What is ODC?

OpenDroneControl [ODC] is an open source software platform for developing interactive artworks and research projects with aerial robotics. ODC was developed to be a community-supported framework for connecting commercially available quadcopter platforms to a common programming interface. The framework provides access to platform specific sensors and optionally allows for additional functionality such as navigation and tracking.

ODC is compatible with creative coding software such as Processing, Max, and open Frameworks (oF). Additionally, ODC is designed for expansion through code modules, third party peripherals, integration with emerging aerial robotic platforms, and user developed applications. Application developers can utilize this common interface to easily target multiple drone platforms without redesigning their code which allows for rapid project development.


A TouchOSC interface communicating with an ODC project in Max, and an AR-Drone.

The development of this project was initiated by the Transvergent Research Group, including Media Art and Technology graduate student researchers Tim WoodSterling Crispin, and RJ Duran. The technology was developed under the direction of Professor Marcos Novak, at the transLAB, housed within the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at the University of California Santa Barbara. ODC originated from experiments within the transLAB’s motion tracking environment using a Parrot AR.Drone at the beginning of 2012. Initially the focus was to create an external Max object which could algorithmically control the drone using available spatial information provided by the OptiTrack system.

Feel free to fork and explore the github repo to add functionality and improve the platform.

To get started look at our notes from the Drones & Aerial Robotics Workshop hosted by ITP/NYU in October 2013.