Programmable drones with Elixir

Hi folks. I am thinking to buy a drone and have some fun flying it, and being an engineer, I of course thought about writing code for it. That would be pretty cool to write code for a specific task a drone can do.

It could be things like:

  • Algorithm for locating a certain object in the area. Different search patterns, object recognition.
  • Drone swarm. Some tasks where drones benefit with acting as a team.

I think Elixir could fit quite well in the task. The question is - are there already some commercial drones that let you code in Elixir? Or maybe it’s possible to build a drone from scratch? Does anyone have experience with writing software for drones?

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Sounds cool! A perfect fit for Elixir’s “let it crash” philosophy :smile:

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I have not used GitHub - chrismccord/ex_copter: Elixir client for the Parrot AR 2.0 Quadcopter, seems related.

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That’s cool. But sadly, the reviews say the Parrot copter is not compatible anymore with new iOS devices.

I’m wondering, what does a drone need to support to be able to talk with Elixir (or any language)? What should I be looking for? Maybe there’s some sort of open standard?

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Looking closely at Ryze Tello

It has a Python SDK, and there is a way how to call Python code from Elixir, if I need it.

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There’s this talk from ElixirConf EU 2017 how to build your own drone and program it with Elixir, maybe will be interesting to someone.

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Sounds like a fun project, keep us posted Aleksandr!

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I thought about erlang/elixir hot code reloading! Updating the software while it’s in the air. Just to show off.

Would use Distillery as mix release’s can’t be used for it.

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It’s already been done!

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My mavlink | Hex library can be used to communicate with Ardupilot. See my presentation YOW! Lambda Jam 2021 - Robin Hilliard - Elixir for UAV Avionics - YouTube for a discussion on drones and an example of Mavlink being used to communicate with a software-in-the-loop Ardupilot connected to X-Plane.

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