Jay Coding – Parrot Mambo Fly Drones

March 10, 2018

The kids nowadays are very lucky.  They were born in a world that is full of technology and gadgets.  The geek parents will be very happy indeed, as they can use “buy for my son/daughter” as an excuse to buy these gadget.


Meet Parrot Mambo Fly drone.  Light weight, powerful.  And it can be programmed by Tynker, Python, Javascript or Swift and some other programming languages.


This is the official programmable drone used for Drone Odyssey Challenge 2018.  If you wanted to enrol your kids to this competition, then, it is best to own one of this to start training your kids.



Drone Odyssey is organised by Science Center, and the competition is opened to both Primary Schools and Secondary Schools students.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 7.09.41 PM

Because Jay went to learned Python/Robotics programming from Da Vinci Innovation Labs, that is why the teacher is trying to form a few teams to participate in this first ever drone odyssey challenge.


Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 3.02.51 PM

The theme of the competition is to bring up the awareness of protecting Singapore from terrorists thru using technonoly such as drones.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 7.40.25 PM

The competition is open to both Primary and Secondary schools.

Primary school task seems easy.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 7.41.54 PM

Yes, I know.  Jay is in his PSLE year.  Hey, going primary school is a fun thing, not only study only.  PSLE students should get the chance to do things they like to do.  So, I have to let Jay enrol this.  I already put a stop or rather don’t dare to sent him to WRO (World Robotics Olympiads), so, I must allow this for him.  And the competition is mainly in May (last week before the June holiday) and July (first 2 weeks after the June holiday).  I think that should not harm the PSLE preparation much la.  (crossing my fingers)

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 7.42.34 PM

I think is fun to do such competition.  Today, Da Vinci already organised quite a bit of Monthly competition.  So, the students are already having funs in these competitions lets take this to the national level.  hahaha

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 7.46.42 PM

Let’s see what this drone can do.

Jay will start do some simple blocky programming (similar to Scratch or Lego Mindstorms).

IMG_5838 2

Very simple instruction.


This is the very first flight of the Parrot Mambo Fly drone.  And it is a successful flight.

Well done Jay.

Any command block that you don’t understand, you can just drag it to ask.  Immediately help is available.

Jay program this using Tynker.  OK, it is a subscription based service.  You need to pay for subscription to use their programming on iPad.  But it is the easiest.


I suggest to put a landing pad there (stick it to the floor).  So that we can test how accurate the drone is.

Too my surprise, it is pretty accurate.  But if there are windy condition in the environment, it can shift the drone quite far from the target.

Oh my goodness, it can flip too.  You can program it to do some stunt.

Of course the younger one also can play with it.


And of course you can do more things.  Play sound, and do some logics too.


The kids are having fun in this indeed.


Let’s go sideway on this.  Left right and left right again and again.

I added in the obstacle.  But this version 1 failed.  Because the drone has to fly too low to the ground and the wind reflected from the ground is unpredictable.  So, it make the drone unstable.

Task:  We need to find out what is the optimal height to fly it accurately.  🙂

And because it is too unpredictable, the drones is taking hit at the legs of the chair.


I simply took a box and pull two chairs in.  This is version 2.

No good either.  You can fly it straight under it.  But once  you perform a rotation and u turn, some how the drone got drifted left right unpredictably.  so, it actually hit the chair on its return flight.


Go straight no problem.

Watch out Kay Kay!!!!

Task:  Jay have to figure out the conversion rate.  What does 1 second up or down equal to what height.  What does 1 second flying equal to what distance.  It is very important to have an understanding so that you can do a precise flying.

Task:  Jay also need to understand the characteristic of the motor.  when it run out of battery, does it slow down?  or the speed is always constant.  So all these have to be tested out in order to get an understanding.

See what I mean… when it does a u-turn, somehow the position shifted to its right.

And it hit the leg of the chair.

Oh ya, by the way…

The battery is only 9 minutes.  So, you need to charge it for 30 minutes for a full charge.

So, during the charging time, we experiment with Swift programming.  And it is also quite easy.  It is text based.  Jay and Kay has learned Swift programming before from Saturday Kids.  So, they still remember how to programming works.

now, let’s improve our obstacle.

Use a longer board.  So that if the drone did u-turn and it wont hit the leg.


Yeah… completed my obstacle course.  Fly under the bridge, u-turn and fly back above the bridge.

Something is not right.

When it fly up for 1 full second, it always swing to its left.

I did not turn on the fan.  So I could not understand why.

So, I told jay may be we need to fly smaller interval so to not swing too much to the side.  And it works.

Task:  is to find out all the flying characteristics.

They keep on playing until night.  Wow.  Amazing.






Leave a Reply