Copter reliability vs functionality

This is a discussion related to the Copter development priority debate that popped on the Copter-3.3 beta testing thread.  A quick categorization of the things we work on in each release include:

  • bug fixes (i.e. fixes to existing features that have a defect)
  • safety features (i.e. new features that improve reliability)
  • other new features (i.e. non safety features like landing gear)

The basic question might be, "are we spending too much time on new features, time that should instead be spent on bug fixes or safety features?".  Let the debate continue!

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  • I would really like to dig into this issue of reliability and would certainly appreciate more attention to bug fixes.  Is there a place I can go to see where all the reported bugs are?  

    • Developer


      All confirmed bugs and requested enhancements are in the issue list here.

      ArduPlane, ArduCopter, ArduRover source. Contribute to ArduPilot/ardupilot development by creating an account on GitHub.
  • Developer

    On topic...

  • + for me too.

    Greets from Holland

  • Yes, I am also impressed with this awesome project and the very smart people working on that!!. This is a huge and nice project.  I am only mentioning some topics that could be improved or could help to improve the flying and building experience.  I have been also following some of the topics and I have learned a lot (A LOT!).  I would like to have some more time to learn more and why not to help.  For example, I think 3DR understood that things easier influence realiability; I said that because of the newest SOLO control.  That control looks much more friendly.  I now and understand, maybe some  external hardware (such a radio control) is not a concern of APM developers.



    • this project is fabulous!

      there are some things to fix to be perfect or to be improve!

      one thing is that dev team should stop to add new features and fix all small little problem like bad compass(yes it s done with 3.3) or start problem

      i think we have already everything and a lot more than we need with this plateform..with gps improvement technology we will have more solid system!

      wiki is already well made but yes it could be improve a bit(so pitty there are no french translation)

      • Wiki Ninja

        > Wiki is already well made but yes it could be improve a bit(so pitty there are no french translation)

        Would you like to add a French translation? The instructions on how we do translation are here. (note, there was just an update to our service, so translations not displaying right. I have reported the issue).

  • Santiago, I'm following this forum from aprox four years, at the begining it's look like advance chinese for me (spanish native language, and 0 electronic knowledge) , and think "this not for me"  the following year I bougth my first APM 2 and with help I assemble my first plane, the following year I can assemble my first cuad following the instructions that, in few years changed a lot, at the begining, if you didn't follow the forums you didn't learn nothing and it wasn't easy to follow for a newbie or to find help, I'm shure that are a lot to be better but I'm impressive how this proyect developed in only few years :O

  • Hello people, first of all I congratulate developers for their great work.  I considere myself a begineer in this hobby (for me it is still a hobby).  Recently, I was finally able to get my pixhawk based quadcopter flying, so for me it is a great step.  It took me a lot of time and pain (many mistakes, miss understanding, etc).  From my research (looking in internet how people solve similar problems) in this long time, I think that many of the failures and problems with this (and other) plataforms are due the lack of understanding/knowledge about some topics related to Arducopter itself and arducopter integration with other hardware components.  Many people blame APM, but I think many of reliability problems are not due APM itself but in the lack of understanding of the plataform (configuration, calibration, integration).

    Due to my electrical engineer degree (non eletronic but electrical energy), I am able to understand how the thinks related to the quadcopter work.  The problem is with some problematic components (Radio Transmitter and ESC) configuration and its integration with pixhawk (the software part). 

    Even when there are a lot of improvements, but the information is still confusing.  There is no a descent tutorial (on the web) about how the Radio Control can be configured (for example for pixhawk).  There are no good tutorials on the web explaning how the RC and its many functions can be configured.  Also, when you are going to use the flight modes functions, some of them are still unclear and complicated for me.

    Said that, I think there are some things that can improve a lot the reliability of the flying experience (and the APM plataform)

    - Make the things easier (more and organised information; and more friendly software).

    - Safety functions

    - Bugs

    Best regards,


    • MR60

      +1 I like your fresh external perspective of someone just starting in this domain. I like it because you underline very well that if we want to improve we have to consider the WHOLE system which comprises not only the software, but also its hardware and the documentation/information on how to correctly use it.

      So for example, let's assume we'd have a perfect hardware and software without bugs anymore, then we would still see crashes and flyaways. Why ? Because the system is extremely complex in its parameters and pre-required knowledge to make it work correctly.

      So there are only two ways out (or a combination of both) : either make the overall system simpler, either improve user's education. Therefore, some concrete proposals :  better documentation, structured, step-by-step pages rather than literally a web of pages linking each other in a big confusion.

       + parameters interpretation in the software that would rule out bad configurations : for example from the simplest case of parameters range verification to the more complex case of cross parameters & intelligent interpretation (to exclude wrong combinations for ex). If this is not possible (I can already hear some dev say that), then it means the system is too complex and must be simplified. Simplification will come from reduction to the essential, replacement of complex code by newer technology avoiding complex processing, etc...

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