Ap.parrot minidrone

From PaparazziUAV
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The printable version is no longer supported and may have rendering errors. Please update your browser bookmarks and please use the default browser print function instead.


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.

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

Supported models are:

  • Swing
    Parrot Swing
  • Mambo
  • Parrot Rolling Spider

Tested and basics working. Note that the support did not (yet) land up in master branch sourcecode as of 20190223. A pullrequest is made, so me changes need to be added but we are getting close as developers scrape some leftover time...

Not supported:

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

The Not is since these airframes cannot create a IP network over bluetooth (no BNEP interface) by default. While it is possible from a hardware component perspective, setup and drivers are not in default firmware. If one has time to hack it in, great. Or if Parrot would provide an firmware with this option, nice, but don't count on it. One could still try to hack a Mambo firmware on the Airborne Night types somehow. Note that Paparazzi does run on these if upload over USB network, but no bluetooth telemetry. A 100% GPS or vision based flight belongs to the possibilities if you fancy that, no need for a connection... But either you add an external GPS or make good vision modules. All in all to much effort compared to benefit.

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 may differ.



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)


Ultra sonic bottom sensor

  • Sonar not fully working yet...developer work is ongoing, we had sensor readings as of 20171025, still needs quite some work, but we will get there 99% sure

Vertical camera

Vertical camera

  • A development branch now got the first imagery out of the camera, hurray. Needs TLC and fix timing issues, but camera use is proven possible.

Note that when connected to USB camera is disabled so use a bluetooth connection to telnet and debug and develop in

Device /dev/video0 opened.
Device `USB2.0 Camera' on `usb-p6i-ehci.0-1.1' is a video capture device.
- Available formats:
       Format 0: YUYV (56595559)
       Type: Video capture (1)
       Name: YUV 4:2:2 (YUYV)
       Frame size: 640x480 (1/30)
       Frame size: 160x120 (1/60)
       Frame size: 80x60 (1/60)
       Format 1: MJPEG (47504a4d)
       Type: Video capture (1)
       Name: MJPEG
       Frame size: 640x480 (1/30)


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 behaviour and automatically be able to telnet into the device. It is tested and work but a description or better automatic flag is in the works and 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