[Matthew] built a quadcopter which is based on the Raspberry Pi! This flying drone is similar to all the others we’ve seen before but all the processing, from reading the gyroscopes to computing exactly how much power to give each motor – is handled by a Raspberry Pi.
This task is usually the domain of a microcontroller, as these calculations need to happen in real-time. The Linux distro [Matt] is running on his Pi has a lot more overhead than a simple AVR or ARM microcontroller, so doing everything that needs to be done in real-time isn’t guaranteed. With a bit of clever programming, [Matthew] managed to make sure all the necessary tasks were taken care of in time. It’s still not a real-time operating system, but for this project at least, it’s good enough.
Since the Raspberry Pi in [Matthew]‘s quadcopter is much more powerful than a microcontroller, that leaves plenty of head room to SSH into the flying machine while it’s in operation. There may even be enough processing power to stream video to a web server.