PX4/Pixhawk Flight Core Controlling FireFLY6 VTOL

Hi,

I recently discovered a post on RCG here back in May 2015 from a new member about using a single Pixhawk for VTOL control on the BirdsEyeView FireFLY6. It lead to the PX4 page below describing some development firmware for the Pixhawk. Does anyone know if there have been updates to this development or how to obtain the firmware for testing?

VTOL Firmware for Pixhawk

PX4 Page to BirdsEyeView FireFly

Thanks.

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  • Of course we have! Just yesterday :)

  • Hallo Andreas, thanks a lot for your efforts and for sharing. Just a question, as any of you devs actually flown this new firmware on a firefly6 ?

  • Hey guys

    I accidentally stepped over this discussion and just wanted to let you know that we've added a new tiltrotor configuration to PX4 a few days ago (for the E-flite Convergence):

    http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/e-flite-convergence-with-px4

    This update also improved the Firefly6 handling and is now available in the developer build (this is bleeding edge code so be ready for anything ;)).

    Have fun!

  • Thank you Greg for your help.

    Greg Covey said:

    Nada,

    After looking at your image, I would choose to treat the frame as either a quad or a tri, not a hexacopter. If using a quadcopter or tricopter setup, the front left two motors are treated as one in parallel as are the front right two motors. The rear motors would be left and right for a quad or treated as two in parallel for a tri.

    Break the problem into basic steps as follows:

    1. Vertical Takeoff and hover - Test vertical lift to verify thrust/weight level (correct motor/prop choice)
    2. Normal flight with normal gear or belly landing (fly it like a normal plane)
    3. Transition from take-off to flight
    4. Transition from flight to landing

  • Nada,

    After looking at your image, I would choose to treat the frame as either a quad or a tri, not a hexacopter. If using a quadcopter or tricopter setup, the front left two motors are treated as one in parallel as are the front right two motors. The rear motors would be left and right for a quad or treated as two in parallel for a tri.

    Break the problem into basic steps as follows:

    1. Vertical Takeoff and hover - Test vertical lift to verify thrust/weight level (correct motor/prop choice)
    2. Normal flight with normal gear or belly landing (fly it like a normal plane)
    3. Transition from take-off to flight
    4. Transition from flight to landing

  • Hi Greg

    Happy New Year. Please, can you find the attached image for my drone. I want to start with hexacopter mode and do the transition to fixed wing mode. I will use PX4 and qgroundcontrol. Please , can you help me in this.


    Nada said:



    Nada said:

    Hi Greg

    Thank you for your reply. I will let you know what will happen to me. Thanks again 

    Greg Covey said:

    Hi Nada,

    If you use the APM stack with APM: Plane v3.6.0 release firmware then you can utilize the QuadPlane features that you desire. Here are a few links to get you started. You will see my QuadPlane projects for Bix3 and Ranger EX in the forum link below. At this time, folks are having QuadPlane difficulties using APM Plane v3.7.0 so please start with v3.6.0.

    APM Wiki - QuadPlane Support

    ArduPilot Discussion Forum - APM Plane v3.6.0

    hexacopter.jpg

  • I usually stay in Alt. Hold mode when transitioning from Forward Flight to Hover mode because it is easier to move the FF6 around than it is in Loiter mode. Remember that in Alt. hold mode, the wind will push the FF6 backwards so you need to compensate with the right stick forward.

    Here is my latest example from yesterday using the new v1.2 firmware.

    On the first flight of the new year, I tested the new v1.2 firmware installed on my FireFLY6. It worked great on my manual fun flight down the street at the park. I tested Stabilize, Alt. Hold, and Loiter modes along with the very cool Smart Wind Assist feature. The wind was 10-15mph.

    I hadn't realized that my Z1 Tiny 2 gimbal frame was bent so that the vibration dampeners were squished so the GoPro Hero3 camera went nuts during the flight. It was an easy fix for next time.

    FireFLY6 Manual Fun Flight from Gregory Covey on Vimeo.

  • I do not believe that we were in loiter mode during these flights this past week, when I got back to office on Tuesday I will attach some more log files from that initial flight on the 13th of Dec where it crashed. This is what happen on the initial crash that got snow on the electronics and is the reason we had to replace some stuff.

    "

    Took off in althold mode and hovered for a spell. Switched to loiter to see how it held position as per email with BEV. Did great. Transition and flew in alt hold I think. Pretty sure because loiter would have spun circles. Came back to land from down wind to the LZ. Transition to hover and a quick switch to loiter. Started to use roll/pitch to get it back to landing pad. Started to flutter. Figured it would self-correct as it had before. Flipped to althold and then panic move had me flip the transition switch instead of forward on the right stick so the transition axle would correct. Lost sight behind a rig and it piled in. Reason we went to loiter was to 'fix' the slight aft drift we get in althold. I wanted it to stay on an XY coordinate. I think the aft drift might be because we turn it on when it's on its landing gear and the gyros calibrate to that angle. Then it flies, thinking it's level but it's actually tilted back."
  • I took a look at the larger 1.2mb log file. The number of GPS satellites degraded during the flight which could suggest a noise issue from the electronics. The mode and throttle plot suggests that you were using Loiter mode in both Hover and Forward flight modes. This is a no-no! Use Alt. Hold mode. Lastly, the GPS speed plot suggests a possible stall...again from using Loiter mode. Let me know if you were not using Loiter mode during the flight.

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    3702339489?profile=original

    3702339424?profile=original

  • Matthew,

    Each waypoint should have an associated altitude that you can set. Perhaps this would reduce the quantity of waypoints.

    The "PreArm: Compasses Inconsistent" can be an issue. Some folks have solved it by cleaning up the power wire runs to the ESCs on the back of the FireFLY6. On a normal APM setup, I only use the one external compass on my M8N module, never multiple compasses. On the FireFLY6, I don't think you can disable the On-board Pixhawk compass so I use ARMING_CHECK,-5 to disable the compass checking. I have never had a flight issue.

    Can you describe more detail on your setup during the "transition but began to dip its wings back and forth side to side until it impacted the ground" period. What mode were you in during the transition? Alt. Hold, Loiter, AUTO?

    I will look at your .bin logs to see if I can spot anything...

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