it.


XBee and Si10xx based modems

By using external modems via an USB to serial adapter it would be possible to extend the telemetry range of the drones.

Micro laser range ring

A TU Delft project is in the works to make it possible to fly autonomous inside a building using micro laser rangers. See here... {TODO}

External power

Sometimes when developing it wouldbe niceto have your done on all day. Although standing still the batter last long an alternative would be good.

One can modify an exiting battery. not for the faint, of heart. but that is just what was done

{TODO} describe process an add picture

Power added via USB externally sadly disables the camera even if only usb GND and + are connected, but needs more investigation.


Some links that might be helpful for developers or otherwise