The timing of this is poor, but I figured people might want to try an alternative to the quickly developing Andropilot.  I'd like to release what I have been working on, just to get feedback and bug reports.

The development of Copter-GCS stalled quite some time ago, but I recently picked up the source and started fixing bugs and adding features.  The app still has some quirks, and the UI is pretty terrible, but the function is there:

It includes:

-A full Heads Up Display

-Mission planning, with all commands and parameters available

-Follow-Me with offset mode, Guided Mode flight

-a Command Line terminal

-built for Android 2.2 and up

-full parameter editing

-works for Arduplane and Arducopter

-text to speach announces mode changes and waypoints reached


The included mission planner needs some instructions for use. All possible options are available, so it may be a bit dangerous if you don't use them correctly.


-to set a waypoint, long press in the map view, or use the "add waypoint" button in the list view menu.

-waypoint 0 is the uav's home location. It is important to keep the elevation frame as "Mav_frame_global" this means you are using actual ground elevation

-this app will automatically set the ground elevation (from Google's API) which is why it may pause for a few seconds when the first waypoint is added.

-when you add additional waypoints, the default frame is "mav_frame_global_relative_alt", which is an altitude relative to the home elevation, which is 75 meters by default.

-you can add as many waypoints as you like, then go to the list view to edit them, change then to do_jump or whatever, add in the parameters, etc. Then go back to the map and Save to UAV. I would suggest after you get confirmation, you Load from UAV to check that everyhting is correct

-All mission commands available to Mavlink have been included in this app, but there are some options that have not been implemented by Ardupilot or Arducopter.  Not all waypoint types will work, for example, DO_SET_RELAY doesn't work for APM2 UAVs.










The app connects to your telemetry with a bluetooth to XBee/3DR radio bridge:

APM<-->XBee/3DR<------------------------->XBee/3DR<-->Bluetooth<----------->Android Phone/Tablet

The bridge consists of an XBee or 3DR radio, and a Bluetooth radio, connected by serial port. There are expensive solutions for this, but I have made a inexpensive bluetooth module that includes a power regulator, a bluetooth radio, and a plug for my xbee.  If anyone is interested, I can detail the build process, and/or offer a hardware kit (with the smd bluetooth chip already soldered). The good thing about this set up, as opposed to a usb link to the radio, is (obviously) it is wire-free, and it is possible to have a stationary antenna, and even add in antenna tracking, and it is easily switched to link with a bluetooth enabled laptop..

According to [Pieter], this [DealExtreme Link] ($8.20 w/ free shipping to USA) works almost out of the box.  Set it to 57000 baud by connecting it to your computer with an FDTI cable, RX to TX, TX to RX, power and ground.  Open your serial terminal (I use RealTerm) with 9600 baud. Make sure LED on module is blinking (DON'T pair it with anything yet) Type in transmit field AT+BAUD7 and hit send (UPPER case letters or it wont work). You should get a OK response indicating that it worked.  You'll have to power cycle the bluetooth before the change takes effect.  Then pair with your phone.

Connect to a XBee adapter like this:

Another connection option is to connect the bluetooth directly to the APM telemetry port.  Remember the bluetooth range is short, so you won't be able to control it in the air, but you can set missions and tune param while on the ground.  Instructions from Ioan:

Cheap Bluetooth serial module (CBSM):

CBSM VCC -> APM Telemetry VCC

CBSM GND -> APM Telemetry GND

CBSM TX -> APM Telemetry RX

CBSM RX -> APM Telemetry TX

and then the phone connects directly to the APM's bluetooth adapter: 

Phone <----> APM + Bluetooth

If anyone wants to test, please remember that it is still BETA software, so there are certainly bugs.  


Also, feel free to make suggestions and feature requests....

This community has been very helpful and supportive, so I feel bad requesting donations, but I have put lots of time into this application, and I'm sure Bart has as well.  If you want to buy me a beer (or a PX4), you can donate whatever you like here: PAYPAL




























































Confirmed Bugs:
-crashes without internet connection

-flight modes on arducopter do not show correctly

-auto rotation while in MAV_CMD list crashes app


Feature Suggestions:
-connect to xbee/3dr/APM2 over usb

-keep screen on (added)


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I don't know what you are referring to, but I have no problems controlling my Arduplane while its flying, using a bluetooth-xbee bridge.  

If you are talking about a direct connection to the uav over bluetooth, then I agree... its not worth the effort for the limited range.


Blue tooth to xbee bridges are not common place, I have one as well and I also have the xbee bluetooth module direct fit. I am talking about direct connection especially for distance farther then bluetooth allows, which is quite restrictive as bluetooth is really only designed for short distance connections, even with a bridge it is kind of a hack and not very reliable. 915mhz, 433mhz, 2.4ghz, 5.8ghz are all much more resilient and reliable to manage APM full time while in flight and in my opinion a lot safer and better proven.

Yes, PID tuning is exactly the scenario I had in mind with my post.

I've been waiting for someone to mention this, so I can debug an arducopter. I use arduplane, and I've been resisting putting the arducopter firmware on it.

Do you mind helping me test? Ill pm you a link to a apk.

By the way, how does the "easy mode" get set? Do you use ch8 for all of these mode changes? I can't find MAVLINK info about this.
I'm running arduplane mostly myself... But if there is something I can help with, please let me know.

Works GREAT on Pipo S2 8" android 4.1.1


How is this working??? I have a Pipo S2 8" tablet with a Kensington usb bluetooth device.3dr radip hooked up to a bluetooth serial board. Works great...I understand this.

I pulled out the Kensington BT device from the Pipo S2 and I am STILL RECEIVING DATA and HEARTBEAT !! How so ??

The Pipo S2 does not have a BT device that I know of. Is it somehow using the 2.4ghz wireless built in? How so?

Here is screenshot with BT device removed.

BTW it is current data not some buffered data!



Actually, it looks like you have Bluetooth baked in to your tablet. You would not have BT icon on the status bar otherwise. Try connecting without the USB adapter. By the way, when I am paired with my BT serial device, the icon does not show as I am paired.

Yup, ture enough without the BT adapter I turned on the Pipo S2 tonight and sure enough it connected. BT must be built in even if the specs say no!


Hi seth,

whats about to add UDP (server/client) for pass through data (e.g. Mission Planer and/or andropilot) or a second GCS for a trainer setup?

best c.

Hi, just got this working and it looks great, good job. Suggestions for further development would include adding landscape rotate to all the screens, I'd look to mount my android device into a GCS case and the landscape orientation has some of the more useful views (hud, sensor graphs and gps location and waypoint map for example). I'd prefer to leave the device mounted rather than keep having to turn it between functions.

Keep up the good work, well worth a donation.

Thanks Harry, great suggestion.  I have my android attached to my TX in the portrait orientation, but I don't usually use the HUD, mostly the Mission Planner screen.  

I'll work on getting all screens working in both orientations.

Thanks for the donation, too!!!

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