We are freshmen from Purdue University who met as we boarded the bus for HackMizzou. Everyone was sharing what they were considering doing, and by some random chance, we all had the same idea: Leap Motion Control for Quadcopters.
The way we see it, RC Controllers are unattractive and incredibly complex, and as such are often only usable by the RC enthusiasts. Controlling the Quadcopter with the Leap Motion Controller comes naturally. Tilt your hand forward, the quad flies forward. Move your hand up, the Quadcopter begins to ascend. We believe this pushes the target audience toward the general consumer, by providing an intuitive way to fly.
After various hurdles and difficulties, we successfully managed to translate hand motions into viable RC signals. We wrote a Processing script that examines hand motion and angles, and translates that data into a format that can be sent over Serial to Arduino. The Arduino then accepts that Serial data and converts it into a ppm signal that can be fed into the standard "Trainer" port found on RC Controllers. We opted for this method because this allows the Leap Motion Controller to be useable with nearly every Quadcopter in production today, with no code changes, and ranges of up to a few miles. This is a result of generating the control signal with the core 4 channels instead of modifying code on the Quadcopter itself.