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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Hi Seth,

I've tried the app on my 7" tablet connecting directly to Arducopter via a cheap Bluetooth dongle. It works just great in the field as a perfect setup and tuning tool. For flying is more convenient to use MinimumOSD. I'm still figuring out how to use both of them together the same time.

Are you planning to publish the app on Google Play to distribute updates?



This is awesome. I'm using it on my galaxy tab 2 and its working great. But one feature suggestion I would have. Nowadays every smartphones and tabs have GPS, so Follow me feature would be cool. Like in the mission planner.

It actually already has a follow me (just go to the menu).  In fact it has a "lead-it" mode to if you go to settings and change min-max distance.  Just tilt your tablet and it will come towards/away from you - so you can 'paint' in the sky by turning and pointing.

Kevin is confused, he thinks he's giving support for his GCS.

Jouko, Android GCS has a Follow-Me mode. Its in the guided mode screen. Hit the menu button and enable follow mode. It will stay at the offset yu have when you enter the mode.

yep - sorry about that - wasn't paying enough attention to thread titles!

Seth and Pieter,

I want to get the JY-MCU Arduino Bluetooth Wireless Serial Post module from deal extreme but it will take sometime to arrive so want to get a similar product. Do you think HC-05 ( will perform the same as the recommended product? HC-05 does not have the pins but in the schematic it indicated where the TX RX 3.3v and GRD are located. Will hooking these to the right pins on the 3dr radio be sufficient or I need to do something else. Limited background on electronics so looking forward to your valuable advise/insight. Thanks.

Roger, it looks like the same chip, so it should work the same. If you need help hooking it up, let me know.


I'll get it then. One more question, the arducopter will send telemetry to the ground using the air module and will be received by the ground module and then the signal will be transmitted by bluetooth to the android and to your application. Where do I solder the TX RX + and - of the bluetooth (HC-05) to the 3dr ground module (shown below). Do you have a diagram I can use as a guide? Thanks.

Im sure it can be done, but the "air" module has the serial rx and TX broken out and labeled, while the "ground" module does not, since it is meant to attach to USB.

I don't have a way to view the schematic of the board right now to see the best location, but I can later if you like.

HC-05 works fine. I'm using it with ArduCopter + Galaxy Tab 7" with a very simple interface to translate voltage levels (a diode and a resistor) on input.


I took the liberty of pulling the schematic and put it together with the image I sent before. If you can help out in figuring out where's the best location to solder the RX TX - and + of the bluetooth module, that will be great.



Thanks for the information. Can you provide me a schematic of how you specifically connected the 3dr ground module to the HC-05. I've posted a question to Seth but the more information I get the better. Looking at the image below, is the soldering as easy as matching specific points on HC-05 to the 3dr ground module? Where do I place diode and resistor (and what's the corresponding specs)? Also how do I power the entire thing? Will providing 5v power to the usb connector of the 3dr power up the whole thing? As I've said before very limited electronics background so your indulgence is appreciated, thanks.

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