ArduBee Kickstarter – Drones Information


ArduBee is the smallest and most easily modular Capable of quadcopter platform based on ArduPilot open source software Inside and Flying outdoors equipped with powerful H7 MCU flight controller.

This tiny ArduPilot UAV allows for educational and research initiatives or just anyone who wants to play with cutting edge technology and explore the field of aerial applications.

We have selected the best electronic components and developed a product that is supported by the Ardupilot open source system.

It’s an extensible platform with an add-on system that allows DIY and development.

We need the support of the entire community to achieve our goal: to produce and sell ArduBee and to create an active community.

We have developed this flying electronic board through many iterations and selected the best components to manufacture it to open, programmable and modular.

Fully integrated electronic flight boardArduBee is born

The weight is 100 gram for the basic flight system including battery and motors!

A lightweight micro-flying robot

It measures 6 inches diagonally from engine to engine.

High performance in a small size

The best computing power inside

We have integrated the state-of-the-art and future-proof H7 processor into a little more than 50 grams of frame board in order to bring the entire system to a new level in terms of high performance, speed and security.

MPU STM32H743VIT6 480 MHz ARM Cortex® M7

2 MB Flash – 1 MB RAM

IMU Bosh BMI088 6-axis inertial sensor with accuracy and vibration tolerance
The three-axis magnetometer IST8310 (Honeywell HMC5983 compatible) with temperature compensation
DPS310 offers excellent printing and noise performance

On board 4 x BLHELI32 ESC With DSHOT1200. They are carefully fed from a special low voltage circuit. Every ESC gives you Real-time telemetry With RPM, electricity, temperature from every single engine.

Real-time ESC data monitoring on the GCS

Use of Real-time speed Data enables you to use the advanced noise filtering supported by Ardupilot like the Dynamic Harmonic notch filter.

The ESC firmware can be updated from the official BlHeli32 repository via the USB port.

Instead of using the less energy efficient LIPO with wires and plugs, ArduBee uses Standard below 18650 Li-ion technology;; It’s so easy to plug in, remove and swap for a newly charged one.

The advantage of a Li-Ion is its high power density, which is perfect for the best flight times in small and light flying robots.

No more LIPOsNo cables and easy to connect and replace

Li-ion 18650 is a widely used battery, most of which are available and cheap.

We don’t supply the battery included with ArduBee, but you need to connect a conventional Li-Ion 18650 without modification. We recommend high-capacity batteries that allow high power consumption, such as B. the Samsung LG INR18650-M36 3600mAh – 5A.

To charge the battery, you can use an existing Li-Ion charger like any classic Vapcell charger.

ArduBee uses brushless motors to allow it to fly indoors and outdoors. These motors are more robust and have a longer service life than brush motors. In addition to the standard “ArduBee“Equipped with motors provided by us, ArduBee is also available as a pure board version in the sense of DIY. With this, the owner can select and assemble preferred engines and propellers. Since Ardubee was designed with different hole patterns for the motor mounting, you can try out new motors in both versions in the future.

You can choose from a wide variety of manufacturers with a wide variety of dimensions, weights, and properties. This allows you to customize ArduBee and optimize it for more flight time, payload, speed or acceleration.

In order to cover a wide range of possible payloads and provide remarkable time-of-flight performance, we have already extensively tested a variety of engines to find the best reference model that meets our high expectations.

We are currently still in the evaluation phase and look forward to presenting our results and the finally selected engines to you soon.

We tested some of the enginesMotors can be mounted up and down

In addition, depending on the application / scenario and the use of externally mounted devices, it is possible to screw the motors above or below the circuit board and connect them with solder pads above and below.

ArduBee is designed to provide a constant fixed voltage to the motors as the battery discharges from full charge to at least 3.0V.

We set the output voltage of boost LDOs, but they can also be changed by an experienced solder job by changing a configuration resistor to meet your specific needs.

You have many parameters in Arducopter to optimize motor performance and you can easily fly motors with a kV range from 5000 kV to 10000 kV.

The same DIY concept applies to the propellers. You can assemble the lightest 2 blades for endurance, a 3 blade for more thrust, or experiment with new props with a specific pitch or function up to 3 inches.

ESP8266 for wireless operations like receiving real-time telemetry at the ground station, calibrating ArduBee, sending commands and changing its parameters.

With the MAVESP8266 installed, you can set the module to create a WiFi network or connect to an external network.

Ability to insert the SD card to save logs.

Ardupilot has one extended protocol system useful for analyzing the flight and your flight system.

Data flash logs are also stored on the SD. They can be used to find the peak frequency of your motor and use this data to set the static and dynamic harmonic notch filter for your specific build.

Above the log before the filtering, below the result after the filtering

It is equipped with a mini USB port to configure the drone with your device.

USB connector detail

It is possible to attach the add-ons to the vehicle using the strip connections: GPS, Indoor Position System, Avoidance and Development Board.

