It's here! The first beta of the retail ArduCopter frame arrived today, and it's GORGEOUS. Jani has totally outdone himself. Above is the box, which is surprisingly small--just 13" x 4.5". Nice label, tells you what's inside. (This box is just the frame. If you'd ordered the other bits, such as the APM autopilot, GPS, motors, ESCs and props, they would have come in smaller boxes, and they'd all be packed up in one bigger box.)
Everything fits in really neatly.
Here all the parts are laid out. Each subsystem is in its own sealed bag, labeled and numbered.
An example of one bag: the power distribution PCB. Front...
An example of the CNC'd parts. Love the little touches, like the name etched in the dome components.
Introductory instructions. Full instructions are online.
Next steps: the beta testers are going to build and fly the quads with the latest software. Based on that feedback, we'll finish the documentation and decide on a release candidate of the code, and burn that into the boards. Jani will stock up on a LOT of the component parts, including motors, ESCs and props, and we'll announce a release date and prices for all of the versions, from just the frame to a complete ArduCopter UAV kit with everything included.
Totally thrilling. This project has been a long time in development, starting with the original ArduPilot board, and it's really gratifying to see it hit commercial maturity like this. Jani, you're a star!