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Introduction to Andropilot

Andropilot is an open source android based ground control system (GCS).  

Before posting questions in this group, please check the excellent wiki manual maintained Peter Meister.  If you find missing bits in the manual, please ask here and then update the wiki based on what you learn.  Together we will keep this manual complete and up-to-date.

For most users the required hardware is:

  • An Android phone or tablet (preferably tablet) with USB 'host mode' support.  Most newer devices have this but you should check (and then update) our compatibility list.
  • Operating system 4.0 or later (all supported versions of android should be equivalent now, except for direct connection of APMs.  Direct APM connection will be slow for androids before version 4.2)
  • A USB host mode adapter.  Probably something like this.
  • A supported autopilot (please update this wiki page as you test new devices)
  • A telemetry link (the 3dr 915/400MHz radios are recommended - they seem to work better than the xbee radios for this application)

Feature list:

  • Super clean user interface
  • Rock solid
  • GamePad support - you can use this for basic vehicle control, with no need for a RC transmitter/receiver.
  • Built in touchscreen joystick overlay with haptic feedback.
  • Direct control & monitoring of ArduPlane/Copter with no PC required. Just a $5 USB adapter cable and your Android tablet or phone (Android 3.1 or later). No rooting or hardware mods required.
  • Bluetooth to serial adapter support - useful for phones that don't support USB host mode.
  • Warnings about high levels of solar radiation (GPS outage inducing)
  • Map view
  • Parameter editing (with parameter documentation)
  • Waypoint editing (including setting waypoint type/parameters etc...)
  • Shares your flights via www.droneshare.com (G+, Facebook, Google Earth).
  • Follow-me mode to have the vehicle follow you
  • Lead-it mode to steer/move vehicle by turning your body and tilting the tablet
  • Vehicle mode display & control (AUTO, STABILIZE, etc...)
  • Speech output (for mode, altitude and battery alerts)
  • Capture tlog files to sdcard
  • Direct connect to USB on the APM
  • RC channel 'raw' view
  • 3DR telemetry module support
  • Warnings for low battery, low rssi, or low GPS sat count
  • Fully android 'native' (Scala backend talks directly to the USB device and renders the frontend)
  • UDP link (either as a client or a server)
  • TCP link (as a client)
  • Special support for the Archos GamePad
  • Monitor your vehicle through an optional Pebble smart watch.

Current release You can download from the Google play store.  

(See the discussions below for particular releases - releases are just too frequent to keep updating this header text)

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  • I see the requirement for USB host mode adapter...but not following WHY this is needed, other than perhaps to connect tablet with the MC to upload data, like a flight plan?  Is this why it is needed?

  • Developer

    Hi Jim, do you mind moving this to a discussion thread (it will be easier to manage).

  • I'm just using the plain 3DR  915 Mhz radio set.


    I live in the country and there is absolutely no interference around.  I normally fly in the middle of a large field and stand about 20 feet from my Hex when it's connecting to my Galaxy Note II smart phone.   The progress bar moves in little steps with fairly long pauses in between.

  • Developer

    Hi Jim,

    Alas - it is really not possible to have a 'safe' GCS without downloading the params (they are used for things like setting joystick directions for the on screen joysticks, drawing the geofence, checking battery warning thresholds etc).  

    Btw - it shouldn't take 2-3 minutes to download params though.  What brand of radio are you using (and manufacturer)?

  • Is there a way to stop the parameter download at startup?

    I never adjust parameters in the field.  The latest version of Andropilot downloads the entire parameter list every time I connect.  It only takes 2 or 3 minutes, but that seems like forever when I just want to get off the ground :) 

    Is there a setting to disable this?  If not, can such a setting be implemented?

  • Developer

    Hi Gabor,

    I'm not exactly sure what you are asking for?  Could you elaborate a bit in a new discussion thread?  Click on 'add a discussion'...

  • Developer

    Hi Antonio, can you start a new discussion and attach the waypoint file to the post?  Something sounds strange.

  • Hi Kevin.

    Can't recognize way-point files generated in MP and saved as .txt file.

  • Hi Kevin,

    Thank you very much for this tool!

    I only have a BT module without any telemetry radio, but i use it a lot to plan flights, check and tune settings, etc on the ground. (Later i might connect a BT module to a telemetry radio. Well, realtime telemetry is not so important to me...)

    I even replaced my phones original FW to be able to run your software! :)

    Than had to change its resolution also, but now it is perfect!

    Let me ask one thing: Is it possible to run preflight calibration somehow?

    Right now i use a "warmup battery" to let sensors warm up, than replace it with the one i will fly.



  • thank you for the app, i will try it as soon!

This reply was deleted.

Andropilot says Looking for Vehicle -- same radio works fine in Mission Planner

My last working configuration was APM 2.6 with Xbee 2.4 GHz radios. This worked great in both Andropilot and Mission Planner. I swapped out the Xbee radios for 3DR 915 MHz radios. The new radios work fine in Mission Planner. I can read location, telemetry, everything I'd expect.HOWEVER, the new 915 MHz ground radio using the same OTG cable on my Android get stuck "Looking for Vehicle". It moves from "Looking for radio" to "Looking for vehicle" when I plug the new radio into my Android USB port.…

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5 Replies

GPS time from Andropilot

I have been using andropilot for a while now and like it as it seems to work for us, well done!For the current job that I am doing, I need to synchronise my MAPIR camera clock with the APM GPS clock before each mission, is there a way to see what the GPS time is from Andropilot? I can't seem to find that information anywhere?Secondly, why am I seeing tlog jpg images in the logs folder? Is that something new?

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0 Replies