The Dev Team is working hard on the ArduCopter hardware and software roadmap. Here are some highlights:
As I've mentioned before, the APM hardware roadmap (next 12 months) is to start moving to a 32-bit architecture along with the rest of the Arduino project. This will probably involve a single-board version of APM with an integrated GPS module. Long-term, we aim to make APM smaller, cheaper and more reliable. We'll announce more specifics when we're closer to a design. But rest assured that the current boards will remain the core of the project for a year or more and there is a lot of power still untapped in them, so we will continue to focus development on them.
There are also a bunch of other new boards coming soon, including an OSD designed to work with APM and possibly an open-source alternative to the Xbee modules.
On the frame side, we're continuing to evaluate alternative frames, ESCs, and power distribution boards. Our current frame performs very well, but we're always seeking to make it easier to set up, cheaper and more robust.
On the software side, the priorities are also ease of use and more features. We're redesigning the Mission Planner to be one-stop dashboard for all setup needs. We'll be adding more commands to MAVLink, so you can script more complex missions. Real-time waypoint assignment with a click ("go here now") is coming. Joystick control from the HK GCS (no RC required) is very close to release. And there will be a lot more high-level photo/video controls, so you can "fly the camera", letting the multicopter figure out what to do.
On the overall system architecture side, we're adding ROS compatibility, so you can do multi-UAV swarming. We'll be integrating the PhoneDrone board for Android, so you can use an Anrdoid phone for high-level mission AI, such as tracking and following an object. And the Android interface can also allow long-distance wireless communications, far beyond the range of RC or Xbee.
That's a quick overview. What do you think? What else would you like to see?