Six axis joystick

A device that enables multi axis control in a single hand, with a form factor optimized for drone flying

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This project is a collaboration between several tech startups in Bath, England. Born out of frustrations with the two-stick arrangement found on standard RC transmitters, this device is our attempt to make quadcopter flying more intuitive. With this prototype, the movements you make with your hand are more closely reflected in the movements of the drone (its a bit like putting your hand on top of the drone), so the learning curve for flying is vastly reduced. In addition, this device facilitates full control (throttle, pitch, roll and yaw) with a single hand, freeing up your other hand for camera controls or smoking a celebratory cigar

All the design files and gerbers are now on the website. Enjoy!

Whoop Whoop! The kit is now available to buy on our website!

The latest version of our joystick, nicknamed the RingStick. Plus an accessory joystick handle and trigger if you'd like to try flying a drone!

This is a homegrown project using mostly off the shelf parts and laser cut plywood. The RF link to the drone is achieved using a pair of nRF24L01 transceivers. Besides flying drones, we also wanted to try the prototype out as a PC gaming joystick, so made sure it could output HID as well.

Our webpage for more details

For progress pictures and videos we have recorded the development of this project in our blog:

Part 1 - There has to be a better way

Part 2 - 6 Axis Arduino

Part 3 - 6 Axis, PCBs and Drones

Some pictures of the development progress

Joysticks on the PCBs.

Control Ring in place.

Ready to play!

Zip Archive - 19.13 kB - 01/24/2017 at 11:12


Zip Archive - 94.85 kB - 01/24/2017 at 11:12


  • 1 × Arduino Micro
  • 2 × nRF24L01 transceiver

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Ed Elias wrote 11/22/2016 at 10:38 point

You can now get the kit, plus an accessory handle and trigger on our website:

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jarrett wrote 09/08/2016 at 18:08 point

Have you ever used a 3D mouse, such as a 3DConnexion SpaceMouse or SpaceNavigator?

How do they compare? They're pretty slick

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Patrick Thomas wrote 09/10/2016 at 12:20 point

Can't say I've used one to fly a drone, although I've seen it done. We've tried to maximise the range of movement on this device to make it more sensitive. The 3DConnexion devices are aimed at desktop applications, where movements are generally small and precise. For drone flying it's useful to have more range

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Ed Elias wrote 09/16/2016 at 15:25 point

Hey Jarrett, I've used them for CAD work. They are very
good, but personally I find them too delicate. I have the fine motor skills of
a Gorilla, so something more thug friendly would be great. The design and structure
of this joystick makes movement much more idiot proof for clumsy people :-)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jarrett wrote 09/16/2016 at 17:10 point

Sweet, that makes sense. Kinda like a large-throw version.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ed Elias wrote 09/16/2016 at 22:38 point

Yeah, think of it like a CAD mouse you could use after a few too many drinks ;-)

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