Clojure API for the Parrot AR.Drone.
Clone or download
Latest commit a1f5300 May 8, 2016


Build Status Coverage Status

Turboshrimp is a clojure library for communicating with and controlling the Parrot AR.Drone.

It supports the following:

  • Flight control.
  • Telemetry (including video and GPS).
  • Runs on Android, using clojure-android.

Example code

This simple example connects to a drone, tells it to take off, and prints the battery level:

(require '[com.lemondronor.turboshrimp :as ardrone])

(def drone (ardrone/make-drone))

;; Connect to the drone.
(ardrone/connect! drone)

;; Tell the drone to being sending us detailed telemetry.
(ardrone/navdata-demo drone true)

;; Tell the drone to take off.
(ardrone/takeoff drone)

;; Check the battery level.
(println (get-in @(:navdata drone) '[:demo :battery-percentage]))

This example shows how to process telemetry updates from the drone as they arrive:

(require '[com.lemondronor.turboshrimp :as ardrone])

(defn process-event [event-type data]
  (when (= event-type :navdata)
    (println "Position:" (get-in data [:demo :drone :camera :translation]))))

(def drone (ardrone/make-drone :event-handler process-event))
(ardrone/connect! drone)
(ardrone/navdata-demo drone true)

Example app

There is an example of using the library to create a simple ground control station with keyboard control and live video with an overlaid HUD: examples/controller.clj

You can run the example like this:

# lein with-profile example run -m controller > debug.log

Turboshrimp HUD

(Hey look, it's Ralph & Dottie!)

Here's a video of the HUD in action:

Once the controller has started, you can use the following controls:

Key Command
t Take off
l Land
w/a/s/d Forward / turn left / backward/ turn right
shift-a/d "Strafe" left / right
q / z Climb / descend
c Switch to forward-facing camera
v Switch to downward-facing camera

Other apps

Shrimpdroid is an Android app that uses turboshrimp to let you fly a drone with your phone.

Shrimpdroid screenshot


See Turboshrimp API documentation.


$ lein test

Current status

  • Flight control works.

  • Telemetry works--even GPS!

  • Video works. I've tried two different H.264 decoders:

    • turboshrimp-h264j uses the pure Java h264j decoder. h264j is a little slow and has some color glitches and occasional errors.

    • turboshrimp-xuggler uses the xuggler decoder, which uses native code. It's almost twice as fast as h264j and its output appears to be perfect.

  • It runs on Android. I don't check every commit, but I do periodically test on Android. This code has flown a drone on an Android phone.

Origin and motivation

This code was originally forked from the awesome work gigasquid/Carin Meier did with clj-drone.

My changes are mostly about turning the code into a full-featured library for writing drone applications (similar to node-ar-drone), with the following specific goals:

  • Keeping the focus on straightforward drone control: I removed the OpenCV dependency and the goal/belief-driven programming API. Those are good things, but I think they should be in separate libraries.

  • Enhancing the ability to control multiple drones and receive telemetry from multiple drones: Replacing single, global vars with per-drone data structures.

  • Adding a clean way for applications to process drone telemetry, and parsing the full set of navdata options from the drone: GPS, magneto, vision, etc.

  • Android compatibility. I want to be able to use this code on Android using Clojure on Android.

To do

  • Handle blocking config commands and multiconfig (see

  • Make sure errors and other events are handled correctly and consistently.

  • Make it easier to tell if the drone is connected or disconnected.


Copyright 2014, 2015, 2016 John Wiseman

Distributed under the MIT License.