Since it has snowed 37 out of the last 48 days here, I am thinking of putting my APM in a RC sled that I made. I think the biggest issue would be getting it to ignore altitude. The only controls would be throttle and rudder. Does anyone have any experience/advice? (besides stay indoors and wait for summer) Thanks.
go back in the program library and find ArduPilot1.0.zip i believe it will suffice for your application
Ok, so how'd it go?? That has got to be the coolest sled I have ever seen, and might even work ok on water. I have a fanboat and ROV candidate, and am dying to know more about ground operations.
Well, I am hoping to test it with autopilot this week. I have had some delays, GPS issues, weather, robotics team, etc. I have tried it manually on water, snow, ice, grass, tile, carpet, asphalt, cement, and short jaunts in the air, and it seems to work pretty well. I will post what I learn in a few days, and I hope you do the same. And thanks for the compliment Tim.
Here is a short low-lights video a "friend" put together, this is before the APM, I will be much more careful with that installed. It needed a fair amount of work afterward. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk1Zw8EHycI
I tested the "ardu-sled" today, here is my report. First off Airtronics receivers use channel 1 for elevator and 2 for ailerons, which is odd. So I had to cross over the wires for channels 1 and 2 between the APM and the receiver. I have the sled rudder servo connected to APM output channel 1, and the ESC connected to APM output channel 3.
During my pre-cruise static testing the rudders responded to roll instead of yaw like I was hoping. But I went ahead with some cruise testing anyway. My waypoints are all set for 100' AGL. Surprisingly it seemed to navigate around 2 of the waypoints but then take off for parts unknown. It did this a couple of times but I always had to switch back to manual to avoid running into something.
After a while I went back to the car to get a fresh battery, I left the sled on the near side of the large field and walked a couple hundred feet up a mild hill and behind some trees to the car. I brought the transmitter with me. When I came back the sled was gone, then I saw it parked on the far side of the field. This was a really weird feeling, the only thing I can think of that makes any sense is that maybe the APM lost the transmitter signal for a bit and tried to go home.