I was delighted when Mark Bolt of BoltRC rang me up recently and offered to send me a TechPod to review. I'd been looking at the TechPod as a possible search aircraft for long distance search and rescue tasks, which…Continue
I've flown a lot of different planes while working on ArduPlane, but it wasn't till yesterday that I first flew what is perhaps the most popular plane for new ArduPlane users - the Bixler2.
While setting it up on Saturday evening I had a bit of a look through some Bixler build logs in the forums, and I was surprised to find that none of the suggested ways of mounting the APM were really…Continue
Development moved to github
We moved APM development from subversion to git quite a while ago, and it was a big improvement, but we've been noticing quite a few rough edges to the git support on code.google.com. Meanwhile,…Continue
We're now settling back into life at home after some exciting times in Queensland, so its time to write up what happened. This will be a fairly detailed report, not just because some people may be interested, but also as a way to remind ourselves of what went right and what went wrong for our next trip to Kingaroy.
The dev team is delighted to give a Christmas present to ArduPlane users in the form of a new geo-fencing feature!
Geo-fencing allows you to define a GPS fence around your flying area, plus a minimum and maximum altitude. Within the fence you can fly ArduPlane normally in any mode…Continue
I've been working on the ArduPlane code for the new APM2 boards for a while now, so I was delighted to watch it loitering above my local flying field today for the first time. I'd flown it once before two weeks ago, but that was a very short flight as I had the aileron controls reversed (I don't have much experience with elevon planes!), so it was quite tricky to steer. It 'landed' in a tree…Continue
The development team is always trying to find ways to improve our testing and the quality of our code. We've recently add a new automatic testing system that should help a lot with finding bugs and ensuring that the huge range of features that we have added (and plan to add!) to the code keep working.
If you have a look at…Continue
While flying our Telemaster last Sunday with two APMs we noticed something very strange about LOITER mode. The above track is a small snippet from our flight path. We entered LOITER mode on the left, with a loiter radius of 25m. As you can see from the spiral path, the plane did not…Continue
We took our Telemaster up again today, this time with two APMs on board. There were two aims with this flight. The first was to get an idea of how much two APMs would vary in their attitude and altitude solution, and the second was to test a new experimental GPS that one of the CanberraUAV team…Continue
The current generation APM board is based on the APM2560, which has 256k of flash instead of the 128k of flash of the APM1280. As…Continue
Just how important vibration isolation is with an APM become clear to CanberraUAV this week. We were testing flying Jacks SkyRaider (a low wing sports plane with a 0.5ci engine) on Sunday, and found that we got severe gyro drift. The first minute or so of flight was OK, but the plane quickly developed severe roll and pitch drift when it…Continue
I thought it would be fun to have an 'inverted flight' switch on my transmitter. With an APM, it's easy! I just added a check for a PWM value above 1700 on channel 7 in read_control_switch(), and when it is above 1700 it sets a inverted_flight boolean. That adds 180 degrees to the nav_roll, which is the target roll for the stabiliser, and it switches the…Continue
The CanberraUAV team did our first flights with our full onboard computer system (a pandaboard) on a SkyWalker test plane this weekend. This allows us to capture images of the IR lamp used in the outback challenge from the air, combined with the telemetry we need to start…Continue
After yesterdays transmitter failure, we flew the SkyWalker again today with Jacks Spektrum transmitter. This time everything went very well, and we successfully flew a search pattern over the CMAC field.
The flight we did was:
- takeoff in fly-by-wire-A mode
- switched to GPS loiter, worked well
- switched to full auto, and flew a "mow the lawn" 18…
I finished my SkyWalker build last night, and went out to CMAC to take it for its first flight. All the ground tests looked good (including the new 'system check' in mavproxy) so we took it for the first flight. About 60 meters into the flight I heard "MODE STABILIZE" from mavproxy, and I lost control. Jack and I watched as the…Continue
This video shows the result of modifying a T41 Thinkpad to give a full colour sunlight readable display:
Full credit for both the idea and the modification should go to Nic Schraudolph from the Canberra MakeHackVoid group. I just supplied the old thinkpad to modify when Nic suggested that…Continue
My quad (recently renamed to the "flying duckling") had a bit of a mishap today
the angle on that left motor and the shape of the prop isn't just an optical illusion unfortunately! Luckily I had already ordered some spares from jdrones, so I should be flying again tomorrow.
The crash happened when I was successfully flying…Continue
I've been having a lot of fun with my new ArduCopter. My initial flight was interesting - due to me switching flight modes with the throttle up it jumped off the floor and flew straight at me. I now have a nice scar on my shoulder as a memento of that first flight :-)Continue