Unless I'm mistaken I feel that diydrones would rather all flights use a Tx, but are we not very close to a point where we can to put an end of the Tx for drone multirotors as the primary flying device.  After all this is 'diydrones' not 'diyrc' and a Tx is just not very drone like.

I know there are some bad a$$ flyers out there, but for me I want more of a drone and less of an RC.

Push a button, take off, do a mission and return back home and autoland, use virtual controls if needed, more drone like.

With all the new functionality from that Arthur Benemann has packed into the latest droid planner 2, including 1 button take offs, follow me, dronie, guided and large screen phones and tablets it looks like we may be close.  All the strides that DJI and Parrot has done with virtual joysticks that are extremely accurate cant we get away from requiring the Tx.

We have geofence RTL, battery low RTL and tons of failsafes, we have continue mission if lost signal for those long missions.

The Tx is a great backup to the phone, but I have no backup for my Tx anyhow so why would I need a backup for my phone/tablet.  If battery on phone dies it can return launch.

Somehow the new Ghost is not even requiring a Tx at all.

Just my thoughts as id like to say bye forever of the requirement of a Tx :-)

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    • >  saw one come crashing into the hood of a car recently with nobody around. Never found the pilot.
      But a game controller or a joystick can be a way to fly too...take that guy in your parking lot example...guess what he was using...a trad Tx...so I don't see where it helps keep the public safe from people that can't fly or can't fly well, rewind and now lets take the same guy were using DroidPlanner 2 that probably would have never happened.  Just because you require a steering wheel on a car does not mean someone knows how to use it.  In fact I see drivers every day that I wish to God they were required to use a Google car just as I see youtube videos of people that should not be allowed to use a Trad X ;-) 

    • Point well taken. I was referring to the ones who launch in auto and when something goes wrong they have no idea how to take manual control and it just flies away because they don't want to learn how to fly manually.

      I was off top topic anyway. You are correct. Many drivers of cars have no business holding a steering wheel.

    • I think that's a little unfair Edgar... there are indeed many directions being taken by people within this community that I expect will one day lead to freedom from the Tx. I don't though believe that it will be a replacement of the Tx, such as virtual joysticks on a tablet, or some other recreation of the concept, such as Parrot's custom setup. Rather, it will be a complete lack of the need for a physical pilot interface because there's nothing the pilot could do that the aircraft couldn't do itself, only faster and more precise and with a better understanding of the safety margins involved.

      I work in this area of robotics and am already working on "throw and go" products that don't require any technical expertise or piloting skill to operate. Obviously we have technical boundaries that will restrict this somewhat, at least for the next few years, however (at least in Australia) we don't have legislative boundaries that prevent a (qualified) person from operating a completely autonomous aerial vehicle. This is the real challenge in autonomy... not that we cannot have autonomous vehicles, but that we understand their limitations and don't deploy them into situations in which those limitations would lead to failures or critical outcomes for people or property.

      Please don't judge us all harshly simply because we don't necessarily engage in a conversation in a way that you hope... that's the nature of the internet... it never gives you the answer you want (or necessarily the answer you expect).

  • I support your opinion. I am also in this for the sake of flying robotics, and have scarce or no interest to become a multi-copter pilot.

    Actually, I wonder if the pixhawk is the best platform to start an autonomous flying drone project. After several comments read in this forum it seems that it is pretty closed, difficult to modify and adapt to new missions.

    Sorry if I am wrong because at the moment I am in a platform selection process for my project, so I really don't know pixhawk in depth and I am just reproducing other peoples comments.

    Any more opinions?

    • Richard,

      I have a NAZA and an APM and I love my APM more :-D....if you came here for robotics you came to the right place.  You can do a fully autonomous flight from start to end with the DroidPlanner, but you need to have a Tx installed and should be on because its required.  If you have a perfect flight with droid planner in a big field away from people where it lands without incident you never have to turn it on.  Its the requirement of the Tx that comes to question as it kinda closes the door for other development in my eyes, when there are other options out there for manual control just to get a safe landing.


    • Hi Ed,

      I want to develop a fully autonomous drone, able to execute recurrent operations on its own. This is to implement a patent I have developed and I realize that the TX requirement makes this impossible.

      Another thing that worries me is that I have read several comments of people trying to modify the APM firmware but actually not being able to find the resources.

      All in all it looks to me that I should start looking for another auto-pilot.

      Any ideas? We need open source which we can modify. We want to integrate with computer vision and we need two additional pusher propellers.

    • APM/PIXHAWK is the best place to start.

      The source code is fine, for what it is.

      It is a cobbled together mess of "borrowed" code buried under a pile of hodge-podge contributed by various devs., all designed to support multiple platforms powered by outdated hardware, required to support analog interprocessor communication between 2 chips, hobbled by a "training wheels" dev environment and libraries, then ported to an entirely different processor architecture.

      I mean the above in the nicest possible way, and I don't think you're going to find anything better.

    • Thanks a lot, this is a honest and helpful comment.

      There is a particular modification which I wonder if you can give me your opinion about:

      I want to add two pusher propellers on the aft back of a quadcopter. They are for a very specific operation and I need to use this when the drone is hovering in front of a wall in order to push against the wall.

      Do you think that introducing this in the pixhawk will be feasible? One of the difficulties is that I would like to do it with an X octocopter architecture, and therefore wonder if the AUX PWM ports are really available for that.

    • If you've got the math and developers skills to teach the Pixhawk to introduce the two extra motors in their configurations, you should be able to get it to accept the two pusher motors. 

      Start at https://pixhawk.org/dev/nuttx/building_and_flashing to programming in the Pixhawk's NuttX RTOS (Real-Time Operating System).

      You need linear algebra to add the new motor's thrust vectors and some calculus for the PID and motor failsafe calculations.

      You clearly couldn't google for it yourself, so I'm wondering, what is your background?

    • I think we can handle it, as we are four people involved in the project (electronics, mechanical and software engineers). The usage of the pusher rotors is very limited, only when hovering.

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