Hey guys. I want to build a robotic blimp. I'm not talking about no traditional, torpedo shaped blimp. I'm talking about the blimp of the future. I have a very maneuverable design and control layout already. I want to give it brains now. The only problem is that I have no experience programming a PixHawk, and no programming experience at all! The blimp is totally different from any other aircraft so a model will have to be built from the ground up. Does anyone have any suggestions on getting started with this? "Learn to code" you may say. That will take too long. "Hire a programmer" you are probably thinking. You're on the right track. I dont need any old programmer. I need a programmer who has lots of experience building this type of thing, and the passion to work on it! 

If anyone is interested please let me know. I'm happy to show you what I have built so far.

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You can start with the Rover code, which supports differential drive steering that is common in blimps. It won't control altitude, but that's easy to add. 

Hey Chris. Thanks for replying. You are right that it steers like a tank and I can probably adapt the rover code. The static state of the blimp is still, meaning that with no power it doesn't go up or down. I'm pretty new to using this stuff and I've never made my own code! 

Chris Anderson said:

You can start with the Rover code, which supports differential drive steering that is common in blimps. It won't control altitude, but that's easy to add. 

No need to program it. Just select the rover option with differential drive and connect the prop motors instead of wheel motors.  You can do a lot by just adjusting parameters or options in Mission Planner

Hey Chris. Thanks a lot. I am honored that you are personally replying to what may seem like a trivial question to you. Im going to mess around with my PixHawk and see what I can do on my own! 

Chris Anderson said:

No need to program it. Just select the rover option with differential drive and connect the prop motors instead of wheel motors.  You can do a lot by just adjusting parameters or options in Mission Planner

Thank for the replaying, Chris!

I work with Alex on the same project and we loaded one PX4 with the Rover firmware. Next will be to connect it to our test rig (aka wine box with motors) and the radio. Previously I setup a few mostly fixed wings arduplanes and few cuadcopters, nothing complicate. This is the first more exotic vehicle. It seems like rover Firmware also can drive boat with differential motors, like ferryboat. I am not sure how to add the altitude axis, obviously Basic Tuning will not work. And we have to go Standard Params page?

We also have version with side thrusters we were counting on, that is another axis, sort of "Roll", so totall of:

1"UP/DOWN

2"Forward/Backward

3"Turn(Yaw)"

4"Sideways(Roll)" 

For Alt it will need to enable some sensing I guess - barometric , optical or sonar...   

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