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Raspberry Pi Pico Drone PiWings Updated With Wi-Fi, New PCB

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Ravi Butani)

Maker Ravi Butani is the mastermind behind the Raspberry Pi Pico drone project PiWings which we recently covered a few weeks back. Using Raspberry Pi's RP2040 SoC microcontroller, Butani created a custom platform for driving and controlling a wide variety of drones, planes and more.

Recently, Butani has announced a new update to the development—PiWings V2, a finished flight controller PCB with plans to offer pre-ordering for interested parties. The latest revision also comes with Wi-Fi via an ESP-12F. Ravi Butani showed us what the PiWings platform was capable of on an episode of our Raspberry Pi-themed podcast called The Pi Cast with a live demo.

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Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Ravi Butani)
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Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Ravi Butani)

According to Butani, the PiWings V2 controller is fully programmable for a wide variety of devices. It uses a 4 amp coreless motor driver, it’s capable of supporting up to four servos, has an onboard 6-axis IMU module and even has built-in Wi-Fi support. There are also options for an external iBUS RX module and I2C sensors.

More often than not, the best Raspberry Pi projects are accessible and easy to use. What excites us most about PiWings is it’s flexibility and user-friendly interface. It can be programmed by either the RP2040 SDK or the Arduino IDE so makers can work with what they’re most familiar with. It can also be controlled via smartphone. An Android app is already in production but an iOS app is coming out of development soon.

The board is designed to use a full Pico module, not just the RP2040 chip. The Pico is surface mounted to the PiWings V2 flight controller so headers will not be necessary for construction. We reached out to Ravi Butani and confirmed the PCBs are arriving soon and should be available for preorder within a few weeks. Follow Ravi Butani at Twitter for more details and updates on this exciting Pico-powered drone controller.