Drone control


Many modern flying drones come with their own smartphone applications that allow the pilot to control and steer the unit, often through a first person view that's shown on the screen. These applications are often propriety, and you're never sure where your data is being sent or even whether you can trust it to control your drone at all. This is something that Kirogi's developer, Eike Hein, after buying a drone and attempting to fly it during Lunar New Year celebrations in Busan, South Korea. The official app crashed shortly after takeoff, leaving the drone out of control. Luckily (or not!), it was being flown indoors and eventually crashed back to Earth, but not before Eike had resolved to write a new open source application that would allow the drone to be flown from the Linux desktop: Kirogi.

When first launched, you need to choose between the three models currently supported by Kirogi: Ryze Tello, Parrot Anafi, and Parrot Bebop 2. Support for more models is planned, as is support for open protocols like Micro Air Vehicle Link (MAVLink) and the MultiWii Serial Protocol (MSP). After selecting the device, the app will attempt to make a connection and, if successful, open the direct flight control view. Despite Kirogi's alpha state, this functionality already feels mature, and you can use your mouse or touch screen to move both virtual joysticks, switch between drone modes, and see exactly what's happening. The simple HUD also shows altitude, speed, flight time, signal strength, and battery status. If you have a game controller connected, you can even use this. If your drone has a GPS, you can switch to a top-down map view and simply point on a map where you want your drone to go.

If flying your drone from the KDE desktop isn't impressive enough, visit the Kirogi website and check out the excellently designed mascot for the application.

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