Low Cost Open source Smartphone controlled Micro RC plane Controller for STEM/STEAM Education

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VIMANA will be hopefully world's Cheapest ( < cost of burger ), safest, easiest and of course Opensource hardware platform to create and fly amazing micro Airplane designed by kids and help them learn STEM/STEAM concepts with fun and thrilling experience.

Application of VIMANA is not just limited for Various types of Micro Airplane builds but kids can create various things like Boats, Cars, Hovercrafts, Para gliders etc.

Goal of this project is to destroy entry barrier in term of cost, safety and required skills... So any one can jump into Amazing Hobby called Aeromodelling.

Further this project helps to get kids away from flat screen as long as possible so PROUDLY stating that VIMANA board is NOT programmable by end user (kids) and even IMU based flight stabilization is kept optional so It will help kids to learn not only STEM/STEAM concepts but also improve their psychomotor skills by making and flying airplanes that do not have any kind of Automatic Stabilization.

VIMANA - STEM for ALL - All project Design files are maintained at VIMANA Github Repo here..

VIMANA Basic Setup Demonstration Video : Following video shows basic setup and introduction of Vimana Platform

Background / Need of Project :

As we all know during challenging period of COVID lock down, Kids spent most of their time in front of flat screen (Computer/Tablet/Smartphone) for purpose of education as well as for social communication and entertainment and today addicted to the flat screen. While smartphones can provide many benefits for kids, such as educational apps and communication with parents and friends, there are also some disadvantages to consider.

  • Screen time: Excessive screen time can have negative effects on a child's physical and mental health, including obesity, poor sleep, and behavioral issues.
  • Addiction: Smartphones can be addictive, and kids may become overly reliant on them for entertainment and social interaction. This can lead to problems with attention, motivation, and self-control.
  • Social and emotional problems: Kids who are addicted to their smartphones may become isolated from their peers and family members, which can lead to social and emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. They may also struggle with communication and social skills, as well as problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.
  • Academic problems: Kids who spend a lot of time on their smartphones may struggle with academic performance due to decreased focus and attention span. They may also be more likely to engage in procrastination and time-wasting behaviors.

Considering above, I decided to build something opensource and affordable that can be useful for STEM/STEAM education and at same time improve physical and mental health and keep kids busy by learning, making and breaking without snatching Smartphone from their hands. To achieve this Aeromodelling is a best way, where kids can build micro airplane and fly it and of course crash it too :)  

Aeromodelling can be a great tool for teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts to kids. 

Here are some ways in which Aeromodelling can be used in STEM education:

  • Physics principles: It involves understanding the principles of physics, such as lift, drag, and gravity. By building and testing model airplanes, kids can learn about these concepts in a hands-on way.
  • Math skills: It also involves math skills, such as measuring and calculating the weight, balance, and aerodynamics of a model airplane. Kids can use math concepts to design and modify their airplanes, as well as to analyze the results of their tests.
  • Engineering design: Building a model airplane requires engineering skills, such as designing and constructing the frame, wings, and propulsion system. kids can use these skills to create their own airplane designs, as well as to troubleshoot and improve their designs.
  • Aerodynamics: Understanding the principles of aerodynamics is essential to design and build aircraft that can fly successfully. This includes learning about lift, drag, thrust, and weight, as well as the various factors that affect an aircraft's flight characteristics.
  • Materials: Knowing which materials to use and how to work with them is critical in aeromodelling. You will need to learn about different types of wood, plastics, composites, and other materials that are commonly used in model aircraft construction.
  • Construction techniques: Aeromodelling requires a high level of precision and attention to detail. You will need to learn about various construction techniques, such as cutting, sanding, gluing, and painting, to ensure that your aircraft is built to the highest standards.
  • Radio control systems: flying radio-controlled model aircraft, you will need to learn about the various components of a radio control system, including the transmitter, receiver, servos, and batteries.
  • Flight dynamics: Understanding...
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Vimana Board Bill of Material

Adobe Portable Document Format - 407.39 kB - 04/13/2023 at 10:29



Vimana Board PCB Gerber files including BOM and PnP coordinates files for board assembly

RAR Archive - 51.02 kB - 04/07/2023 at 06:02



Vimana Board Schematic

Adobe Portable Document Format - 119.06 kB - 04/07/2023 at 06:00


View all 6 components

  • Log 4 - VIMANA Auto Pilot mode Progress

    ravi butani04/27/2023 at 16:32 0 comments

    In this short update I am sharing following Video showing Vimana Board Auto Pilot Demo on Test Zig.. (Auto Pilot mode is completely optional and suggested to use only in windy weather as Manual Mode involves more learning of STEM Concepts and Also Improves Psychomotor Skill of Kids)

    Auto pilot mode is still in development phase..

