I made my first test flight today with my Lego NXT AutoPilot (all the needed parts are already commercially available!!).
The test flight was a success when it comes to AutoPilot but in the middle of the flight my EasyGlider suffered an elevator servo failure. NXT, however, managed to make something like a landing and nothing was broken.
Here are some specs of my NXT AutoPilot:
-Mindsensors Servo Controller
-Mindsensors Compass Sensor (on the same input port as accelerometer)
-2x HiTechnic rate gyros
-(Homebrewed pressure-sensor for altitude control but this is not really neccessary (on the same input port as servo controller))
-Full NXT based stabilisation with PID (uses integrated gyro outputs as input and accelerometer data to set gyro bias)
-GPS navigation with the help of the compass sensor
-All coding made with RobotC
-What would you like? :)
I'm really amazed how well this assembly works. Gyro integration - and how well it works - is what amazed me most: The gyro drift is generally less than 5deg/min which accelerometer can easily compensate (I didn't even use Kalman Filter and the AutoPilot flies the EasyGlider better than I do!). As for NXT's CPU speed: only about 50-60% of CPU time is being used while all the functions of the AutoPilot are on.
Just like Chris said: "It's so cool--". ..and now you can finally make this yourself! I'll publish the source code (?) when I have translated all the commentations to english....
More to come soon! (Videos, photos and so on...)