The Drone

APRIL 2, 2014 — Please note: The Garden Gnome Drone is only a prototype and is not a product that is available for purchase. The unmodified consumer drone which this project was based off of is available here.

The Garden Gnome Drone is a modified Parrot AR.Drone 1.0 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The drone combines a variety of technologies in order to launch, fly, and charge autonomously. Due to its noise and size, it is able to scare off most garden pests, including deer and unsuspecting humans.

Technical Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Parrot
  • Materials: carbon fiber tubes, PA66 plastics
  • Motors: four, 35 000 rpm, brushless
  • Top speed: 18 km/h
  • Optics: front and bottom facing VGA cameras
  • Guidance systems: accelerometer, gyrometer, ultrasound, altimeter
  • Embedded computer system: ARM9 468MHz processor
  • Communications: Wi-Fi b/g
  • Battery: 1000mAh Lithium Polymer, 15 minutes flying time per 90 minute charge


  • Technology: infrared motion detection
  • Range: up to 7 meters, 140 degrees vertical/horizontal coverage
  • Microcontroller: Arduino Pro Mini, USB interface

Charging Pad

  • Materials: plywood, copper contacts
  • Charger: Li-Po cell balancer

Computer Vision

  • Programming language: C++
  • Libraries: OpenCV