Maker Pro

Build a Drone that Also Moves on the Ground

September 11, 2018 by SHIVANI SALIAN

Generally we have only seen drones fly, but how cool would it be if we can maneuver it on the ground as well!

When you love drones as well as rovers you would want to have both of them together. Just by adding a set of wheels to my already existing PlutoX drone and with the help of some simple coding, I developed this hybrid drone.


What I wanted to do was to build a prototype that can fly and walk on the ground as well so in short a combination of drone and rover. That is when I decided to make my project using PlutoX controller which controls a drone and it also has an add on breakout board which i used to add extra functionalities like rover mode.

Due to small wheels it becomes difficult to keep the heading of the in straight direction for this I have used something called as AutoStabilization. AutoStabilization uses the drones magnetometer data and keeps the heading straight. Heading can only be changed using the phone(Controller).

To open drone experimentation to the world, Drona Aviation are crowdfunding for PlutoX on Indiegogo. Support us and help us bring it to life:


Build Instructions



3D printed wheels and motor support

400 rpm brushed motors

600 mAh batteries


In this project I decided to use PlutoX drone due to it’s hardware modularity. Adding most structure is easier. For my project I needed something that will hold the wheels so that I can use my drone as a rover.

Using this wheel support I can easily clip the motors for rover onto the frame


If the PlutoX is DISARMED (i.e in the Rover mode)

Check if it is Auto-Stabilized or not (AutoStablization helps the rover to maintain the direction with the help of Magnetometer )

If it is Auto-Stabilized, indicate by turning on the Left LED, get the heading from Yaw angle.

If not Auto-Stabilized, indicate by turning on the Right LED

Get the RC input and perform error correction(Error correction - only if Auto-Stabilized)

Set the direction and PWM input for motor M2 and M3

Motor Direction

Forward - M2 and M3 both forward

Reverse - M2 and M3 both reverse

Right - M2 forward, M3 reverse

Left - M2 reverse, M3 forward

If the PlutoX is Armed it operates in Drone mode

Auto-Stabilization - Using smaller wheels in rover mode sometimes becomes a disadvantage as it gets difficult for the drone to move in a straight line/forward direction.

Auto-Stabilization uses the data from drones magnetometer and gets the yaw angle. Using this we can move the rover in straight line.

3D Printed Wheels

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