Ways to program your drone to do awesome stuff

By , last updated January 29, 2016

Drones, quadcopters, RS helicopters and other remote controlled crafts are hot topic these days. We programmers are more interested in how to program them to do something cool. Indeed, it’s become more and more easy.

In this article I’ll look at drones to program automated behavior with, and programming languages that can be used for this purpose. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at our simple step by step guide on how to program a drone with Java.

We start our analysis by looking at what languages are being used in the OpenSource drone programming projects. This is often an indicator of what is possible and best for you.

As you see there are more options to program AR.Drones than any others. It also maybe the easiest way to start programming drones with a type of Parrot AR.Drone. The manufacturer released an API for their machines AR.Drone API that is written in C++ and is available to public. A good thing is that there is a ton of information out there on how to program these drones with AR.Drone API (just google it) as the API has been there for a while. Although the API is written in C++ you can use whatever language you want to connect to it.

Choose a drone or a quadcopter to your taste. Take a look at the article about best drones for sale in 2015 or at these awesome AR.Drones from Amazon:

Many of the projects are old, though. It’s more common to use Android Apps development to make drones do stuff these days.

If you prefer to have fun while programming drones – visit a drone programming event! For example Nodecopter. There are also drone programming communities like reddit at /r/DroneApps where you can ask and discuss stuff.

And a little bit of cool stuff – free drone synthesizer: http://d00m.org/~someone/so666/


  1. Tiago January 27, 2016 Leave a Reply

    Hi, i know some C and Java. Well syntax and things like that, i’am yet to build something interesting. I think this would be good opportunity to test myself and explore more. I’d like to use Java, JADrone seems interesting. How i should i proceed?
    I need to buy Parror AR.Drone 2 then what do i do? What i can i do with the JADrone code?

  2. Avi Ayele March 13, 2016 Leave a Reply


    What are the minimum specs that a drone needs to be programmable?

    • kent March 15, 2016 Leave a Reply


      I’m not sure what you’re asking, are you building a drone or do you want to know what drones are programmable?

      If you want to build your own drone, you’ll need a small and lightweight computer, light batteries, sensors and other equipment.

      Before buying a drone, you should look for reviews and the documentation before buying. Try to look for APIs, if it’s connected to the cloud or you can connect to it from your phone. If not, there is a great chance your drone is not programmable.

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