VTOL FireFLY6 now available with APM-based autonomy built-in

New announcement from BirdsEyeView:

BirdsEyeView Aerobotics is proud to introduce AvA: Advanced VTOL Autonomy for the FireFLY6.  AvA is the culmination of a year of behind-the-scenes development and testing, producing a powerful, elegant single controller autopilot solution for the FireFLY6. 

AvA is flight control firmware, designed for the PX4hawk autopilot, that gracefully handles the FireFLY6 in all regimes – takeoff to landing.  Flight mode transitions from hover to forward flight (and back) are fully AvA-controlled, making transitions a simple matter of flicking a switch.  No special radio programming or piloting techniques required.

AvA also enables fully-scripted autonomous operations, where all flight behavior (including transitions) can be preplanned using map-based point-and-click commands in our custom interface, FireFLY6 Planner.

FireFLY6 Planner runs on your Windows laptop or tablet, providing a real time link to the aircraft via the telemetry radio set included with your PX4hawk.  This allows for continuous monitoring of the FireFLY6’s health and location as well as point-and-click retasking. 

In particular, we focused on making mapping missions with the FireFLY6 easy, with intuitive access to the necessary flight planning and image georeferencing tools in FireFLY6 Planner.  This makes the FireFLY6 a killer mapping platform when combined with our upcoming mapping camera mounts, which are compatible with the FireFLY6 Gimbal Mount Kit – giving your FireFLY6 mapping bird the flexibility to also excel in gimbal-based aerial observation tasks (aerial videography, search & rescue, powerline/pipeline monitoring, etc).

AvA is available now in three different flavors, defined by your choice of key.  AvA keys unlock different levels of functionality, each level aimed at a specific user group: Sport, Pro, and Mapping.  More information on AvA keys and the functionality that they unlock can be found here.

AvA and the FireFLY6 Planner are built on a foundation provided by the APM Project.  AvA is a heavily modified version of APM:Copter, stripped down to the simple essentials and tailored to the FireFLY6, incorporating a special brew of custom forward flight algorithms and select functionality borrowed fromAPM:Plane.  Similarly, FireFLY6 Planner is a heavily modified version of the APM Project’s Mission Planner, lovingly recrafted in BirdsEyeView Aerobotics style with the FireFLY6 as a centerpiece. 

As a result of AvA’s APM heritage and PX4 backbone, we’re also happy to announce our membership in theDronecode Project.  We look forward to being active members of the open source aerobotics community.

Say hello to the FireFLY6 with AvA Onboard.  Welcome to the Revolution.

Views: 6627

Comment by Jimmy Oliver on November 16, 2015 at 10:00pm

Air-Vision-Air - Can I see the logo? It does not appear on your web site?

Comment by Dave Skala on November 16, 2015 at 10:31pm
We're excited for them! We're an authorized dealer now and just ordered 5 ARF system combos...let's add in our micasense red edgeand see what iit'll do?!
Comment by Fnoop on November 17, 2015 at 1:20am

I've been wanting one of these fireflys for ages, amazing looking aircraft.  Great that they've got vtol to forward flying working on a single flight controller.  I'm very happy to support them by buying their (fairly expensive) hardware.

Taking open hardware (pixhawk), run open source flight controller code (apm) on it, controlled by open source GCS (mission planner - would have been nice to have been based on apm planner so it could be used on mac/linux), and then try and charge huge fees for using all that awesome software that other people developed is an interesting approach.  Once it's all back where it belongs in open source I'm sure I'll not be the only one to buy one :)

Comment by Wahono on November 17, 2015 at 2:29am

Yeah... I definitely agree that they make amazing aircraft... and a good jump so it need only one FC.  However, reducing the need of double FC doesn't mean it going cheaper.  Consider that the price of one additional pixhawk is "only" $199 compared with $449 you have to pay to use only one pixhawk.  

Comment by Bill Piedra on November 17, 2015 at 7:19am

I not even sure that Birdseye developed it themselves.  There is an open source free copy of the firmware, as well as links to the source for this right here: https://pixhawk.org/platforms/vtol/start

Comment by Bill Bonney on November 17, 2015 at 8:22am

@Bill Your linking to the PX4 Flight Stack which is not the same as the APM aka Ardupilot Flight Stack that the BirdsEye aircraft is using. PX4 Flight Stack is license under different terms which is a Open Source License (BSD License) but the rules for that are different than a GPLv3 license that the Ardupilot is licensed under.

Birdseye are even stating that they are using APM:Plane/APM:Copter and Mission Planner, it just that the terms of that license means they need to post links to download *all* the source code for it.

Please check the links already posted ie. http://www.birdseyeview.aero/pages/faq this would have been clear.

Comment by Dwgsparky on November 17, 2015 at 9:18am

@Jimmy Oliver

Oops, it was omitted during an update, Thanks for the catch. I am not trying to claim that Birds Eye View have done anything wrong, just trying to distance my products from them. The logos are different but close on first look.

Air-Vision-Air website for Catapults 

Comment by Jimmy Oliver on November 17, 2015 at 12:48pm

Comment by Dwgsparky on November 17, 2015 at 1:46pm

Hi Jimmy 

Very nice, If the pink/ Red V was a little larger it would be perfect. I like that. 

Comment by Jimmy Oliver on November 17, 2015 at 1:59pm


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