Make an Open Source Drone
4.7 (54 ratings)
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Make an Open Source Drone

A fun project in which you learn about drones by making one
Best Seller
4.7 (54 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
811 students enrolled
Last updated 8/2017
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $10 Original price: $100 Discount: 90% off
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  • 5.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • understand the types of multi-rotor drones
  • understand flight terminology
  • understand the principles of drone flight
  • understand the roles of propellers, motors, flight controller, ESC in drone flight
  • understand the use of LiPo batteries and their use
  • understand the use of GPS in drone flight
  • understand how to bind a radio receiver and transmitter
  • understand the necessary drone pre-flight checks
  • understand the basic safety and legal requirements involved in recreational drone flight
  • assemble a quadcopter from parts available in the market
  • upload the MultiPirateNG firmware to the Crius V2 flight controller
  • use the open source Mission Planner software to configure a drone
  • practice flying their quadcopter and fun while becoming better pilots!
View Curriculum
  • Windows computer
  • Basic electronics tools (please see free list of tools in section 1)
  • Be comfortable working with electronic components
  • Willingness to persevere despite set-downs (like broken propellers resulting from a drone rough landing)

Welcome to "Make an Open Source Drone", a course that will teach you how to build a quadcopter from scratch!

Playing with drones, and especially quadcopters, is fast becoming a very popular hobby. As a hobby, it combines state of the art open technology with large open spaces. It even gives me a great excuse to get out of my lab and get some sun!

While you can just go to a shop and purchase a drone that is ready to fly, by doing so you miss out on all the fun and knowledge that comes with building your own flying machine. I admit I have done that myself. Getting my ready-to-fly drone out of its box and flying it was fun, but only for a short period. 

Soon after the first excitement settled, I realised that I didn't know much more than before I opened the box. I was also unable to do anything more than what the drone was programmed to do, to begin with. 

That is why making your own open source drone is such a great way to have fun while learning. 

in this course, my co-instructor Aristofanis and I will help you understand drones and how to build them. You will learn about their mechanical and electronic components and how they interact. You will learn about the software that provides semi-autonomous flight capabilities to drones. 

Motors, flight controllers, Electronic Speed Controllers, batteries and chargers, receivers and transmitters, and so much more, will all make sense as you progress through this course and go through the process of assembling your drone. 

By the end of the course, apart from being able to assemble your drone, you will have the confidence to perform repairs and to extend its capabilities.

Along the way, you will learn about the principles of drones and many design and performance details for each of the components and software. With this knowledge, you will be able to go on and construct your own drones, configure and program them, all while having a great time doing so.

The course starts by explaining the basic principles of drones. 

You will learn about the types of multi-rotor drones, flight terminology, principles of drone flight, and we will introduce the basic drone components like propellers, motors, the flight controller and more.

Then, you will get into the actual construction of the drone. You will solder the Electronic Speed Controllers to the motors and assemble the drone arms.

You will then solder the ESCs and battery to the power distribution board, and start the assembly of the drone frame.

After that is the radio control subsystem. You will learn about the different types of signalling, connect the radio receiver to the flight controller, and connect the GPS module.

Next, you will learn about LiPo batteries and battery chargers, safety and maintenance. 

With a fully charged battery, you will continue with the firmware and software. You will learn about the MegaPirateNG firmware and how to upload it to your drone. 

You will learn how to bind your radio transmitter and receiver, and then how to calibrate your new quadcopter using the open source Mission Planner software.

As always, we save the best for last! At the end of the course, you will learn how to calibrate the Electronic Speed Controllers and attach the propellers.

And in the end, you will be able to take your drone to a field and launch it, starting to build-up your pilot skills!

As with all Tech Explorations courses, we are here to help you in this exciting learning journey. As a student of this course, you will have access to the Questions and Answers board and interact with the instructors. You can ask questions, and make comments or suggestions. 

