It’s difficult to contain our excitement for this tiny quadcopter project called the Picopter. Frank managed to pull together an impressive collection of features when developing the project. First off, the quadcopter itself uses all-PCB construction. Even the supports for the motors are PCBs with keyed slots to mate perpendicular to the main control board, then held firm with solder joints. We think this will be a more resilient option than this other all-PCB build.
The control board seen in the foreground has an edge connector which mates with a Wii classic controller connector. This is what you use for flight control. But there’s even more. The pinheader just visible on the left side of the controller mates with a socket on the ‘copter board. This allows you to sync the two so that there’s no radio frequency interference, and recharge the batteries from a USB connection. Speaking of those wireless communications, Frank chose to use an ATmega128RFA1. This is a newer microcontroller from Atmel that has a radio built into it. Add a gyroscope sensor and some motor control and you’re in business.