January 30, 2023 — 3 minutes
Until now, the DroneBlocks App existed solely as a Google Chrome Extension for Windows and Mac. Google recently announced its intention to phase out support for Chrome Extensions on both Windows and Mac…and this includes DroneBlocks. So, we have developed a new-and-improved DroneBlocks Application for Desktop and took this opportunity to not only give the interface a face-lift but add some exciting new features. Keep in mind the DroneBlocks Chrome Extension will continue to exist on Chromebooks until 2025 – however, we won’t be able to offer full support or updates and highly recommend switching over to DroneBlocks on the Google Play Store.
First off, the DroneBlocks App is available on both Windows and Mac, and you can find the free Download links HERE. DroneBlocks team member, Clinton Evans, will walk you through the download and installation in the video linked HERE.
The first thing experienced DroneBlocks users will notice upon opening the Desktop App is a new look and feel. In addition, there are some new tabs, windows, and gauges…namely Sensing, LED Control, and Mission Pads on your left-hand menu and Flight Time, Accel X,Y on the top indicator bar as well as a Console text box to the right. So let’s take a look.
My Missions: Users can log in, and save their created missions for later. Under the Menu drop-down, you will have the options to start a New Mission, Save your current Mission or select from any one of your previously saved missions. Rest assured – you can load missions from the Chrome version of the DroneBlocks App in the new software.
Wi-Fi Connectivity: The connection between your Tello and Computer has been streamlined, and a Wi-Fi indicator has been added to the interface. Once the App is opened and Tello turned on, navigate to your computer’s Wi-Fi drop-down, then select your Tello Drone, and voilà – the Tello is automatically connected and sending information to your Gauge Display and the Wi-Fi indicator should now be Green.
Sensing blocks bring a new dimension to your missions. You are now able to fully utilize the powerful sensors within your Drones and incorporate them into your mission build and data reconnaissance. Metrics such as time of flight, temperature, acceleration and more can now be transmitted from your drone into DroneBlocks and be used as part of the mission code. You will also notice this sensing data updated in real-time during flight within the gauges display (black bar) across the top of the App.
Mission Pads that may have come included with your Tello EDU or Tello Talent are now in play! We’ve added a set of Mission Pad blocks to leverage Tello’s Mission Pads feature. For those of you that may not be aware – the Tello EDU and Tello Talent are packaged with a set of machine-readable matrix barcode sheets that can be laid pretty much anywhere to help map or chart a drone’s course. Now Mission Pads can be used in tandem with DroneBlocks code and the Drone will transmit that information to the Gauge Display (black bar) across the top of the app.
Text and Lists Blocks allow for the transmission of information from your in-flight Drone to your computer for gathering data or debugging code from your mission. We’ve added the Console text box for these text transmissions to appear.
Logic blocks have also been updated to include a few more Logic equations including “True” or “False”.
Loops blocks now feature new blocks such as “Repeat while…” function and a “Count with…” function.
We hope you enjoy the improvements to the DroneBlocks App, and if you have any trouble or suggestions, we invite you to please join our discussion Forum. It’s from DroneBlocks users like you that the idea seeds for upgrades originate.
Good luck, and happy coding!
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