GPS is connected through the strip connectors

Most popular two-way radios are supported, so you can use your preferred two-way radio. UART6 RX is used as an RC input.

You can control ArduBee with most radios:

  • Futaba S.BUS and S.BUS2
  • Spektrum DSM, DSM2 and DSMX
  • Graupner SUMD
  • PPM input
  • Yuneec ST24
  • We also support FrSky® S.Port and F.Port for telemetry

Radio linkS.BUS and S.Port radios

ArduBee is a fully programmable drone. We developed it with the known Open source project from ArduPilotBut it can also be easily made compatible with projects like PX4, Betaflight and Paparazzi.

One of the main strengths of ArduPilot is its amazing flexibility and interoperability. This also means a highly developed parameterized system. For a new user, finding these parameters can be tedious and quite time consuming. With ArduBee, our idea was to eliminate any initial effort and provide a ready-to-fly experience. For this reason, every ArduBee comes with a perfectly preconfigured firmware so that everyone can fly right away. In addition, the ArduBee version is supplied in conjunction with motors with the best finely tuned motor and control parameters.

Official ArduPilot website at

ArduPilot is an open source autopilot software suite for unmanned vehicles that can be used to control autonomous robots. ArduPilot was originally developed by hobbyists to control model airplanes and rovers and has evolved into a fully featured and reliable autopilot used by industry, research institutions and amateurs.

The first open code repository was created in 2009 – since then it has been developed by a team of various professional engineers, academics, computer scientists and other members of the drone community. The source code is developed by a large community of professionals and enthusiasts.

ArduBee USB is connected to the Mission Planner ground control station

You can receive data and give ArduBee commands over WiFi via MAVLink, which is the standard messaging protocol for drones and is implemented in C ++, Python, Java, Javascript, Lua, Swift and others. It is supported by ROS through MAVROS.

If you want to add custom behavior or onboard sensors, you can access all of the code and go from high-level Lua scripts to C ++ code with low hardware drivers.

Join the developer community at

When developing ArduBee, we not only thought of a simply amazing micro-drone, but also imagined an entire platform that offers great flexibility through a modular and stackable ecosystem.

We are currently planning to offer the following addons, which we have already developed and carefully tested:

  • Optical flow
  • GPS
  • Avoidance
  • Indoor positioning system
  • Dev board
  • management
  • … there is more to come

When designing the modular system, we didn’t want to force a vendor lock and allow independent development. For this reason we offer the Dev Board, which specifically enables you to develop your own addons. See the Dev Board section below for details on this.

Simulation to illustrate the stackability of ArduBeeAvoidance – Optical Flow – GPSTop view: GPS + avoidance

With PWM3901 sensor and VL53L1x ToF for distance to keep position without the need for GPS or downward facing lidar.

The optical flow module is soldered to the underside of the ArduBee frame and consists of an optical flow asic that provides displacement information and also contains a range finder (up to about 4 meters). The optical flow sensor sends data to the Fly Controller via the Ext SPI port and to the range finder via the I2C port. Good for improving horizontal position indoors or even outdoors with poor GPS signal strength.

Optical flow add-onan electronic miniature in only 0.6 grams

We have integrated the UBLOX SAM-M8Q multi-constellation (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS) to enable autonomous flight in the open air.

A compact GPS for your outdoor applications

Collision avoidance is one of the most active and challenging areas in the research and development of hardware and software suitable for solving various autonomous flight applications.

Ardupilot offers a specific solution for the type of add-on proposed. It has a crown of 8 sensors placed at a 45 ° angle between the two, with a total coverage of 360 ° in the horizontal plane.

We use VL53L1X, which are time-of-flight sensor, a miniature sensor with an accuracy of up to 4 m and a speed of 60 Hz. They are connected to the MCU via an I2C port.

Addon for collision avoidanceTop view avoidanceMacro Detail: AvoidanceSimulation to illustrate the avoidance connection on ArduBeeSide view: ArduBee with avoidanceSide view: GPS + avoidance

We developed this UltraWideBand indoor and swarm localization solution with 8 or more external beacons that meet our precision and scalability requirements to be able to fly a swarm of drones.

8 beacons fixed in place and 8 tags moved at the same time

Our solution isn’t as good as a motion detection system, but it is:

  • DWM1000-based module
  • precise, from a 10cm error this can be adjusted to 3-5cm
  • scalable, has no bottleneck in the number of trackable objects
  • the payload is less than 8 grams
  • It’s flexible and can be set up to track it in non-square spaces or around obstacles
  • and last but not least, it’s a lot cheaper than a mocap system

UWB technology for single and swarm internal positioning8 anchors in the corners of the flight space

We would like to share and improve this solution with your help. We are refining this technology by any means from a software tool to setting up the positioning system to a beacon holder design.

This board provides all the supported interfaces for users and developers who want to extend the platform with third-party add-ons or connect custom devices. You can find all available system resources on several connectors as well as a CAN transceiver and a dedicated power supply. The output of this power supply is programmable and you can change the default output voltage to provide the correct voltage you need (4.5V – 12V).

