First look at the AR Drone SDK for Windows

by Stephen Hobley on November 21, 2010

Parrot AR Drone SDK for Windows

As some of you know, Thomas Endres, Julien Vinel and myself have been working on a .Net SDK for the Parrot AR Drone quadcopter.

We were planning on doing a release last week, but Parrot asked us to wait until they had revised their license to include the creation of “3rd Party” (that’s us) development tools.

I was hoping to hear something from them last week, but so far nothing has happened. So in the meantime (since I’ve been asked for this a lot) I thought I should show you what we have been working on.

Currently video is supported and save-able, and all DirectX input (Joysticks etc) devices are support (*and* keyboard and Wiimote).

Still waiting to get the “OK” from Parrot before we can release it to the world.

A big thank you goes out to Thomas and Julien – they took my rather flaky first design and transformed it into something very special.

The only thing it doesn’t do is make tea – that’s going to be in SP1 😉


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh November 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm

This is awesome and all but there is one major thing I got out of this video. You have a full-sized TARDIS!? Where can I acquire that sort of gem?

Stephen Hobley November 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I don’t know where it came from, there was this strange wheezing noise one night and it was in the living room the next morning 🙂

Stephen Hobley November 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm
Rafael Regh November 22, 2010 at 3:21 am

Hello, really cool.
Could you send me the .exe of this programm?

Stephen Hobley November 22, 2010 at 11:18 am

If it were up to me I would be happy to let you have it – unfortunately we have to wait for the OK from Parrot before we release anything.

If anyone wants to help the cause be writing to them directly – I’m sure it would help!

Thomas November 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

It’d be really cool if some of you guys could be helping us out …

Please send a short e-mail asking Parrot to work on the license so that we can release the project. The app is up and working, we only need the approval from Parrot, and we’re ready to go!

Frenkys November 23, 2010 at 10:07 am

I do not think that parrot has a lot of intention to publish the new license, we will never use your good work?
Thanks for your job.

Stephen Hobley November 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

I’m not sure – everything would indicate that having more dev platforms is good for Parrot, but for some reason they seem very hesitant to allow them.

My best guess is that for some reason a “spyplane” was very difficult to release and market around the world due to the negative applications of such a device, and so the legal costs involved with developing the license were very high.

Therefore rewriting the license is also prohibitively expensive.

Or they just don’t like Windows…

Frenkys November 23, 2010 at 11:43 am

I read carefully “DEVELOPMENT LICENSE OF THE PARROT SDK DRONE API’s” and wanted to ask: if you now only release the .exe, it can not be considered a game for AR.Drone and therefore fall within the scope of the license? In fact, the document shows:
– “The purpose of the present Development License is to define the terms and conditions under which the Developer is authorized to use the source codes of the PARROT SDK API’s to create under its own responsibility a Game for the AR.Drone and to market it for free or against payment.”
– “Game for AR.Drone: means a software or a video game, created by the Developer from the Application PARROT SDK Drone, and which functionalities shall exclusively be dedicated to the use of the PARROT AR.Drone for entertaining, game, leisure or training purpose or any other purpose compatible with the terms of the present license;”
– “The Game for AR.Drone, shall have for sole purpose to be used by a User for entertaining, game, leisure or training.”
I think the software I’ve seen in your video can certainly be considered a “game” for “leisure or training.”
Is not it?

Stephen Hobley November 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

We said the same thing – but Parrot told us to wait.

So I’m not really sure – maybe we could add some simple function that makes the whole thing seem more like a game, then just push out the EXE.

Frenkys November 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm

In Parrot forum ( many have released their parrot executable (apk for Linux, Java, etc..) without special features of game. What is the difference with your job (.exe only)?
Parrot perhaps was referring to your SDK .net

Stephen Hobley November 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Nothing – so I sent an email to Parrot to ask them just that.

Hopefully they’ll say that’s OK.

mark September 22, 2011 at 2:24 am

Just wondering if there had been any update on Parrot allowing you to release the software you wrote the the drone?
And if the answer is yes, and that they have Allowed you to set your creation free, where might i find a copy to download?

Mark Bodzin

Alessandro January 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Hi Stephen,
first of all I want to thank you for this amazing work!
I’ve a bit trouble in recording the bottom camera of the Ar Drone: on the Main Form the bottom camera is displayed correclty, but the saved .avi seems to have some trouble.
I’ve just uploaded a short video at the following link:
Do you have some suggestion?

Best Regards and Happy 2012!


mark March 31, 2014 at 11:00 am

sorry mate is there any update on this as i gettin a parrot this week and would love to use this

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