Discussion forum for UAVDevBoard, Sparkfun's 3-axis IMU-based autopilot board

This is the place to discuss the new open source IMU-based autopilot board by Bill Premerlani.

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Sorry, I don't think you will be able to use the UAV development board for what you have in mind. The only spare input pins that it has are an extra USART and a few digital I/Os. The board is intended as a complete, standalone hardware system. What you really need is a board with several spare analog to digital inputs. You might take a look at Chris Anderson's ArduPilot, perhaps it will do what you have in mind.

You've certainly given me some ideas for the next revision of the UAV development board, but that will not be coming out for a while.

best regards,
By the way, the direction cosine matrix algorithm is accurate enough to estimate the angle of attack from gyro, accelerometer, and GPS, to within about a degree, without any additional sensors. I will be explaining how to do that in a future discussion.
HI..Bill . .. I am impressed.You are the first person to develop open source IMU based autopilot. THere are many on thermopiles.. but I was searching the same since long. I am not a programming Wiz.. Can I buy the same and use it on my battery powered glider with Aileron ? I can see there is a tested code for rudder and elevator config...Please let me know if there is code with aileron stabilization also..

Thank you. I am working on the aileron stabilization version right now, I am proceeding in small steps. The central concept is the direction cosine matrix, which I have been working on with Paul Bizard. Most of that is complete. There is a roll-pitch demo available. This weekend I am finishing a roll-pitch-yaw demo. After that, I am going to revise the GentleNav firmware to use the direction cosine matrix. Finally, I am going to produce tested code for an aileron configuration, which should be available in a couple of months.
best regards,
That's gr8 bill. SO if Ibuy one now, will I be able to upload the new codes later on? Is it simple or techie? I know basics like polarities and serial / usb connections.
I also see only 3 pwm i/o in the board. are those aileron , ele, rudder ? How do you activate autopilot return home...I mean enable ch. Do we have an option to even enable/ disable stablization too?
Freescale pressure sensors are available for about $12 (a fraction of the $40 suggested for the Honeywell models) (pressure sensors without the electronics can be had for $1)
If you buy a board now, you can upload new firmware later. I will make it as simple as I can.
There are 3 pwm outputs and 4 pwm inputs on the board. You can use the 4th input for anything you want. In the firmware that I develop, the 4th input is used as an enable channel. For example, in the GentleNav firmware, it selects among manual, stabilized, and return to launch, using the left stick. Trim tab to the left is manual. Trim tab to the right is stabilized. Stick to the full right is return to launch.
best regards,
Thanks Bill. I got it now.. I can use a three position switch of ch.5 ..on my Futaba 9 Cap ..correct..? Throttle is directly connected form Receiver to ESC...Aileron is also connected like throttle..Rudder and ele is through autopilot..ONce the GPS is locked , the AUtopilot will save home position and I can switch between manual , stabilized and back home mode.. Please correct me if I am wrong..
How about trims..will the autopilot memorize trims...?

Hi Bill
Great work this project has me hooked,
i have a few questions regarding more the GPS side of things
How do you program "way points" or a pre determined flight path and in what language
is that programming stored on the GPS module or on the main board

Your roll-pitch-yaw demo is absolutely excellent!! I was wondering if might be able to post a video showing the board moving in conjunction with the servo output? Do you have an estimate of when the paper discussing the theory and math will be available?

Thank you. The roll-pitch-yaw demo is impressive. Anyone who has my board should try it out.

In your comment about a video, you left out a pronoun. Were you asking for permission for you to post a video, or were you asking me if I was going to?

My project is totally open. Open hardware design, open source, open everything. Anyone has permission to do anything they want. So if you want to post a video, please be my guest. If you are asking me to post one, it might be a while until I get around to it, so if you want to do it instead, I would be very grateful.

I hope to have a paper written on the theory of operation available here in about a month.

My mistake, I certainly did leave out the pronoun. I meant to ask if you would be able to post a video of your board showing the roll-pitch-yaw demo. I would post a video myself but I don't have a board at the moment to work with. I think you mentioned you are planning to do a writeup of the theory and math you and Paul have developed. Are you still planning to do this? I would be very interested if you have it in your que.

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