Video: Tiny Buzzing Quadcopter Is Basically Just a Flying Computer Chip

CrazyFlie

Daedalus Project

This cute hand-built quadcopter might not be able to play tennis, but it's not CrazyFlie's fault — it's much to small to bounce anything around. The copter is basically a flying printed circuit board and not much else.

The whole thing weighs just over an ounce and measures about 4 inches on each side, yet includes a 3-axis accelerometer, two gyroscopes, a charging port and a tiny model airplane battery that gives it four and a half minutes of flying time. The battery and propellers are from a Silverlit X-Twin remote-controlled airplane.

The 64-mHz CPU uses data from the accelerometer and gyroscopes to make tiny adjustments 250 times per second, keeping the tiny copter airborne. It sounds somewhat like a bee swarm, or like an elegy on Autotune. Watch it in action below.

CrazyFlie is the work of the Daedalus Project, which is operated by the Swedish technology consulting firm Epsilon. Perhaps someday it will fly with its larger cousins in Switzerland, and learn how to play tennis or even the piano.