February 2009 Blog Posts (66)

3D Robotics
Using Microsoft Virtual Earth as a ground station

Cool use of Microsoft Virtual Earth as the visualization engine in a very sophisticated browser-based ground station. Check out the videos in this post for more. VERY impressive.

No doubt this… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 27, 2009 at 8:55pm — 3 Comments

3D Robotics
UAVs at the Smithsonian

From BoingBoing: "The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum has mounted a display of unmanned aerial vehicles, essentially model airplanes outfitted with GPS, microprocessors, and surveillance tech for battlefield reconnaissance. Seen here is a… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 27, 2009 at 4:15pm — No Comments

Merging devices: ArduPilot + OSD

I am happy user of OSD by Remzibi and ArduPilot (though Ardu not tested yet).

OSD comes with MTK 5Hz 5V GPS. Info about this GPS here.

It would be very nice to have both devices sharing GPS.… Continue

Added by Michal on February 27, 2009 at 6:46am — 12 Comments

3Ch plane, why not?

The question is simple: why spend money on 4Ch plane, Co-Pilot & co??
I want to try to setting up a 3Ch plane with ArduPilot, somebody have any experience?

I choose the Multiplex EasyCub, 1400mm wing span.

Maybe I will use a yaw gyro to fix unwanted roll.

Added by Roberto on February 26, 2009 at 5:00pm — 9 Comments

3D Robotics
Update on ArduPilot availability

SparkFun has sold out of ArduPilots again, but 200 more ArduPilots left Sparkfun production 30 minutes ago. The storefront will reflect that inventory tomorrow or Mon, and backorders should be filled in the next day or two.

We've now sold nearly 300 ArduPilots!

Added by Chris Anderson on February 26, 2009 at 4:30pm — 8 Comments

Hexarotor, folding multirotor helicopter

It is a folding 6 rotor helicopter, inspired in X6 helicopter.

i would like to build in polyethylene technical plastic, it is light, shock resistant and easy to work with my cnc mill.

propellers are in a circle of 500mm diameter, i think best option in order to use standard RC parts is to use 6 x 12" counter rotating propellers.

3 (counter rotating) propeller of 12" have an 8% more surface than 4 propellers of… Continue

Added by jlcortex on February 26, 2009 at 3:00am — 29 Comments

3D Robotics
Getting ready for ArduPilot 2.0

ArduPilot 2.0 uses the same hardware as ArduPilot 1.0 but new software to do both the navigation and stabilization functions itself, with no need for a FMA Co-Pilot (although we still use the FMA XY sensor). Here's how to directly connect the FMA sensor to… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 26, 2009 at 12:00am — 67 Comments

Bidireccional RC transmitter with ARM7, Xbee PRO, Bluetooth and a PDA.


I am working in this project, it is a bidireccional RC transmitter.

Sometimes, i think than conventional transmitters start to have no sense for uav projects

This is a proyect with a small board with ARM7 (NXP LPC2xxx) and a Xbee PRO with 60 mW (similar performance than standard transmitter) and a Bluetooth module to connect with a PDA.

This board have 9 analog inputs for joysticks, and other… Continue

Added by jlcortex on February 25, 2009 at 12:30pm — 16 Comments

UAV Playground - NMEA to KML

This blog post is an addition to the UAV Playground project blog. It shows you how to program a very simple UAV Playground application that provides Google Earth with some KML data it receives as NMEA data from FlightGear.

[The poor formatting of the code sections is… Continue

Added by jaron on February 25, 2009 at 1:30am — 2 Comments

Easy Star flight test with ArduPilot

Today was the first flight test of my upgraded Easy Star with the ArduPilot installed. I encountered a few problems that will take some more tests to diagnose. Would appreciate any comments.

Here is the setup:

-Easy Star with the aileron conversion as documented in this RCgroups posting.

-FMA Co-Pilot

-Towerhobbies 72Mhz 8 channel RX and Tower Hobbies 6XM TX.

-EM-406A… Continue

Added by Jason on February 24, 2009 at 5:09pm — 15 Comments

3D Robotics
More housekeeping: new Forum and Blogs tabs

I've finally gone through all the discussion on this site and categorized them so they can be more easily usable. You can see all the categories and the discussions in them by clicking on the "Forum" tab at the top. Please remember to select an appropriate category when you post a new forum topic.

