IoT Application for Controlling Drones

Elinext was contacted by the French startup that needed an application intended for controlling mini-drones produced by the company from the mobile device.

The Initial Task

The application ought to allow users to control the flight of drone using the on-screen buttons and menus. The app should also allow using a gamepad, have a VR-mode and give users a convenient way to work with media which can be created during the flight.

Challenges

The app should have provided the control of the flight with the help of joysticks depicted on the screen and external gamepad.

The app should have allowed live video-streaming during the fight as well as opportunity to record a video or take a photo.

The quality of the streaming video should be transmitted with minimal possible losses.That had to be achieved with the most reliable connection via BLE or Wi-Fi.

VR-mode should have been included in the app.

The application should have given a convenient way to work with media which can be created during the flight.

Solutions and Features

The app gave the users an ability to control the flight of the drone. It was done with the help of an interface which consisted of two joysticks drawn on the screen and several buttons and menus which allowed using some additional features of the drone (such as using the flashlight, the micro grabber tool, Wi-Fi camera, micro cannon, aerobatic moves).

Among the app features, there is an opportunity to recognize devices connected earlier and auto-connect to them.

The application also allowed using an external branded gamepad which could be connected to the phone with the help of  Bluetooth Low Energy.

The app allowed displaying a real-time video from the phone camera and stream video from drone’s attachable Wi-Fi camera on the screen during the flight with the possibility to record a video or take a photo from the specified source.

Additionally, the application had an ability to stream video from the Wi-Fi camera directly to Youtube/Facebook. The authorization via social networks is also enabled.

The application gave a convenient way to work with media created during the flight (photo, video) and to update firmware on the drone, or the gamepad, or Wi-Fi camera.

It also provides the system with flight statistics stored on the server.

The application had a Virtual Reality mode which was developed specifically for drone’s Wi-Fi camera. In this mode, the phone screen is divided into two separate sub-screens with slightly different images that allow using it with the VR Cardboard to get a 3D experience.

Results

The Elinext developers completed the task of developing the app for both Android and iOS operating systems.

Virtual Reality mode was enabled via Google VR SDK and OpenGL ES 2.0.

Video streaming process uses the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). To handle it, the developers used some open source solutions with in-house customizations and improvements for this specific application.

The solution is up-and-running for our client.

SCREENSHOTS

IMG_0777
IMG_0780
IMG_0782
IMG_0783
IMG_0784

INFORMATION

Region: Paris, France

Industry: IoT, Entertainment

Type: Mobile

Engagement model: Dedicated Team

Duration: 2 years

Staff: 7 person team

Platforms: