Controlling An R/C Helicopter With An iPhone

We have an exciting new Cellbot from Ari Krupnik. He’s using an iPhone and a special app that he wrote to control an R/C helicopter called the iCopter.

iPhone and R/C helicopter

It makes the helicopter extremely easy to fly as you can see in this video, which was just featured in Make Magazine’s blog:

Ari is using a Spektrum radio module in a way that the iPhone’s accelerometers and touch screen replace the typical radio you would use to fly something. This works by turning the sensor and touch input information and turning it into an audio stream that goes out the headphone jack.

Data signal comes out of the headphone jack

The signal then goes into a plastic hobby project box that has a single resistor, a 9V battery, and some header pins to plug into the Spektrum radio. Ari is mounting the iPhone to the case using part of a car mount for a snug fit.

Header pins and the resistor

Ari has some exciting plans for the Cellbot, which will include flying planes in addition to helicopters. The iPhone app could hold and store custom settings for each craft and might one day even take telemetry data back in to close the feedback loop. He’s also exploring an Android version and using the phone’s serial port instead of the headphone jack.

Check out some more pictures of iPhly on our gallery below and check back often for more updates as our Cellbots begin to take flight.

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3 Responses to Controlling An R/C Helicopter With An iPhone

  1. Great write up. The iPhone is truly awesome and I don’t like being without it. This time last year I had jumped in a pool with my iPhone and it was dead. I had to wait 9 days before I was able to buya new one. The phone I had was a cheap go phone. I really love all the apps that can be downloaded to the iPhone. The best part about the iPhone to me is the ability to check emails on the go. Thanks for the information.

  2. cellurl says:

    I could help build an Android version to post here as well…

    Let me know.


  3. Wilson says:

    There is an easier solution to this:
    The camera view is also available here.

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