As for blog posts, they operate a different way, using multiple tags rather than categories. So please add tags to your blog posts, so people can find them! I've also added a Blogs tab at… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 24, 2009 at 10:35am — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
Housekeeping note: adding categories to discussion topic

When you're starting a discussion in the forum at the left, please select a category if it pertains to ArduPilot, BlimpDuino or the UAV Dev Board. That way when people click on the main forum list, they're categorized… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 22, 2009 at 11:40pm — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
Switching your ArduPilot power to a separate battery

ArduPilot has a built-in power regulator, so you can power it from a separate battery at anything from 5-15v. To do this, you have switch the solder jumper from the default RC power to battery power. This means unsoldering the solder jumper that the board ships with and resoldering it on the other side. These pictures show the difference (apologies from my crappy soldering on the second one):…


Added by Chris Anderson on February 22, 2009 at 9:00pm — 8 Comments

roll-pitch demo firmware for the UAV DevBoard

For those of you who bought a UAV DevBoard and who also live some place too cold to fly yet, I just finished a "roll-pitch-yaw demo" that you can use to show off your board. Firmware, documentation, and more details are available in a discussion of a direction cosine matrix estimator.

Also, here is the… Continue

Added by William Premerlani on February 22, 2009 at 5:00pm — 11 Comments

3D Robotics
Reloading the Arduino bootloader

If at any point you've managed to crash the ArduPilot code so badly that you've nuked the bootloader, don't worry: you can reload it. You'll need an AVR programmer.

The best way to reload the bootloader is with the Arduino IDE, which is pretty straightforward. Just plug in your AVR programmer and select Burn Bootloader/ w/ AVRISP mk II. If you've already loaded AVR Studio, you may get an error… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 21, 2009 at 10:00pm — 17 Comments

3D Robotics
ArduPilot GPS lock bug fixed

Thanks to Rusty's detective work, I think we've fixed the GPS lock bug (the blue LED was turning off even when the module was showing valid data). New code is here.

(Basically every instance of "if (fix_position == 0x01) ..." should have been "if (fix_position >= 0x01)..." It turns out that there are three valid fix values: 1,2… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 21, 2009 at 6:00pm — 17 Comments

3D Robotics
Arduino 13 bootloading hint

If you're having trouble flashing the ArduPilot code with Arduino 13, try upgrading the bootloader on ArduPilot to the latest version. You can do it with your AVR programmer in the Arduino IDE or use AVR Studio to program the board with the ATmegaBOOT_168_diecimila.hex file found in the Arduino folder hardware/bootloaders.

I was having that problem and this fixed it for me.

Added by Chris Anderson on February 21, 2009 at 10:18am — No Comments

Can Ardupilot use magnetic heading vice GPS

I am interested in using the ArduPilot on an autonomous surface marine vehicle to control the rudder. The vehicle control system is predicated on having the vehicle's bow (front) pointed in a steady direction; not on having the vehicle make a specific course over the ground. The vehicle has a flux-gate electronic magnetic compass that provides NMEA data on heading. What would be required to modify the code to replace the GPS heading with heading from the compass?

Added by Payne Kilbourn on February 19, 2009 at 11:32am — 1 Comment

First screen shot from the ground station software in c++

Hi this is the first picture of the ground station software i write for my xbee remote.

I got the horizon done, but to the lack of missing imu yet , i can only test it via keys, whats not so nice.

The compass works already with the gps data, and also indicates with the green ball where the copter is… Continue

Added by Viper UAV Project on February 19, 2009 at 10:00am — 27 Comments

3D Robotics
Update on ArduPilot code--final NMEA release

Jordi has been flight testing ArduPilot all week and we've got a raft of new code to share over the next week and an exciting new dimension of ArduPilot to reveal. First, today's installment: an updated version of the standard ArduPilot code, with PID loops improved and some bugs caught. You can find the code here.

This is the last version of ArduPilot that we will be releasing with a NMEA parser. Although NMEA… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on February 18, 2009 at 10:25pm — 25 Comments

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