Need help with AP choice.

Hey Guys.

Right now, I have an airframe (ez*) and would like to make the investment into building a UAV platform.  I have plenty of experience with arduinos and AVRs so feel comfortable about this. I know that I should be heading towards an IMU based solution, so I'm keen to make the investement in the right hardware. Although I’ve spent hours and hours reading everything I can find, I still don’t definitively know if I should go ahread and buy an ardupilot + arduIMU, or wait for something new that combines the two. 

I don’t think I’ll want or need ardupilot Mega, but I can’t tell if there is some new hardware coming that allows for entry level access to an IMU based autopilot, or if it's just a firmware solutiuon that allows greater connectin between the ardupilot and arduIMU boards..  I know people are working towards these goals, but I can’t work out if it’s a new hardware component (I should wait) or new firmware for the existing boards (I can go ahead and buy).  It would be great if there was a development roadmap that showed where we were in the hardware and software life cycle, and what was coming next.

cheers
Jim




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Replies

  • 3D Robotics
    Jim,

    Good question. Right now we're leaning towards both offering a cheap hardware solution to use the existing ArduPilot board and ArduIMU with Doug Weibel's 2.5.1 code (which will be 2.6 when we release it). So if you want to get started now, that's a pretty safe combo. This will both offer a migration path for current users and a smaller, cheaper alternative to ArduPilot Mega for people who don't need all the bells and whistles of the bigger AP.

    We're right in the middle of a platform transition from the thermopile era to the IMU era, so it's a little messy at the moment, but by they end of March we should be able to announce product release dates and pricing. In general I'm not in favor of publishing roadmaps for hardware, since it basically freezes the market while people wait for the Next Big Thing, which is always a few months off. It can kill a project, mortgaging the present for the future and often preventing that future from happening at all (this is not as big a problem for software, which doesn't have the same production pipeline and inventory issues).
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