A Portable Open Source Bluetooth Game Controller for Smartphones, Tablets and PC. Play all your favorites with a real controller! Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on April 19, 2012.
About this project
Come Join The Community!
Update #9: Pay It Forward
Update #8: Exploded CAD
Update #7: 3D Renderings!
**Your voices have been heard and we are adding the second analog joystick**
Update #6: Landslide!
Update #5: You Spoke, We Listened!
Update #4: Feedback
Update #3: Calling All GAMERS, DEVELOPERS and HACKERS!
Update #2: Open Source?
Update #1: Evolution controllers is in the News
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Please Pledge to pre-order your DRONE Today!
We have designed an innovative product to bridge the gap between the classic game controller and the current touch-screen devices. It's an Open Source, Bluetooth, portable game controller for Smartphones and Tablets. You can now play all your favorite emulators using a real controller. Our controller is open source so you can upload your own code to modify the characteristics of the controller. This is all done on the Arduino platform that millions around the world are already familiar with. - Be sure to watch the video!
The design mission for the controller was to make something that looked appropriate with Smartphones and Tablets but still familiar as a standard game controller. Furthermore, it had to be small and portable, but also very comfortable to hold and to use the controls. Numerous shapes were prototyped for evaluating ergonomics, scale, and attractiveness. We're very excited about the form factor we came up with. It uses a standard button layout with similar tactile feel as other controllers. It's tilted/curved face, bottom contour scoop, and angled sides make it really enjoyable to hold while playing games. The polished black face looks like it belongs next to a smart device, and the matte underside feels gentle in your hands. It has a rock solid construction, intended for being tossed in a backpack. For real DIYers who want to customize the controller, we allowed access to the electronics by disassembling the bottom four screws, we will even leave a few open holes on the PCB allowing easy soldering for adding what ever you see fit.
We have spent a lot of time designing and building a working prototype to prove the concept will work, now that we know what we need to build it’s time to do it! Our plan is to manufacture controllers in high volume so that we can keep the price as low as possible, The DRONE™ needs to be durable for portability and high quality. To accomplish this we need injection molded parts and quality electronic components The Injection molds alone will cost up to $10,000. Once the molds are made we can start manufacturing the Printed Circuit Boards and populating them with the necessary electrical components. Finally we can start burning the Arduino bootloader on the chips and then uploading our “factory code” so we will have the basic functionality for playing almost all ROMs and ISOs on all emulators. Lastly we will need to spend countless hours playing games to ensure that the product is the quality that we originally set out for. It’s a tough step but someone has to do it. One thing will also focus on is making this controller ready for the store shelf, we will be designing and manufacturing custom packaging with detailed graphics that will complement the digital devices we are intended to work with. We know that this product will be a wonderful platform for gamers and tinkerers around the world, we just need your help to start the Evolution!
The Evolution Team
Matthew Hefferon - Matthew is a Programmer Analyst. He holds 1 utility patent and enjoys new innovation and working on startups.
Ren Livingston - Ren owns a high-end automation company located in San Diego, designing and installing AV systems in homes and businesses. He holds 1 utility patent and has seen that project from concept to retail boxes sitting on shelves around the US.
Adam Weisgerber - Adam is an Industrial Designer. He holds 4 design patents and 3 utility patents. He's been through dozens of successful product development cycles.
Our dream is to not only be a controller for end users but also be a platform for millions of tinkers around the world.The open source aspect of the DRONE is “the ace up our sleeve.” As our name implies we want to help the mobile gaming world evolve into something much better then it is. To help evolve things we have decided that the users/programmers/and game developers need to have a controller that will allow them to experiment and have a community to explore new ideas with others using the same device. We want to allow access to EVERY aspect of the controller including:
- PCB board/layout so that you could make your own board if you want to perform a major overhaul of the electronics.
- SPI connector for advanced software features
- 16 pin “breakout” header will allow you to access all the pins including the X,Y of the Joystick. This ribbon cable can be routed out the front of the controller so that you can build additional “shields”
- The Drone library will have all the “sketches” that you can modify.
The DRONE is a Bluetooth Human Interface Device, this means that you can use it with ANYTHING that has Bluetooth. Computers, robots, phones, or tablets and you can connect as a joystick, keyboard, or gamepad.
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This is an Electronics kit will use through hole parts that will require assembly (Solder & Soldering Iron not included). The controller case is NOT included. There may be some variation in design and layout between this prototype and the final hardware.
The original design was intended for a single analog joystick. As we launched this project we had many questions and comments about adding an additional joystick. So we created a poll and let the backers decide. With 300 votes for a dual analog joystick and 10 votes for a single we decided to add an additional analog joystick.
Because it is “Open Source” and Bluetooth, it can work with anything. If you're a PC gamer you could sync and play on your PC. If you're an Android user there are many many emulators and roms that you can download from the Android Market. iOS users you will look to the iCade lineup of games. If you have Jailbroken or hacked your iPhone to other marketplaces you can use this controller for any game that allows button mapping.
There are other controllers but no one is “Open Source.” By making this an “Open Source” project it will encourage users, gamers, programmers, and game developers to evolve the way things work.
Also none of the other guys have paid attention to the design or feel of the controller. We wanted to make something you would be proud to own.
- (30 days)