Fly A Drone With A Classic Game Boy

These days, drones seem to be everywhere. The popular hovercrafts have taken the world by storm [...]

These days, drones seem to be everywhere. The popular hovercrafts have taken the world by storm whether they're for personal or professional use. As hi-tech drones keep growing and becoming more advanced, further restrictions continue to be placed on them and dictate how high they can fly, where they can go, and how they can be operated. So, really, Gautier Hatternberger shouldn't be surprised if he learns his drone's flight plans are outlawed soon. After all, the guy did find a way to fly his drone using a classic Nintendo Game Boy.

Gautier recently uploaded a video of himself flying a drone with a hacked Game Boy controller. The creator described his project on his blog where he explained why he was inspired to hack his old handheld. "Some time ago, I found my old Game Boy at my parents' house," he writes. "So the first thing that came to my mind was: can I fly a drone with this ? (and also where is my Mario Bros cartridge). So I spend [sic] some time searching the web to see if I could find some idea to solve my problem."

Unsurprisingly, Gautier had some trouble initially setting up a system to turn his Game Boy into a flight controller as he's apparently the first to try the hack. His efforts were well-worth it since Gautier was able to pull together a feed which can connect his Game Boy to a laptop sporting the Paparazzi UAV framework. If you're interested in reading more about Gautier's specific rig, then you can read his description below and check out his source code here:

"Finally, the Game Boy is just sending the bitmask corresponding to the buttons being pressed (with an Arduino and a FTDI to convert Game Link signals to USB), and a small program on the ground station converts this into actual commands for the drone (an ARDrone2 from Parrot with an extra GPS in my case)."

Released back in 1989, the Game Boy stands as one of the gaming industry's most revolutionary pieces of tech. The handheld console and the Game Boy Color have sold more than 118 million units combined. The device also helped Nintendo establish its reputation as an industry juggernaut, and the Game Boy is the first in a long line of products which the company has rolled out. Even the wildly popular Nintendo 3DS can trace its roots back to the Game Boy, solidifying the console's status as a piece of pop culture history.

Now, it looks like creative hackers can find a way to use their Game Boys to fly drones if they so wish. Now, it's only a matter of time until someone replicates Gautier's code and uses their drone for various video game purposes - maybe in some way related to Pokemon GO? After all, they wouldn't be the first to use drones to cheat the app's distance tracker, and they certainly won't be the last now.