Please continue by having a look at the list of parts that you will need in this course. You can find it as a document download in the next lecture

Who is the target audience?
  • Intermediate-level maker looking for a fun outdoors activity
  • Anyone interested in drones for recreational use
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Curriculum For This Course
69 Lectures
2 Lectures 03:05
Multi-copter drone basics
12 Lectures 01:28:09

Roll, pitch, yaw

Controlling the motors

Procuring the right parts



Battery and charger, Part 1

Battery and charger, Part 2

Flight controller and its peripherals

Other tools and things

ESC and motors
5 Lectures 26:37


Attach the connectors to the ESC wires

Attach connectors to motor wires

Power distribution board assembly
5 Lectures 30:40

About the power distribution board

Solder the ESC power wires

Solder the battery wires and connectors

Main body assembly
5 Lectures 16:15

Attach the motors to the arms

Attach the arms to the power distribution board, Part 1

Attach the arms to the power distribution board, Part 2

Flight controller and peripherals
11 Lectures 01:08:06

The PWM and PPM signalling options, Part 1

The PWM and PPM signalling options, Part 2

Setup radio receiver and flight controller to use PWM

Connect the GPS module to the flight controller, Part 1

Connect the GPS module to the flight controller, Part 2

Connect the GPS module to the flight controller, Part 3

Connect the GPS module to the flight controller, Part 4

Attach flight controller to chassis

Connect ESCs to flight controller

Battery and charger
4 Lectures 17:44

How to charge the battery

Attach the battery to the frame

The firmware
4 Lectures 07:40

Clear the EEPROM

Download and install the firmware

The transmitter
4 Lectures 12:39

Binding receiver and transmitter

Understand the transmitter basic operations

Mission Planner
6 Lectures 22:40

Download and install Mission Planner

Mission Planner setup, Part 1

Mission Planner setup, Part 2

Test the GPS module

3 More Sections
About the Instructor
Peter Dalmaris
4.5 Average rating
5,015 Reviews
43,060 Students
15 Courses
Tech Explorer

Peter Dalmaris is an electronics hobbyist and Maker, creator of several online video courses on DIY electronics and author of three technical books. 

As a Chief Tech Explorer since 2013 at Tech Explorations, the company he founded in Sydney, Australia, Peter’s mission is to explore technology and help educate the world. 

A life-long learner, Peter’s core skill is in explaining difficult concepts through video and text. With over 15 years in tertiary teaching experience, Peter has developed a simple yet comprehensive style in teaching that students from all around the world appreciate. 

His passion for technology and in particular for the world of DIY open source hardware has been a powerful driver that has guided his own personal development and his work through Tech Explorations.

Peter’s current online courses have helped over 30,000 people from around the world to be better Makers. His video courses include:

* Arduino Step by Step: Your Complete Guide

* Advanced Arduino Boards and Tools

* Raspberry Pi: Full Stack

* Raspberry Pi: Make a Workbench Automation Computer

* Kicad Like a Pro

* The Electronics Workbench: A Setup Guide

* Arduino Fun: Make a High Tech Remote Controlled Car

* Beginning Arduino: Make a environment monitor system

Peter’s books are:

* Kicad Like a Pro: Learn the World’s Favourite Open Source PCB Electronic Design Automation tool

* Raspberry Pi: Full Stack: A whirlwind tour of full-stack web application development on the Raspberry Pi

* Arduino: a comprehensive starting up guide for complete beginners

Aristofanis Chionis
4.7 Average rating
54 Reviews
811 Students
1 Course
Programmer and Drone Specialist


My name is Aristofanis. I am a university student in the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications at the University of Athens. I am also an electronics hobbyist and Maker, and excited about drones!

I have pursued my interest in drones intently for the past two years and have focused on how to build them from scratch using simple parts. Making Drones creates a vast skill set, and it is both exciting and challenging.

I am a very passionate individual, and when I start doing something, I see it though and do it well. That is why I am here. I love sharing knowledge and assisting others who want to learn.

I look forward to helping you. Post your question in the forum, and I look forward to answering you.