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Input-devices for the Crazyflie client

The Crazyflie graphical control client needs an input-device (joystick) with a minimum of 4 analogue axes to be able to pilot the Crazyflie. The Playstation 3 controller is supported out of the box but the application supports creating new configurations that uses other controllers. This page details what controllers are supported out of the box, how to create a new configurations and how to debug problems.


First of all there's currently a few limitations in the client (that will be fixed in the future):

  • After entering the configuration dialogue the application needs to be restarted. Fixed in 2013.4.2
  • There's only support for one input device. If you have multiple connected the application will choose the first one. Fixed in 2013.4.1

Steps to get the controller working

Here's a few steps that you have to go though in order to get the input-device working. If any of the steps are not working then the input-device will not be usable for piloting the Crazyflie:

  • The input-device needs to be recognized by the host operating system. This means that it should be seen in the operating system and be usable in other applications or utilities.
  • When using the Crazyflie graphical control client you need at least the correct mappings for roll/pitch/yaw/thrust. This can be checked by opening the Flight Data tab. If the input-device is found and opened then you should see values in the Target fields for Roll,Pitch,Yaw and Thrust. Moving the analogue axis should show you output here. Make sure that you get the full span according to the settings on the left side of the tab. I.e if the setting for Max roll/pitch is 20 then you should be able to get from -20 to + 20 in the target field (and the same for yaw and thrust). Also make sure that none of the axis interact (like moving roll will also move pitch).
  • If you aren't getting any output at all and you are using the Playstation 3 controller, then press the “Playstation” button in the middle on the controller once.
  • If the mappings are not correct in the previous point go to the menu Input-device→Configure device mapping, select the device you would like to configure and go though the configuration by clicking detect on each of the items in the dialog (everything has to be configured). Lastly enter the name of the configuration (without file extension) and press save. Now restart the application and try again.

Please note!! In the 2013.4.1 and previous versions there's a bug where the loading of a previous configuration will not work correctly. The values are not loaded but the configuration call still be saved. This results in a configuration file that will not work and an error will be shown when trying to use it. In order to fix this manually delete the contents of the user config folder (win: C:\Users\your_user\AppData\Roaming\cfclient, linux: ~/.config/cfclient) and create a new configuration from scratch as described above.

Input device overview

Below is a list of controllers and the status for different OSs. The list is far from complete so if you have more info please edit or drop us an email.

Controller Linux USB Linux BT Win XP USB Win XP BT Win7 USB Win7 BT Win8 USB Mac OSX USB Mac OSX BT
Playstation 3 (or copy) Works Instructions Works Instructions? Motion joy instructions? Motion joy instructions? Instructions Works Instructions
Xbox 360 (or copy) Instructions N/A Works N/A Works N/A Not tested Not tested

Playstation 3 controller

Linux using Bluetooth

How to set up Sixaxis on Ubuntu (tested on Ubuntu 13.10)

WinXP using Bluetooth


Win7 using USB

There's support for this using MotionJoy, but the mapping of the axis is not the same as for Windows XP/Linux and has to be configured. TODO Insert instructions for re-mapping.

Video on how to get started with MotionJoy.

Win7 using Bluetooth

Should work using MotionJoy but this needs confirmation.

Mac OSX with Bluetooth

Works. To pair the controller follow the steps outlined here. TODO: This procedure is somewhat shaky. Figure out and add a solid set of steps here.

NOTE: To shut down the controller you need to disconnect the controller from OSX. This is easiest done if you enable in in System Preferences → Bluetooth enable Show Bluetooth status in menu bar. From the menu bar item you can easily disconnect it.

Xbox 360 controller

Linux using USB


All modern Linux distribution now have a kernel driver for the x-box gamepad. Thus it is unlikely the xboxdrv user-space driver is needed.

If you are having problems getting this to work the userspace driver xboxdrv might be needed. It can be installed (on Ubuntu) by running:

sudo apt-get install xboxdrv

And then started by running:

sudo xboxdrv

More info about the xboxdrv is available here.

projects/crazyflie/pc_utils/inputdevices.txt · Last modified: 2020-05-12 14:29 by kimberly