Android Ground Controller, beta release


So a few weeks ago I started writing a ground controller for Android (using a spiffy mavlink library - see credits).  With the help of a few kind alpha testers, it seems to work pretty well now.

Current features:

  • Direct control & monitoring of ArduPlane/Copter with no PC required.  Just a $5 USB adapter cable and your Android tablet or phone (Android 3.1 or later).  No rooting or hardware mods required.
  • Map view
  • Parameter editing
  • Waypoint editing
  • Vehicle mode display & control (AUTO, STABILIZE, etc...)
  • Capture tlog files to sdcard
  • Direct connect to USB on the APM
  • 3DR telemetry module support
  • Warnings for low battery, low rssi, or low GPS sat count
  • Fully android 'native' (Scala backend talks directly to the USB device and renders the frontend)
  • Most of the early nasty bugs seem gone... thus the beta...

Not ready now but should be in soon:

  • UDP link (either as a client or a server)

I think we are now ready for more testers (and devs - if you want to add a feature!).  You can download a binary from github.  Or wait a few hours and it will be up on the play store.  Developers - if you'd like to get started, I'm happy to help if you have questions (getting it building etc...)

WARNING: This is beta test software.  If you are using it with your vehicle I recommend the following:

  • Don't edit parameters in flight (until we have lots of confirmation this works - it works fine for me, but you know how things go...)
  • Keep your RC controller close at hand and be ready to use it to force the vehicle into Stablize or some other 'safeish mode'.  Watch the vehicle carefully when it hits waypoints
  • If you think anything is not working safely, unplug the radio from the tablet

If you have comments/questions/ideas please post on the discussion thread.



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  • Developer

    4.1.1 should be fine.  I'll check in on your thread in the group.

  • Developer

    Kevin what is required android version for gcs? I have now 4.1.2 and 4.1.1, on 4.1.2 it works but 4.1.1 just says that no link?

    Got new OTG cable and now it works on SG NoteII. Bought one tablet today to test and software runs well on that but no link with save OTG cable/modem that it works on another.

  • Developer

    Kevin have you tested with any android phones? Was just trying to run it on Samsung Galaxy Note II but no luck. It just gives No Link and please connect telemetry/APM message. OTG cable what I have works as I tested it with  wireless mouse and that works fine. I wonder what are main differences between phone and tablet hardwares...

  • Developer

    @Mark - you'll also need one of these...

  • Developer

    @Mark, I'd say the best tablet for this would be the cheapest Nexus 7" you can find.  If you want to go super cheap there are some impressively good Android tablets for about $100(!) but the nexus is only a little more and guaranteed to be ideal for this.

  • ... device compatibility list in the wiki:

  • ... thanks for the exciting weeks. Great job, Kevin.

    ... @Mark. You could get cheap android Chinese tablets, but the best value in my opinion is the nexus 7 with 32GB (for the long run, 32GB are 32GB). For alternatives, look at for your wish Device. Is there a lot activity, than you should be save, but i would recommend to double check if USB-OTG (and the google play store) is working out of the box (most 4.x tablets support USB-OTG), nowadays i also would only recommend devices with android 4.x or higher). Best c.

  • Developer

    Great work Kevin!

  • Developer

    impressive indeed!

  • Moderator

    Kevin, this is impressive work!  I'd like to try it, but am unfortunately have zero android knowledge.  What would be a good android unit for this?

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