Hardware requirements

A full hardware setup needed for Skybrush Sidekick to control drone fleets consists of the following components:

Mandatory requirements

  • A laptop or desktop machine running Skybrush Sidekick

  • Compatible drone fleet

  • 433/868/900 MHz radio (depending on local regulatory requirements) connected to both the GCS laptop and the drones

Optional requirements

  • A laptop or desktop machine or dedicated hardware that runs Skybrush Server. This can be the same device running Skybrush Sidekick or an independent one, although a separate machine is recommended to provide a truly independent connection that remains operational even if your main laptop malfunctions.

  • Wifi network to which both Skybrush Server and Skybrush Sidekick can be connected in order to receive drone status feed in Skybrush Sidekick from the active Skybrush Server.

  • RTK base station or NTRIP-based RTK correction source connected to Skybrush Server. If present, corrections can be sent to the drones through the secondary communication channel from Skybrush Sidekick.

The recommended configuration for the ground control device (laptop) running Skybrush Sidekick is the following:

  • at least an Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU

  • At least 2 GB of RAM (4 GB preferred)

  • Supported OS: Windows 10, Linux or macOS 10.14 or later

Communication with drones

  • Skybrush Sidekick communicates with the drones on a 433/866/900 MHz radio channel with unidirectional messages being sent from Skybrush Sidekick towards the drones. Note that telemetry or any kind of response from the drones towards Skybrush Sidekick is NOT available on this channel.

  • Skybrush Sidekick may receive status messages from the drones through Skybrush Server and the primary wifi network behind. This allows for visual status indication in Skybrush Sidekick as an optional enhancement, but the core functionality of Skybrush Sidekick DOES NOT depend on the state of the Skybrush Server.

Supported drones

Skybrush Sidekick supports the same drones as Skybrush Live. Please see the full list there.

Supported radio hardware

The default radio that can be used as a secondary communication channel is the 3DR SiK Telemetry Radio.

However, several fully functional clones are also available, including, e.g., these:

The custom firmware we provide for these radios may be compatible with other radios based on the SiLabs Si10xx chipsets. Contact us for details in case you wish to use a radio not listed here.

Supported RTK base stations

Skybrush Sidekick supports RTK base stations through Skybrush Server. Please check out the related documentation of Skybrush Live for more details.