Parrot Minidrones Support from Simulink

Design, simulate, and deploy algorithms to fly Parrot minidrones

Capabilities and Features

The Simulink® Support Package for Parrot® Minidrones lets you design and build flight control algorithms for Parrot minidrones. You can deploy algorithms wirelessly over Bluetooth® Low Energy. The algorithms can access onboard sensors—such as the ultrasonic, accelerometer, gyroscope, and air pressure sensors—as well as the downward facing camera.

Simulink add-on tools provide additional capabilities. The support package includes an example based on Aerospace Blockset™ that lets you model 6-DOF equations of motion and simulate aircraft behavior under various flight and environmental conditions. Simulink Coder™ lets you record flight data on the minidrone and access the C code generated from Simulink models.

You can add to existing example models and algorithms to enhance predefined flight controllers or start from scratch and develop new flight control algorithms.

Highlights include:

  • Automatically deploy algorithms designed in Simulink to Parrot Minidrones for flight control
  • Obtain images from the down-facing camera to design and deploy vision algorithms for guidance, navigation, and control
  • Learn about the sensors and algorithms needed to control a palm-sized drone with the example included in Aerospace Blockset documentation. (See the example update for version 17.1.1 of the support package in release 2017a; for version 17.2.2 use the example in R2017b Update 4). 
  • Use Simulink template models to develop new simulations, flight control algorithms, and projects
  • Use a Flight Control User Interface to remotely run the flight controller deployed on the drone or to override, if necessary
  • Use the host computer keyboard to control the minidrone wirelessly from Simulink with the Keyboard Read block


Learn more about MATLAB and Simulink by participating in the MathWorks Minidrone Competition, hosted at multiple locations across the world.

About Parrot Minidrones

Each aircraft:

  • Weighs about 0.12 lb (less than the 0.55 lb required by FAA for registration)
  • Includes ultrasonic, 6-DOF, air pressure and down-facing camera sensors
  • Has a battery life of approximately seven minutes

Use in Teaching

Minidrones are a core initiative of Parrot Education. Professor Sertac Karaman at MIT has used minidrones to implement flipped classrooms with 16.30/16.31 courses and other teaching initiatives.
Past student projects include:

  • Line follower
  • Landing back to base
  • Hybrid altitude estimation
  • Robust control
  • Adaptive control for:
    • Propeller malfunction
    • Weight changes
    • Battery voltage changes

Platform and Release Support

See the hardware support package system requirements table for current and prior version, release, and platform availability.

Related Hardware Support Views: Aerospace and Defense, Bluetooth, Consumer Goods, Control Systems, C ∕ C++ Code Generation, Embedded Systems, Image Processing and Computer Vision, MathWorks Supported, Other ∕ Miscellaneous, Parrot, Project-Based Learning, Run on Target Hardware, Simulink Product Family, Support Package Installer Enabled, USB

Ready to install?

Before installing the support package, confirm you have the correct setup. View system requirements and installation options.

Get support package



IP Change: In versions 17.2.2 and greater of the hardware support package, the IP of the Rolling Spider has changed from to Existing users upgrading the support package to version 17.2.2 or greater will need to follow the hardware setup screens for Rolling Spider at least once.


Support Package

Get support package



  • A Parrot Rolling Spider or Mambo Minidrone
  • Micro USB cable
  • Host computer or dongle with supported chipset and drivers for Bluetooth Low Energy interface. Windows users can use the CSR Bluetooth 4.0 Adaptor or the Cinolink® Bluetooth 4.0 USB Adapter, and drivers from the CSR Harmony Wireless Software Stack. The driver size is approximately 400 MB and might take several minutes depending on internet speed.
  • Batteries



Support for Rolling Spider and Mambo is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, including Ubuntu 16.04.

Support Package


Support Package Installer installs this support package and all required third-party software. To start the installer, go to the MATLAB toolstrip and click Add-Ons > Get Hardware Support Packages. For more information, read the documentation.

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