Welcome to the largest community for amateur Unmanned Aerial Vehicles! 

This community is the birthplace of ArduPilot, the world's first universal autopilot platform (planes, multicopters of all sorts and ground rovers). Today the Pixhawk autopilot runs a variety of powerful free and open UAV software systems, including:

  • PX4, a pro-quality open source copter, plane, rover and VTOL software stack from the Linux Foundation's Dronecode Project
  • ArduCopter, open source multicopter and heli UAV software
  • ArduPlane, open source software for planes of all types
  • ArduRover, open source software for ground-based vehicles

Request for Input: AUV End-Users

I am a new member to this community, thank you for having me!


I need your help. Help from people that work closely with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) - operators, mission designers, maintenance etc. 

Your input will be the backbone of my research. I am a grad student pursuing an MBA. My research is intended to discover what AUV end-users most value in their AUV capability set. We'll call these "value drivers".

I've classified these "value drivers" as:
- Battery Endurance
- Optimal AUV Speed
- AUV Price-tags
- Data Transfer Capabilities
- AUV Range
and some others. 


But first, I must find people that are involved with the technology and knowledgeable on the industry. If this is you, please consider responding to this post! 

If you will have a conversation with me, via email, phone or video-call, please say so on this post, message me privately with contact info (or we can do it through PMs) or…

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TFmini-i and TF02-i can be interfaced with PixHawk1 CAN port or any flight controller which has Ardupilot firmware flashed and having CAN interface. Support for CAN protocol has been added to Ardupilot firmwares, starting from Copter 4.2.0 for the purpose of obstacle avoidance and Altitude Hold.

1.  TFmini-iandTF02-i Settings:

It should be noted that TF02-i and TFmini-i have two different hardware versions for 485 and CAN. So when buying LiDAR, please pay attention to buy LiDAR with CAN interface. Multiple LiDARs can be interfaced to a single CAN bus. We need to assign different CAN IDs to each LiDAR just like we do for IIC communication. The baud-rate of each LiDAR needs to be set to the same value. On LiDAR side we have two types of CAN IDs:

    Send ID:…

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I have observed many many times during conventional menthod of current calibration of the 3DR Power module using arming the copter and motors that the current displayed by the power anlyzer is not stable and fluctuating by 1-2Amps or even higher. And calibration done via this old conventional is not proper and current reported in mission planner while the copter is in air, is in error by 1-2amps and that makes lot of error.

Initially I thaught of using two 100Watt 1Ohm resistors in parallel and energizing them via 30Amp brushed motor ESC connected to the output of the 3DR Power module (power tapped from same points where 4 ESC's are soldered. To control the brushed 30Amp ESC, I used standalone cheap servo tester. I mounted the two 100W 1Ohm wirewound resistors which were already in aluminium heat sinkable cases, on an additional large aluminium heat sink with a fan. I set the servotester knob to display 10Amps of current in the Turnigy Power Analyzer, but very soon the…

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Comments: 0

Application of TF-Luna in Pixhawk

TF-Luna can directly be connected with the serial port of Pixhawk. TF-Luna can be used in flight device

for the purpose of altitude holding or obstacle avoidance. This document is suitable to Pixhawk adopts ArduCopter V4.0.0 or higher firmware.

Example for connecting Pixhawk:


Figure 1 Schematic Diagram of Connecting TF-Luna with TELEM 2 Interface (Serial Port 2) of Pixhawk

a)MissionPlanner configuration description of TF-Luna for the purpose of altitude hold


Connect the flight control board to…

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In the modern drone ecosystem, BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) operations represent the next frontier of possibilities. These operations allow drones to travel distances beyond the operator's direct vision, unlocking potential in industries like agriculture, logistics, surveillance, and more. However, automating BVLOS operations requires not just advanced drones but also sophisticated management platforms. This is where FlytBase and DJI's FlightHub 2 come into play, especially with their compatibility with the DJI dock.

The DJI dock integration is a game-changer, enabling automated drone charging, data transfer, and mission planning. With both FlytBase and FlightHub 2 offering compatibility with this dock, enterprises are presented with a pivotal decision: Which platform will best optimize…

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I am a new member to this community, thank you for having me!--I need your help. Help from people that work closely with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) - operators, mission designers, maintenance etc. Your input will be the backbone of my…
Sep 21

Site Rules

"Because $10,000 $5,000 $1,000 is too much to pay for an autopilot, especially one that doesn't do exactly what you want."

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, colloquially known as a "drone") is basically an aerial robot. As we define it, it is capable of both remotely controlled flight (like a regular RC aircraft) and fully-autonomous flight, controlled by sensors, GPS, and onboard computers performing the functions of an autopilot. Our UAVs include airplanes, helicopters, quadcopters and blimps. Most of them are under five pounds, and some of them (especially the blimps) can be used indoors.

We are focused on non-commercial ("recreational") projects by amateurs, although pros are always welcome too. Reasons to make your own UAV range from a fun technical challenge, student contests, aerial photography and mapping (what we call "GeoCrawling"), and scientific sensing. We are primarily interested in civilian, not military, UAV uses here.

If you're new to all this, start here.

DIY Drones is a community based on the Ning social networking platform, and anybody who registers (it's free and easy) can post their own blog entries like this one on the front page, along with starting discussions in the sidebar at left or uploading videos below that. Your registration gives you the ability to do a lot on the site--so feel free to post anything you think will be of interest to this community!

There are other amateur sites out there, from the discussion forums of RC Groups to individual blogs, but DIY Drones is explicitly built as a social network, which means that the community is as important as the content. We're also focused on the most accessible end of the amateur UAV world, with the aim of potentially including high school students.

