This project currently is in draft status. I will update the article on my homepage, as it progresses.
Normal R/C transmitters are not the best way to control a UxV. For instance, they usually require additional components like ArduStation for the ArduPilot project, which means, the operator has to start juggling already with 2 components. Depending on mission and payload, there easily might be 1 or 2 more systems added. Based on this idea, I started thinking about a UxV controller which at least inconporates the R/C transmitter and the mission control component.
The R/C TX component is based on modules. I am planning to use the FrSky DHT module which is especially for integration in user projects. Another possible option would be to cut a matching rectangular hole into the UxV-CS' enclosure e.g. for JR compatible modules. The main board could be taken from a cheap chinese radio, e.g. the Turnigy 9x, but I am planning for the ERSKY9x board. The ERSKY9x board is a third party board which was developed as an improved replacement board for the 9x radios. It features a much more powerful CPU and runs Open9x firmware.
Instead of the usual R/C-joysticks, the UxV-CS will have 3-axis joysticks which pushbuttons. Additionally, a linear slide potentiometer and several switches are planned on the TX side.
The mission control component will be based on an Arduino Mega 2560 with a 40x4 character LC-display. The Arduino will feature "softbuttons" with changing functions as well as a 4x4 matrix keyboard for data entry. Those will be complemented by mission-related switches and an external joystick module for camera operations. Also, a mini thermal printer will be integrated e.g. for adhoc printing of GPS coordinates in SAR missions. For communications, the 3DR 433MHz modules are planned.
Update 07JAN13, 1610UTC:
- Corrected some typos
- Updated link to project page
- Added reference to 3DR radio modules