Who are we?

Ottawa Drones is a group of programmers who develop software (and hardware modifications) for quadcopters - flying robots. We run events where hackers of any experience level can team up and produce a project in just one day. It's a great chance to improve your programming skills and meet new people, and it's a lot of fun!

To see photos, get drone news and hear about upcoming events, Like us on Facebook.

What are drones?

Drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) - aircraft that fly without having a pilot inside. They can be remote-controlled, or they can fly themselves autonomously. While the military and some companies use UAVs with fixed wings, Ottawa Drones focuses on small, hobbyist quadcopters which can be flown indoors.

Ottawa Drones uses the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 for all our events, due to it's small size, low price and the community of developers. These drones are available at most major electronics retailers in Canada, or you can try one at one of our events!

Our Events

Ottawa Drones events take place in a single day - we provide the drones, sponsors provide lunch, and sometimes we even have prizes! Participants should bring a laptop, a cool idea and any hardware they want to use. We've seen hacks with Leap Motion, Kinect, and Siri, for example. You can just use your keyboard, or even make the drone fly itself. Partipicants work in teams of four, and you'll have time to brainstorm at the event as well.

Check out our Facebook page for photos from our past events, including NodeBots Day 2014, and the Summer of Drones 2013. We've also worked with the uOttawa IEEE to organize a hackathon for students. Source code for some of the hacks is linked below.

Get Started

Most development for the drones is done in Node.JS, using a community-developed API. Check out our Wiki for links to the APIs and other resources around hacking your drone. For some examples, check out these hacks from past events:


Ottawa Drones has been featured in the Ottawa Busines Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, Maclean's magazine, as well as on CTV Ottawa, and CBC's In Town and Out.

To arrange an interview or learn more about Ottawa Drones, contact Alan Gardner.