    It Supports,

    • 200-500 Correction Loop per second (5ms - 2ms loop time)
    • LSM6DS3 6 Axis IMU via SPI Interface to ESP8266
    • PID Tunning via Vimana Android App
    • OnDemand IMU Calibration via Vimana Android App
    • Auto Pilot Can be enable / disable during flight

  • Log 3 - Airframe Build Log

    ravi butani04/25/2023 at 06:54 0 comments

    Currently I am designing various airframes CAD models for illustration and will share DXF files of profile plan for Easy build process (Though one can directly make it out of foam or card board)

    here is one such on going design..

    Few pics of Assambled Airplanes :

    As I made progress I will update Airframe designs with DXF files here

  • Log 2 - Vimana Controller Board Development

    ravi butani04/24/2023 at 07:17 0 comments

    VIMANA Flight Controller Board is Low cost (< Cost of a burger ), Opensource Hardware Board designed around ESP8266 (ESP12E/F Module) and N76E003 8bit Slave MCU to control 2 DC Motors and 2 Servo Motors for Various configuration of Smartphone Controlled Micro Airplanes / Boat / Hovercraft / Car etc.. (Only Imagination is the Limit..)

    Design Files of Vimana Board including BOM, Schematic, Gerber and Firmware available on Github Project Repo

    VIMANA Board Schematic :

    VIMANA Board BOM :

    VIMANA PCB Layout : 

    3D rendering of Board Assembly :

    Fully Assambled VIMANA Boards With and Without IMU LSM6DS3 :

    Firmware of N76E003 and ESP8266 is available at Project Github Repo here

  • Log 1 - Vimana Android Application Development

    ravi butani04/08/2023 at 07:13 0 comments

    Development status of Android Application to Control VIMANA Controller Board over WiFi.

    I have developed two different application for control your Vimana Board based build over WiFi using android studio.

    APK files available here.

    1. VIMANA Portrait Mode Application : This Android Application can be used with one hand control. Application also supports Gesture based control. Obviously Portrait mode application have limited control of the airplane as only one thumb pad used to control Throttle and Turn.

    Demo Video (Screen Recording) :

    2. VIMANA Landscape Mode Application : This Android Application can be used with two hand full control . Landscape mode application have full control of the airplane as two thumb pad used to control Throttle, Yaw, Pitch and Roll.

    Demo Video (Screen Recording) :

    Key Features of these Android Application Includes :

    • Controller screen with big Joy Stick pads for easy control.
    • Gesture based control option in Portrait mode application.
    • Intuitive Audio Feedback to enhance flying experience.
    • Mode selection supports Left/Right Handed user with ease.
    • High and Low rate options for experts and beginner user.
    • Auxiliary channel buttons to control any payload.
    • Onscreen Battery Voltage, Signal Strength and Flight Timer.
    • PID Configuration Screen for Advance tuning of DIY Models.
    • Detailed Help Screen.

    Precompiled Apk files for VIMANA Portrait and Landscape Android Applications available here on Github project repo.

View all 4 project logs

  • 1
    Setup Vimana Board

    Setup Vimana Board as described in following video

View all instructions

Enjoy this project?



ravi butani wrote 04/24/2023 at 07:45 point

Basic Configuration of VIMANA based Airplane is Completed and happy to share that I have successfully capped total cost of Airplane under 10 USD


2 USD Motors + Props

2 USD Battery 

1 USD Frame with misc material like Foam sheet, candy stick hot glue etc ...

  Are you sure? yes | no

Akki shri wrote 04/26/2023 at 05:30 point

How we can order in (MH)india?

  Are you sure? yes | no

ravi butani wrote 04/26/2023 at 06:57 point

Project is under development and and testing phase.. hopefully available soon for order..

  Are you sure? yes | no

Akki shri wrote 04/27/2023 at 04:37 point

TLV70330DBVR  VREG_SOT23-5 can you suggest me alternative for voltage regulator which we get in indian market.

  Are you sure? yes | no

ravi butani wrote 04/27/2023 at 06:47 point

any 3.0V LDO with min 300mA current and sot23-5 package with dropout voltage less than 200mV will work

  Are you sure? yes | no

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