Please note: changing the output voltage requires some soldering skills as you will need to change an SMD resistor.

If you want it on your show, add € 32 to your reward.

Simulation to show the Dev Board connection on ArduBee

To protect ArduBee We designed and built the best possible propeller guards to combine Strength and lightness, Increase in efficiency the propeller too.

Our goal was to protect propellers from accidental collisions while minimizing the aerodynamic impact of such protective measures on the performance of ArduBee. We wanted a canal that was also suitable for landing and whose extra weight would be offset by the thrust given by the canal itself. However, we had a lot of limitations: a maximum and a minimum length, a minimum inside and a maximum outside diameter.

To this end, we used a “simulation-based design optimization” approach that used state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) calculations to design our ArduBee-customized acceleration channel. Thanks to a parametric description of the channel shape, we used the OpenSource OpenFOAM package ( to test thousands of different geometries for solving the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANSE) on an unstructured, hexadominant computation grid around the Duct and the propeller.

We have collected all their aerodynamic performances and the resulting weights and used a genetic optimization algorithm with multiple lenses that mimics the process of natural selection to obtain the Pareto convergence and finally the optimal design that gives the maximum thrust with the minimum possible weight offers.

This is our bespoke, lightweight duct solution for ArduBee!

If you want a full set of 4 Conducting your show will add € 40 to your reward.

ArduBee protected by the channel

We’d love to see ArduBee in many hands, especially we think it’s made for:

  • Swarm application developer
  • Scientific institutions
  • educational institutions
  • Research departments
  • Industrial training
  • Maker / hacker / DIY scene
  • Robotics enthusiast
  • ArduCopter developer

From personal experience, we know the pain of desperately looking for the perfect platform for drone development and research, and we believe the groups listed above are suffering from the same situation. Because of this, we believe that our initiative to develop an open and modular system can fix the current state, and we hope that ArduBee can close the gap soon.

The feedback we received from the community on our post on the ArduPilot forum and our coverage of hackernews and hackaday has been just incredible and made us confident that our vision could have a positive impact on the development of micro-drone and swarm applications .

Hackers, programmers, robotics enthusiasts help us get ArduBee into production! We have thought of the following rewards for you:

  1. ArduBee board – first 50 pieces discount – the basic version without motors and propellers to configure according to your needs – 245 €
  2. ArduBee board – the basic version without motors and propellers to configure according to your wishes – 270 €
  3. ArduBee – first 20 pieces discount– Equipped with engines and propellers, ready to start – € 285
  4. ArduBee – Equipped with engines and propellers, ready to start – 315 €
  • ArduBee + GPS – first 20 pieces discount – Equipped with motors, propellers and GPS for outside flight – 315 €
  1. ArduBee + GPS – Equipped with motors, propellers and GPS for outside flight – 350 €
  2. ArduBee + Optical Flow – Equipped with motors, propellers and optical flow addon for autonomous indoor flight to improve the horizontal position – 355 €
  3. ArduBee + avoidance – Equipped with motors, propellers and 8 rangefinders to avoid obstacles – 445 €
  4. ArduBee + GPS + Optical Flow + Avoidance – € 515
  5. 3 ArduBee + 3 GPS – € 995 (5% discount rate)
  6. ArduBee + Indoor Positioning System – ArduBee is equipped with motors, propellers and ultra wide band tags as well as 8 UWB beacons to create an indoor positioning system – 1345 €
  7. Swarm: 10 ArduBee + GPS – € 3150 (10% discount rate)
  8. Swarm: 10 ArduBee + Indoor Positioning System – € 4329 (10% discount rate)
  • Add € 40 to any rewards you receive management extension.
  • Add € 32 to all rewards you receive Dev board extension.

You can select the purchase country with the correct shipping fee in each reward. If you can’t find your country Mark “Rest of the world” under the predefined destinations and contact us for a personal offer!

Shipping begins at the end of December and is based on the order history.

Please note that Taxes are not included in the pledge levels. Taxes vary based on where your rewards are being shipped:

  • If you are an EU member, please add VAT to the price of the award
  • If you are an additional EU member, you will be responsible for sales tax, duties, import charges, or other taxes / fees upon delivery of your reward.

Customers are responsible for complying with the laws and regulations of their respective country.

Risks and Challenges

Unlike many Kickstarter campaigns, ArduBee is a mature product that is ready to be manufactured. Customers can even expect some upgrades for this first major production run. The LuminousBees team is made up of highly qualified, experienced professionals in their field with years of experience in developing and manufacturing drones. We believe the risks of bringing ArduBee to market are practically zero. This trust does not mean that we are immune to unexpected problems or changes, and we will communicate delays or problems directly and clearly with all customers as they arise. Learn more about accountability at Kickstarter Questions about this project? Read the FAQ

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