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Luci Powered Drone

Learn to configure and fly a drone equipped with a Luci flight controller

[The best place to ask support questions is in our Slack community.]

In this tutorial you will configure Luci, link Luci to a Dronesmith Cloud account, create a wireless connection between Luci and ground control software on a PC.

You will need the following items to complete this tutorial.

  • Assembled drone and with Luci installed.
    QL25 Set-up
  • A Micro-USB cable
  • WiFi internet connection
  • Windows, Mac, or Linux computer on same network as your WiFi.

Create a Dronesmith API Account

Sign up here to get a Dronesmith API account if you don't have one already. You will get an email within a couple of business days with your key. You should receive your key within 5 business days.

You will receive a confirmation email. Please save this email as it contains your API key.

Configure your Edison and access Edison's Linux console

See our Edison Setup guide.

Perform the initial setup of your Edison if you have not already done so. This includes installing USB drivers (Windows), naming your Edison, creating a password, and connecting to WiFi.

Open a serial or SSH terminal to the Edison's Linux console.

Update Firmware (if necessary)

Luci ships with the latest firmware but occasionally we will issue an important update.
Please ensure you are on firmware version 1.4.1 or later. Version 1.41 was released on 9/23/16.

See our Firmware document to learn how to update firmware.

Install Dronesmith Engine

Please ensure you are using Dronesmith Engine version 1.0 or later.

Follow our Dronesmith Engine installation guide to install Dronesmith Engine and other required utilities.
Install Dronesmith Engine.

Authenticate Dronesmith Engine with Dronesmith Cloud

Once installed, and the system is rebooted, Dronesmith Engine will begin serving a webpage to your local area network. Navigate to http://<your-edison-name>.local and you should see a login page for Dronesmith Cloud. You will need to enter your Dronesmith Cloud email and password to complete the integration. Once activated you should see the Dronesmith Engine Status Page.

Status Page

The status page fives you a list of modules from the flight core and their current status. You can click on each module to view more information. If you would like a detailed data view, click Toggle Raw Telemetry.

You do not need a Dronesmith Cloud account to use Dronesmith Engine. You can still view the status page by navigating to http://<your-edison-name>.local/status.

DNS Issues

Some routers may have issues updating their DNS, so if you don't see a login page, try entering your Luci's local IP address. Make sure to include http:// as well, some browsers will not interpret your address as http by default.

Access Point Mode

When running Dronesmith Engine, if your Luci cannot connect to a saved WiFi network, it will boot as a wireless access point. In Access Point mode, you can still use Dronesmith Engine; to do so, simply connect to your Luci's access point, which will have the name of your Luci.

This will bring you to the WiFi setup screen. You can add a new wireless network here. After adding your wireless network info, wait for around 30 seconds for the connection to complete, connect to your network, and try accessing the Luci again.

If you still see the Luci as an Access Point, this means the WiFi setup did not work.

Create MAVLink telemetry output

Now we need to configure Dronesmith Engine to output the MAVLink telemetry from the flight core to ground control software on your computer. We will install and configure the QGroundControl program in the next section.

On the Luci status page, click the the Add MAVLink Output button. Now you can specify a custom location to output the MAVLink telemetry to. Add the local IP address of your computer with port number 14550 in the format <local IP>:14550.

The outputs are saved and will be available in the view after adding them. There's no limit other that CPU performance for how many you can add.

Install and Configure QGroundControl

QGroundControl (QGC) provides flight control and vehicle setup for any MAVLink capable drone. It is available on a wide range of platforms. QGroundControl User Guide

Download QGroundControl v3.0.0

Install QGroundControl.

QGroundControl by default will listen on the 14550 port and should recognize your drone.

Luci Powered Drone

Learn to configure and fly a drone equipped with a Luci flight controller