Sunday, September 15, 2013

Get Crazyflie Quad Copter working on the Raspberry Pi with a Sony PS3 Bluetooth controller

Recently got my hands on a crazyfly and I must say I love it. Took me few minutes to get it assembled using bitcraze instructions:
I wanted to get it running with my raspberry pi to use it on the go but ran into a few hiccups so I decided to put this doc together as  guide for anyone whom has a PS3 Bluetooth controller at home (crazyfly has only documentation on xbox wired).

Things you need:

  1. Crazyflie
  2. Sony PS3 Controller
  3. USB Bluetooth adapter
  4. Crazyradio
  5. Raspberry Pi (with all necessary accessories)

  1. Start to assemble the crazyflie using the instructions at bitcrazy.
  2. Download and image an SD card with bitcraze pre-built raspberry pi crazy fly image:
  3. Boot up the Pi with the fresh baked image, update you pi and install any necessary tools you use (I usually install vim, lshw, screen, etc..)
  4. Install PS3 controller and other necessary libraries:
    sudo apt-get upgrade
    sudo apt-get install bluez-utils bluez-compat bluez-hcidump libusb-dev libbluetooth-dev joystick usbutil pyqt4-dev-tools
  5. Check that the Bluetooth module is being detected: 
    pi@raspberrypi ~ $ hciconfig hci0: Type: BR/EDR Bus: USB
    BD Address: 00:1F:81:00:06:20 ACL MTU: 1021:4 SCO MTU: 180:1
    RX bytes:1260 acl:0 sco:0 events:46 errors:0
    TX bytes:452 acl:0 sco:0 commands:45 errors:0
    If you see your USB Bluetooth adapter then you are good if not there is an issue with the Pi Recognizing your adapter
  6. Install the paring software to pair the controller with the Pi:
    gcc -o sixpair sixpair.c -lusb

  7. After you compile this file there will be a binary executable called “sixpair” which now you can execute, connect your PS3 controller using a USB cable to the Pi (You only have to do this once for the pairing)
    Run the executable and you should see something like this:
    crazyfly-pi ~ $ sudo ./sixpair
    Current Bluetooth master: f0:f0:02:c7:f5:8e
    Setting master bd_addr to 00:10:60:d2:c2:fe

  8. If you get that output that means your controller is now officially paired with the Pi. Now we have to install the controlling application that read the controller as an input device. 
    tar xfvz QtSixA-1.5.1-src.tar.gz
    cd QtSixA-1.5.1/sixad
    sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/sixad/profiles
    sudo make install 
  9. Now we can test to see if the controller is working first start the sixad daemon and initiate the controller:
    sudo sixad --start
    When Prompted Press the PS button and the 4 upper LED on controller will light up.
  10. To test that you are indeed receiving input from the controller run jstester against the input:
    sudo /usr/bin/jstest /dev/input/js0
    You should be seeing the following values change and you press keys in the controller.

  11. We must tell now cfheadless that we are going to be using a PS3 Bluetooth controller edit the following file and Change PS3_Mode1 to PS3_Mod2 like so: crazyfly-pi:~# cat /home/bitcraze/controller.conf
  12. Now we need to make that assures that cfheadless is always running, this assures that even if the crazyflie is not detected right away it will get configured the right way. Place the following script in /root/

  13. Now we make this run every minute
    sudo -i
    crontab -e

    and add the following lines to it:
    */1 * * * * /root/
    @reboot sixad -s

  14. You should be set now, restart your pi, make sure you turn on your crazyflie. Once the pi has booted give it 5 minutes and press the PS button on your ps3 controller. You should be able to controller your crazyflie with the controller. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Underwater ROV 2.0


After some serious thinking on the direction and cost of the submarine, I though it would make sense to consolidate the motor control functions into a raspberry pi. I have used the adafruit 16 channel server driver board to control the ESC ( This takes that responsibility away from the Arduino which was the original sub concept. Furthermore, with the release of the raspberry pi camera now on the pi I can also consolidate the streaming video capabilities. This gets rid of the necessity to buy an IP camera and have 2 network connections on the submarine. As the frame goes no serious water testing as occur as of yet but as soon the motor is completed there will be some redesign as well. Below you can see a video of the raspberry pi controlling the ESC of the current sub.

Getting ESC with raspberry Pi and adafruit servo controller working. Excuse the desk mess. from Jose Hernandez on Vimeo.

First you must get I2C installed on the PI by running:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install python-smbus i2c-tools

Make sure that I2C is working by running:

  1. sudo i2cdetect -y 1

Then get the adafruit PWM libraries:

git clone

cd into the Adafruit-Raspberry-Pi-Python-Code/Adafruit_PWM_Servo_Driver/ directory and 
the example code I use to get this running on the PI:
The wiring Schematics:
Pulled from Adafruit
If you run into any issues I recommend going through the Adafruit guide:
I will be uploading to github the driver code in python for the submarine.