Controlling drone with Matlab/simulink

Hey guys,

I’m doing my final year in aeronautical engineering

I have a project in mind(for my degree) and it involves controlling an rc with matlab/Simulink and also maybe use image processing(very basic level). The background is, this will be an individual project, I will not be working with a group and hence I have to do all the work.  So I want to keep it simple and impressive.

I’m relatively new to the world of rc aircrafts and I’ve ordered my first trainer to start flying J

Things which have been bothering me and I need help on:

*The setup*

What Rc aircraft would be ideal for the job?

Advice on the setup required would help a great deal.

How would I imbed the codes and what platform would I have to use?

For image processing, I want to implement a very basic system just to prove that an advanced version can be done.


*For controlling*

Using the Ardupilot line is a big advantage, but I fear that it might seem that I put in less effort since most of the functions are already programmed into it?(Is there any other way I could do this, since it is a project for my degree, I have to do some amount of work)

As I mentioned, I’m very new to this part of the woods, it would be great if you guys could point me towards the right stuff required for this feat. Your comments/advice/thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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  • Hi guys,

    What are the up-to-date quadrotor platforms that can be simulated on Matlab/Simulink and visualized on a real-world platforms such as Ardu Pilot or Dronecode?

    Even it will be easier if it is possible to generate the codes in Matlab for the drone?

    Any suggestions?

  • Hi guys 

    I would like to model on simulink an hexarotor. but i have some problems about the thrust factor b, drag factor d, and the rotor inertia x, y and  z. I don't know how to calculate theses variables. 

  • vectored thrust may not be of much help on a flying wing. differential drag has proven to be useful, like on the b-2.   reflexed foils are so compromised for lift, anyway, i don't know why they are so popular. 


    Check this out. May be of some help.



  • There's paparazzi, which is much more difficult to learn but more advanced and customizable.  According to many, most of the original code for ardupilot came from paparazzi.

    That's not a slam on anyone, but I've heard from several people that ArduPlane started as a windows version of paparazzi backported to 8-bit processors.

    As far as what aircraft to use...  Are you serious?  I don't think you'll survive your defense if you just slap an autopilot into some ARF kit.  It's really not that hard to buy some styrofoam wings ( maybe?) and carbon fiber tubes and slap them together into a plane.

    If that seems too hard to you just look at the pizza-box-flyers (PBFs).  People are literally flying square pieces of cardboard.

    Good luck!

  • Well, I'd start with the ArduPilot. If you try making your own autopilot then you'll be stuck for at least a year learning all the intricacies of it.

    If your going to try to do stuff via Simulink, you'll have to have a way of communicating between the craft and the PC. ArduPilot has a few things, but what your wanting to do requires a fair share of bandwidth. (I think your trying to do a hardware-in-the loop testing, yes?)

    Starting off, which craft do YOU want to tackle?

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