This means we emphasize amateur UAV projects that are:

  1. Simple: The aim of this project is to create new amateur UAV platforms, including those that could be used for a FIRST-like contest appropriate for students. While we're at it, we'll make amateur UAV development easier for everyone.
  2. Cheap: The target cost of all of our platforms is less than $1,000. You can buy a very good autopilot system for $10,000, but that's not our approach. Cheaper is better, especially with students and schools.
  3. Safe: We follow the current interpretation of the FAA guidelines on small UAVs. Recreational use (non-commercial), under 400 ft altitude, line of sight, "pilot in the loop" and onboard safety systems that always allow for manual control in the case of malfunction. We're building experimental platforms that demonstrate autonomy and the capacity to do real useful UAV work, but we test them in controlled settings. If you want to fly miles out of sight or map cities, we're going to assume you've got the proper FAA clearance or we don't want to know about it.
  4. Participatory: Share and others will share with you. That means that whenever possible, we open source our code and post it online. Everything on this site is published under a Creative Commons "attribution" license, which means that anyone can use or repost it, as long as they give credit to the original author.
  5. Civil: This is a community site of peers helping each other. Bad behavior, from rudeness to foul language, will be deleted. Generosity and kindness is often rewarded with reciprocal behavior and help.

Here are the full set of Site Policies:
  1. Civility is paramount. Treat others with respect, kindness and generosity. Some of our most expert members are people who were once total n00bz but were helped and encouraged by others, and are now repaying the favor with the next generation. Remember the Golden Rule. Don't be a jerk to anyone, be they other members, moderators or the owners. This is not a public park, and you have no constitutionally-mandated right to free speech. If you're creating a hostile or unpleasant environment, you'll be warned, then if it continues you'll be suspended.
  2. No discussion of politics or religion. This is not the place to discuss your views on the wisdom of military use of UAVs, any nation's foreign policy, your feelings about war, or anything else that is inclined to turn into a political debate. It is our experience that the rules for good dinner party conversation--no discussion of politics and religion--apply to online communities, too. DIY Drones aims to bring people together, and we find that discussions of politics and religion tend to polarize and drive people apart. There are plenty of other places to discuss those topics online, just not here.
  3. Ask questions in the discussion forum; inform others in blog posts. Submitted blog posts that are just questions and should have been posted in the discussion forum will not be approved. The moderators may or may not message you with the text so you can repost in the right area. To avoid losing your post, put it in the right place from the start.
  4. Blog posts are for informative topics of broad interest to the community. They must start with a picture or video, so the image appears on the front page on the site and gives a sense of the topic as well as inviting people to click in for more. Videos should be embedded (paste the embed code in the HTML tab, not the Rich Text tab). The post should also include links where appropriate. Don't make people do a Google search for what you're talking about if you can provide a link. 
  5. The Discussion Forum is for questions and tech support. We prefer to do all tech support in public, so that others can follow along. If you have a problem, please describe your particular system setup completely, ideally with a photograph, and pick the right forum tags so that others can find the thread later.
  6. No discussion of military or weaponized applications of UAVs. This site is just about amateur and civilian use.
  7. No discussion of illegal or harmful use of UAVs will be tolerated. Responsible use of UAVs is at the core of our mission. That means conforming with all laws in the United States, where this site is based, and insisting that our members elsewhere follow the laws of their own countries. In addition, we feel that part of our responsibility it to help the relevant authorities understand what's possible with amateur UAVs, so they can make better-informed policies and laws. So we have encouraged all relevant regulators, defense agencies and law enforcement agencies to become members here and even participate to help them do that, and many have. In addition, if we see any discussion of UAV use that we feel is potentially illegal or intended to do harm, we will bring it to the attention to the relevant authorities, and will comply with any legal request they make for information about users (although we don't know much that isn't public; see the next item).
  8. Promote safe flying. Moderators may delete postings that they decide are unsafe or promote unsafe activity. This is a judgement call, since it is also healthy to have public discussion about why certain activities are unsafe, but the decision as to whether to leave a post or edit/delete it is at the moderators' discretion. 
  9. Your privacy is protected, up to a point: This is a social network, so everything you write and post here is public, with certain exceptions: 1) Your private messages are private. Administrators are unable to see them, nor can anyone else other than the recipient. Members must not make private messages public without the explicit permission of everyone involved. 2) Your IP address is private. We are hosted on Ning, which controls the server logs. DIY Drones administrators can only see your username and email address; they cannot see your password and do not have access to your account.
  10. Do not publish personal emails or PMs without permission. This is a violation of expected confidentiality (that's why they're called "personal messages") and is grounds for banning.
  11. Do not type in ALL CAPS. It's considered SHOUTING. Posts in all caps will be deleted by the moderators.
  12. Absolutely no personal attacks. It's fine to disagree, but never okay to criticize another member personally.
  13. Share. Although we are not limited to open source projects, the ones that tend to get the most participation tend to be open source. Don't wait until your code or design is "finished"--post it as it is, and you may find that others will help you finish it faster. The best way to contribute is with your creativity--we love data, code, aircraft designs, photos of UAV projects, videos of flights and build logs. Post early and often!
  14. Keep comments open: Authors of blog posts and discussion threads technically have the option to close their comments or approve them before they appear, but we ask members not to do that. We want to encourage a free flow of conversation and blocking or delaying comments only interferes with that. The Moderators are standing by to ensure the conversation remains on-topic and civil, so please leave your comments open and let them do their job.