Hardware Support

PARROT Minidrones Support from Simulink

Design, simulate, and deploy algorithms to fly PARROT Minidrones

Capabilities and Features

The Simulink® Support Package for PARROT® Minidrones lets you design and build flight control algorithms for PARROT minidrones. You can deploy algorithms wirelessly over Bluetooth® Low Energy. The algorithms can access onboard sensors—such as the ultrasonic, accelerometer, gyroscope, and air pressure sensors—as well as the downward facing camera.

Simulink add-on tools provide additional capabilities. Aerospace Blockset™ includes an example that makes use of PARROT Minidrones. The example lets you model 6-DOF equations of motion and simulate aircraft behavior under various flight and environmental conditions. Simulink Coder™ lets you record flight data on the minidrone and access the C code generated from Simulink models.

You can add to existing example models and algorithms to enhance predefined flight controllers or start from scratch and develop new flight control algorithms.

Highlights include:

  • Automatically deploy algorithms designed in Simulink to PARROT Minidrones for flight control, optical flow, and image processing
  • Learn about the sensors and algorithms needed to control a palm-sized minidrone by exploring the example in Aerospace Blockset documentation. (See the example update for version 17.1.1 of the support package in release 2017a). 
  • Use Simulink template models to develop new flight control algorithms and projects
  • Use a Flight Control UI to remotely run algorithms deployed on the minidrone or to override if necessary

About PARROT Minidrones

Each aircraft:

  • Weighs about 0.12 lb (less than the 0.55 lb required by FAA for registration)
  • Includes ultrasonic, 6-DOF, air pressure and down-facing camera sensors
  • Has a battery life of approximately seven minutes

Use in Teaching

Minidrones are a core initiative of PARROT Education. Professors at MIT have used Minidrones for student hands-on projects with 16.30/16.31 courses and other teaching initiatives.

Past student projects include:

  • Line follower
  • Landing back to base
  • Hybrid altitude estimation
  • Robust control
  • Adaptive control for:
    • Propeller malfunction
    • Weight changes
    • Battery voltage changes

Platform and Release Support

See the hardware support package system requirements table for current and prior version, release, and platform availability.

Related Hardware Support Views: Aerospace and Defense, Bluetooth, Consumer Goods, Control Systems, C ∕ C++ Code Generation, Embedded Systems, Image Processing and Computer Vision, MathWorks Supported, Other ∕ Miscellaneous, PARROT, Project-Based Learning, Run on Target Hardware, Simulink Product Family, Support Package Installer Enabled, USB

Ready to install?

Before installing the support package, confirm you have the correct setup. View system requirements and installation options.

Get support package
  • A PARROT Rolling Spider Minidrone
  • Micro USB cable
  • Host computer or dongle with supported chipset and drivers for Bluetooth Low Energy interface. For Windows, used with Cinolink® Bluetooth 4.0 USB Adapter and CSR Harmony Wireless Software Stack v. drivers. Check MATLAB Answers for frequently asked questions.
  • Batteries



For Linux users: Debian 7 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS are required.

All other required third-party software is installed by the Support Package Installer.

Support Package


Support Package Installer installs this support package and all required third-party software. To start the installer, go to the MATLAB toolstrip and click Add-Ons > Get Hardware Support Packages. For more information, read the documentation.

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