Instructional Material: Introduction

This lesson is the first in the "off ramp" unit for Tello programmers. This unit contains a detailed exploration of writing Java programs for the control system used on Tello drones. 

We have been learning a lot about the Java programming language. Now its time to explore how we actually write, compile and execute Java programs that control the Tello.

The Tello comes in two models, the basic Tello and the more capable Tello EDU. This curriculum works with both models but some of the lessons covering more advanced capabilities require the EDU. We will call out the differences between the two models as you go through this course. The EDU model will provide the best results.

Tello drones are different than the previous robotics platforms we have discussed. The Tello does not support the downloading of code to be executed on the drone. Tello control programs run on a separate device from the drone, in our case a Windows PC. Such programs remotely control the drone though commands sent to the drone over WiFi. The program running on the PC also receives status information and video sent back by the drone. In this model, the Tello is truly an ROV, or Remotely Operated Vehicle.

While the drone has some limited autonomous capability, pretty much anything it does is controlled by a program running on the remote device. There are several phone based apps provided by DJI to operate the Tello. In this unit you will learn how to write your own PC programs to operate the Tello. With the knowledge gained here you could go on to write your own phone app to control the Tello.

To work with the Tello you will need several hardware items and software tools:

  • Tello or Tello EDU drone
  • Tello drone phone-based control app
  • Video game controller
  • Java SDK
  • Eclipse IDE
  • Tello SDK for this course

We will cover where to get the software tools and how to install them in following lessons. After that, we will get into the details of programming the Tello.


Material Type: 
Education Level: 
Middle School
High School
Focus Subject: 
Computing / Computer Science
Robotics Software
HW Platform: 
DJI Tello
SW Platform: 
Interactivity Style: