On August 27, 2013, I presented NiVek QC with a Windows 8 Flight Console to the Tampa Bay Robotics and Microcontroller Group.
As promised here are the materials and links.
Although the Windows 8 Console was built with Visual Studio .NET premium, Windows 8 Apps can be built with VS Express editions that can be downloaded for free.
The .NET equivalent to the Arudino, programmable in C# is the Netduino, they are pretty cheap and easy to get started with. If you’re a .NET programmer and want to get started playing with hardware, this is a great place to start!
A great source of information and forums is located at the DIY Drones web site. In addition parts and supplies can be purchased from the 3D Robotics store, I generally get most of my parts from Hobby King (they have a USA warehouse, otherwise shipping from Hong Kong is a week or two.
Finally if you don’t want to start from scratch and spend countless hours and probably thousands of dollars on parts, there are some off the shelf quad copters I can recommend. The AR Drone 2 is a lot more than I had expected, it’s actually some very serious hardware. You need to get some additional parts like Motors, ECS’s and a frame, but for a flight controller, you can pickup an Ardupilot APM for relatively cheap. The firmware can be customized relatively easy.
Hope this gets you going and be sure to let me know if you get something up in the air (or have some awesome crashes in the process).