ArduCopter as an UAV research platform

I am trying to figure out the possibilities of ArduCopter as an autonomous microUAV research platform. Right now we are going to acquire a quadrotor to start working on it. I am having some difficulties in knowing which are the actual performances of ArduCopter and ArduPilotMega:

1. I am pretty sure that autonomous flight has already been achieved (following outdoors GPS waypoints).
How can an additional computer communicate with the ArduPilotMega board (WiFi, ZigBee, wired to an additional onboard computer)?
Can the additional computer send orientation and thrust commands to the ArduPilotMega board in order to close a control loop?

2. Is anybody working in achieving indoors flight stability with ArduCopter?

Thanks for the information.

Congratulations for both projects ArduCopter and ArduPilotMega!


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  • Jesus,


    I don't know if this is what you mean by "indoor" and "micro," but I've attached pictures of a small 10" Arducopter I built based on the ideas documented by Jose Julio. His original post, which includes vidoes and a build log, is here: Mine uses a Maxbotix ultrasonic sensor and flies using the "Indoor" code in the Arducopter source code library. It doesn't have side obstacle detection, but I don't see any reason why it couldn't.






  • 3D Robotics

    1) Yes, it is fully autonomous now. Communications is handled by Xbee, but any TTL serial modem or other device can be connected. You can use an external computer to send flight commands via MAVLink.


    2) Do you mean SLAM or motion capture feedback? There is some work to use Kinects via ROS, but it's in the early stages.

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