I am new to UAV design and autopilot programming, but with some experience in quadcopter piloting. I am interested in breaking-into some autopilot programming. I am looking for suggestions for a quadcopter platform with multi-modality sensors (eg GPS, camera... ) where the information can be integrated into the autopilot algorithms. I'm not ready to build my own from scratch, so I was wondering if there is anything on the market that is close to 'ready-to-fly' but where I can get started with coding some autopilot functions. Price range, probably <1000 USD.
Additionally, if anyone knows about some good resources (tutorials, websites, getting-started on autopilot programming), I'd be very appreciative.
Thanks for the feedback and apologize for any mistakes in terminology.
You do not need to spend $1000. Ardupilot, iNav etc are all open source and posted on Github. Hardware is quite inexpensive as well. Just get stuck in.
Some hardware links : hobbyking or banggood. From cheap and nasty to some realy good stuff.
Development links : www.arduino.org - Huge hobby and pro development community from managing toasters to APM2.x and beyond.
Might have a look at www.netduino.com as well (I'll be kicked off the forum for that:)). I use this as a second computer on my hex to manage some ultra sonics and another IMU and GPS for measurement. I like it because I'm fluent in C#. It is a managed OS on the chip and that adds some overhead but it speaks my language.
Good luck and have fun!