Hi am new to UAVs and how they work. Am planning to build one based on the paparazzi autopilot system. I have read the wiki and forums but still have a lot of questions. Help me out please, i will highly appreciate it. 

I have some experience in programming and a little bit in electronics. I am trying to understand the whole sytem before i order the hardware. Am planning to buy the Tiny 2.11

1. can  one servo channel control two servos that are doing the same thing e.g. elevators?

2. I would like to include a video system with zoom capability. will this system be in anyway connected to the paparazzi hardware or should it be completely independent of the paparazzi. if its connected how should it connect and how do you control the zoom part. Could u point me in the right direction for a good PTZ system.

3. I would also like to incorporate an IMU/AHRS system. will i need to change the coding to accomodate this and if so how? which IMU/AHRS can work well with the tiny and does it need extra hardware.

Please reply

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Hi Dalton,

in general the best place to ask about paparazzi is the mailing list: http://paparazzi.enac.fr/wiki/Contact#Mailing_List

1. Yes, of course. Physical servos are linked to commands via the command_laws section. This kind of stuff is extremely flexible in paparazzi. (But also probably a bit harder to set up, especially when you don't need that for your simple airframe). Have a look at the wiki: http://paparazzi.enac.fr/wiki/Airframe_Configuration#Servos

2. I don't know a good PTZ system, but I would definitely connect it to the paparazzi hardware. Then you can have your cam automatically point towards a certain point of interest, etc. That capability is already there in paparazzi for pan-tilt (and other variations) cams. About the zoom: I guess that depends on your camera, might be controlled via servo or more likely via some extra connection to the cam. You would probably have to implement this.

3. Quite a few people have used the Tiny with different mostly custom made IMUs (also Sparkfun Razor, etc. ) so far... but that is mostly not integrated in SVN yet. Or used the paparazzi booz hardware and code for fixed wings. So far you can easily use the commercial Xsens IMU for wich the code is in the repository already. We are currently reorganizing the airborne code to merge multi-copter and fixed wing code and IMUs will be "officially" supported on fixed wings as well as soon as that is done. Also a new cheap flat IMU (Aspirin) for fixed wings is on the way.
But you can always write code to support other IMUs, e.g. ArduIMU+, etc. :-)

Felix Ruess
Thanks Felix. I really appreciate the help


Only just now saw this. I'll touch on things Felix didn't and say that very recently the Wiki has had large amounts of new data added to make it more newcomer friendly. Give it a try: http://paparazzi.enac.fr/wiki

You asked about a video camera with zoom. 300.00. Here's a link: http://www.fpvflying.com/products/10-x-zoom-UAV-%7B47%7D-FPV-camera...

You will find the developers extremely capable and experts in what they do so no question is too technical to ask. A good way to do the learning you mention is follow the installation instructions on the Wiki and build a few airframes and fly them in the simulator. You don't need any special commands. The simulator is just an option when you click a build button. It is possible to in just a couple of clicks build and fly in the simulator.
Thanks David

I have decided to transmit the video over a WLAN but am not sure if its the best idea.

am thinking of buying the xsens imu. do i need another processor like gumstix to connect or do i connect it directly and which cables do i use?

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