I've been away from the Arducopter community for around 2 years now. I never got the early APM1.x to work stable, so I've been using other FC's the last couple of years.
Do you think the newest Arducopter is a stable/solid solution now? Is it advisable to trust it for professional use with expensive equipment and cameras, or does it still have "bugs"? I will, of course, test the system extensively, but I would like your opinion before getting involved again.
Having had an "Naza experience" and since moved over to the APM 2.6, I am quite happy with the transition. I believe that you can trust the APM more so then the Naza as you are able to log, troubleshoot and discover problems through the software which isn't possible on a Naza. Of course, one should make sure there is no problems with their copter before they throw all of the expensive equipment on it...
If you can wait for the PX4 "Pixhawk" - I would... if not then the 2.6 is more then enough hardware.
I'm fairly new to APM (10 flights or so under my belt) so if you need any help shoot me a PM and I'll see what I can do.
(Euan - I am a DJI "Flip of Death" victim - F550, all arms, two motors and an ESC)
All crashes I have read about so far can be traced to user/setup error. Is there any unexplained "glitches" I should know about?
Anyhow don't forget to report back your crashes here: http://flyawayclub.com/
I think all manufacturers have flyaways on some level.. There are APM's that have flown away but so is DJI systems. Is it acceptable no but things sometimes happens. Naturally all our developers tries their best to avoid problems and in past 1 year development has taken huge steps.
If you don't want "fly-aways", don't fly (bad joke but true) :)
Failure during setup/training is almost acceptable, failure during missions near public is not. So I always test new crafts extensively before putting them to work. And I stick to using the functions that has been tested. The only function I really need is Loiter and failsafe RTL. I would think that avoiding waypoint missions and other advanced functions decreases the risk of something going wrong?
Kristian, have you had any flyaway or other FC issues with WKM ?
What do you think about recent naza flyaways ?
How do paparazzi release stable versions? I think this would be a good idea for newbies as well as those who want to buy an expensive airframe or put expensive camera's on their airframe.
If newbies use only stable versions then ardupilot won't get such a bad rap.
Did you had more then 100 flights or less.. ?
In overall I would say that APM hardware and software is getting it's mature state already so it is safe to use it. Sure just like all other flightcontrollers there can be minor glitches with rare combinations but if we think that there are already over 40.000 APM's around the world. We are developers would see/know rather fast if there are something wrong with the systems and currently there are no any major issues open. Let's say if we have seen 80 people to complain about weird things, it's still 0.002% of overall users. And for those you never know are they use our special made frames/motors or something that are fully home brew.
Me as a head of jDrones, we have had only few incidents in past years with our ready made systems and most of those have also been just user errors. Errors like in wrong PID settings etc. Yes there has been also few real hardware failures, when we have seen those we always replace hardware on these rare cases.
So summasummarum.. I would say that APM is mature enough to trust.
Far more than 100 flights. I only use basic functions. Loiter/position hold, and a few times IOC.
Thank you for your reply. I think you are spot on, there are so many variables and so easy to blame the FC when something goes wrong. Looking forward to test APM again, will report back with results.