Does anyone have any idea if you will be able to use the 3DR Solo for mapping/survey applications like the X8-M? I know they both use the Pixhawk. Is this just a matter of connecting it to a 3DR radio and sending it waypoints through APM Planner or is there a firmware/software limitation?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Great question! I would like to know also.

Have been thinking this myself. They say it works with Mission Planner so I don't see why not. With flight time of 20 min with camera and gimbal that should be good for 100 plus acres. With a less heavy camera mount than the stock gimbal maybe longer. This would be a very attractive option vrs my custom built rigs that take time to get sorted out and flying correctly.

It's compatible with Mission Planner. My question is how to trigger a Cannon camera from the Pixhawk?  I know there are plenty of threads/videos on making a cable for this function.  Will it work the same with Pixhawk2?  I suppose this might be answerable once more people get their hands on a SOLO?

I emailed and asked 3DR about Mission Planner. Their reply: NOT compatible and not supported and there is no waypoint functionality in the Solo app as in Mission Planner. That makes Solo, in my mind, just another (albeit sophisticated) flying GoPro. Too bad, I thought it had real potential as a mapping tool.

It fully works with Tower, which supports survey grid style autonomous missions.

There are already several people using Solo successfully for mapping and there are recent examples in blogs on this site.

RPM: Thanks for the feedback. I personally don't use Tower any more. Too many issues. It is also lacking in sophistication compared to Mission Planner. That said, 3DR's "official" stand is that neither Tower or Mission Planner are supported for Solo. I also asked them if the GoPro can be triggered by distance on the Solo and they answered "no". (I have a modified GoPro for mapping and looked seriously at the Solo). Has anyone done that successfully with the Solo/GoPro? If yes, I will look at the Solo again (and ignore 3DR's "official" answers).

Hopefully it won't be long before tower is all sorted out and the same solo app GoPro triggering can be incorporated, fingers crossed!

Eventually there will be Pix4D compatibility.

I'm not sure if 3DR will confirm this (as they are currently selling both a fixed wing and quad mapping drone).

However, on the phone with a Pix4D rep and they told me that there are plans for direct support for the 3DR solo in the future; after they release compatability with the DJI Inspire. (Which is the reason I'm purchasing a 3DR Solo).

Check out mapir products. They're doing it. we sell their products in our store which consists of modified GoPro type of cameras and racks. they're using interval to trigger the system vs Waypoint triggering and the power app.

Thanks Ebriri!

I've actually have gone a completely different route. I quickly realized that the Solo does not offer a commercially viable solution for commercial mapping for several reasons including: no redundancy (systems/propulsion), the GoPro with a fisheye lens has too much peripheral distortion to be able to accurately map, the wind tolerances are too low to be able to have a reliable operational window, etc... 

It is unfortunate that 3DR set aside their commercial division to pursue a consumer focus. IMHO, providing an SDK to allow people to adapt a consumer product for commercial use has no long term viability in my mind.

Since I'm trying to build a legitimate business (safe, legal, and insured) I can't rely on a consumer toy to stand up to commercial demands. (The same reason why you won't find a Black & Decker anything in a professional carpenter's toolbox.) I think 3DR made a big mistake putting all of their eggs in one basket and going after the DJI Phantom market. But I guess time will tell.

Sorry for the rant. I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my post.

I hear you Peter. I'm coming to the same conclusion and will be adding another bird real quick. What platform have you gone to? Why?. I'm so close to buying another solo to add a Qx1 w 2 ax gimbal. The solo would be nice for the purpose of having a replacment/spare ready to go in less then 24hr. My goal on this new bird is to 3d model. I see plenty of 10k$+ mapping packages but the Solo is so close and the 9k is yet justified.. PM if you'd like.

I'm not against building or tweaking but hate getting hung up for hours on the little stuff. 

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