The new flights of the Drone
After its first public flight during Community Days in Milan, the AR.Drone 2.0 has continued to be a player in many Italian events. With my friend Marco Dal Pino, we shown new ways to interact with it and how to manage other interesting features.
In April, during Codemotion Rome, we talked about the on board camera and how to stream video to a Windows Phone app. We also shown the possibility to control the drone from a Windows Store app using the Xbox Controller, thanks to the SharpDX library.
Our session has been recorded and it is available on YouTube:
Then, the drone has made many flights during the Fiera del Radioamatore in Perdenone, which for the first time hosted a booth entirely dedicated to the Microsoft ecosystem. It was a great experience, and I hope that in the future we will have other opportunities like that!
Finally, on May 10 we brought the Drone at .NET Campus in Rome. In that occasion, we introduced a free Class Library that we published on NuGet, AR.Drone 2.0 Interaction Library. It allows to interact with the AR.Drone 2.0 from any application: it is available for Windows, Windows Store and Phone apps and supports all the main commands (takeoff, landing, up, down, left, right and rotate). Moreover, in future releases we will add other important features.
Among the other things, we used this library in conjunction with Intel® Perceptual Computing SDK to show how to control the drone with hand movements. It was a completely new kind of interaction that we never tried before!
The most exciting moment has been when, at the end of our session, attendees asked for a photo with us and, of course, the drone! An unexpected request that has made us really happy!
I want to thank again Microsoft Italia, that has given us the opportunity to experiment with the Drone, finding new and interesting ways to leverage its capabilities.