3D Robotics

APM 2 update -- Ordering reopened!

3689446587?profile=originalGood news: APM 2 preorders have reopened. You can now choose it with the onboard GPS or without, so can use an external GPS or any other supported GPS module (the Ublox GS406/407 can be used with this adapter, and other modules can be used in NMEA mode). 

All the necessary components for this batch of APM 2s will be coming in by the end of March, so pre-orders placed to today will be shipping in 4-6 weeks. After this pre-order period we will be in full APM 2 production, so the product should be constantly in stock by the middle of April.  At that point, we'll probably also offer versions with external magnetometers, and with an option for different connector pins, including right-angle pins.

We also now offer a version with no pins pre-soldered at all, for those who want to configure it to taste themselves. 


You can always follow the 3D Robotics Twitter feed for more regular updates.

On the code front, the current ArduCopter and ArduPlane supports APM 2, but has not yet been optimized for its sensors. Optimized code will be out in the next couple weeks, and further enhancements will be coming in the months to come. There's a lot of power in APM 2's MPU-6000 sensors, and you'll find that each software update taps it more. 

The first code enhancement, coming in the next week or two, will address the "lean" issue that some people are experiencing on multicopters. This is due to vibration. With the current code, the APM 2 board is more susceptible to this for two reasons: first, because it's a lighter board than APM 1 and as a result has less mechanical damping even when mounted on vibration-insulation, and second because we have not yet implemented software filtering of accelerometer noise.

The reason for that second issue is that in the current code, most software filtering is done in the ADC library. But because  APM 2 uses digital sensors, unlike the analog ones on APM 1 (which go through an ADC), it doesn't use the ADC library. This week we're going to move the filtering to the main ArduCopter code, which is shared by both APM 1 and APM 2, and we'll be able to optimize the settings for APM 2. This should resolve most of the "leaning" issues with a simple software update, which should be out by mid-March. 

There are a bunch of other improvements we're doing to improve filtering, including new test processes and easier ways to adjust the filters, both for the dev team and end-users. We're also preparing to use the MPU-6000's internal DMP processor, as an option to replace the software DCM sensor fusion algorithm we now use, but are still working with Invensense on a legal path to distribute the source code, in keeping with our commitment to open source. Look for that update to be out in a few months. 

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  • Distributor

    Hello Chris,


    Thank you for the updated information, I was concerned that the DIY was going down the DDIY road (don't do it yourself), and you are correct the support for user soldered boards is "huge" when stacked up against that of the soldered boards I have and do supply (APM1's). I like many of the other members here hope for buy today and deliver tomorrow.... I have many pre orders to fill and cant wait to see the next batch come through, I have managed to clear all the Dec' pre orders placed now...... :)


    Just Jan & Feb to go........





  • Chris: The only reason it felt reluctant to me was that it seems the production/shipping stopped about a week ago, but just yesterday we got the tweet about why after numerous questions regarding status.  I'm not upset or anything, but I think everyone (especially the last 85 of us in the first 1000) would appreciate a daily (when appropriate) tweet with status of APM2 production/shipping.  It would also save the staff a lot of individual email responding on status questions.

    As always, great job to everyone who contributed to APM2!  Can't wait to get one.

  • @chris
    Here is a example of being told my order was in the 1000 !
    Comment by Jordi Muñoz on February 13, 2012 at 8:01pm

    Anyway all APM 2.0 are planned to be shipped this week, production is still on time to ship everything on Friday and worse case scenario Monday (Feb/20)... Some dudes that ordered 1-2 weeks ago may have to wait until Wednesday. 

    Comment by Sid Lookingbill on February 13, 2012 at 8:15pm
    Delete Comment

    Thanks for the info Jordi. I am one of them dudes that ordered 2 weeks ago. I was not sure if I would be in the 1000 produced. 

    Jordi MuñozComment by Jordi Muñoz on February 13, 2012 at 8:17pm

    @Sid, Yes you are.. That's why we closed pre-orders... ;-) We will change the rules after reopening.. 

    SO ?

  • 3D Robotics

    Sid: I don't know the specifics of your order and don't have access to the order queue.  But the 1,000 I described includes the orders in Dec, and I think they're quoting just your order rank in the Jan batch. Sorry this is confusing.

  • 3D Robotics

    Martin: We've talked about this a lot internally, and we don't think it's fair to deprive users of a warranty just because they want to solder the parts together themselves. So we will warranty the solder-yourself version. I suspect this will lead to a heavy customer support load for us -- you've got as much experience as we do in the countless ways users can mess up soldering! -- but we think it's the right thing to do for the community, so we'll just deal with it. 

  • 3D Robotics

    David: We're not reluctant to inform anyone of anything--it's in our Twitter feed! We get new MPU-6000 shipments in as fast as Invensense can send them to us. Next shipment should be in next week. 

  • 3D Robotics

    Daniel: We have bought all the baro sensors that are on the market. We are willing to pay any amount, but the manufacturer is simply unable to allocate us more, faster than they already have. We're in competition with big consumer electronics companies, and we have to live with the allocations we get. 

    In other words, we've done everything we can do to get more sensors. We have all the manufacturing capacity and money we need. This is just the cost of living at the bleeding edge. If you want the latest, greatest sensor technology, you have to deal with the supplier constraints at the beginning of their own production runs. 

  • I was informed yesterday that they are stalled around APM# 915 waiting for parts, and will start shipping around two weeks from now if all goes well.  My APM2 is ~#971, so I'm eagerly awaiting, as are 85 others. :)

  • This is simply the cost of being on the bleeding edge... As Robert said, If you want it now, APM1.4 is there.

  • Guys, check their tweets...Looks like they ran out of MPU-6000's and were reluctant to inform everyone of this.  They're suggesting they'll get more in a week or so.  Be patient.  I'm sure the APM2 will be worth the wait.

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