Here is how to make a small, indoor/outdoor quadcopter that you can
fly with either:
* an android phone or tablet
* a legitimate remote
* via your own processing (http://processing.org) sketches on a PC
(or Android device)
There are lots of optional steps in this project - for example, you
can skip building the quadcopter, and buy one instead - you will still
be to use the Arduino based radio to control it from your
phone/laptop/tablet. However if you go this route you will miss the
satisfaction of combining the ancient chinese arts of bamboo lashing
and cheap mass manufactured electronic toys...
However you go about it, this is a reasonably cheap project, the most
expensive part other than my laptop and tablet is an Arduino DUE and a
cheaper device could be used if desired.
The ability to write your own code to fly the copter make this more of
a drone than many remote control projects, but you will need to
develop your own code to actually decide what throttle, rudder,
aileron and elevator commands to send it when - a work in progress
based upon a 'Ground station' camera tracking the copter from
underneath is included, but it doesn't fly it yet!
As a simpler exercise for the reader, you can also look into adding
forward/backward/left/right FLIP buttons to the android remote.
Taster video 1: Drone controlled by tablet:
Taster video 2: Onboard footage from flipping (and crashing)
This work was inspired by the 18$ quadcopter thread on rcgroups
(http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1710948) - take a
look at rcgroups for plenty more inspiration.
It also makes use of plenty of other people's work, but most
immediately the processing-serial-android library
(https://github.com/inventit/processing-android-serial/) and the
hubsan X4 and A7105 code from the deviation project