3D Robotics

APM 2.0 beta released!

3689393223?profile=originalI'm delighted to announce the release of the first public beta of ArduPilot Mega 2.0. This is a significant upgrade to APM 1.02, and now delivers on full 2-way in-air communications, including real-time mission planning and autopilot control.


[UPDATE:Arduino-free code uploading added to features]


New features/changes include:

  • --Full support for the MAVlink protocol, which is now APM's default communications method.
  • --Auto-detection of GPS modules. No more requirement to tell APM what GPS module you're using--it will figure it out and configure the module appropriately!
  • 3689393150?profile=original--2-way telemetry.  Dozens of commands can now be sent from the Ground Station to the UAV while it's in the air. (see example from HK GCS at right)
  • --2-way Mission Planning. You can script and change missions in real time while the UAV is flying!
  • --Supports APM boards with the ATMega2560 chip, which has twice as much memory as the current board. The DIY Drones store will begin selling these new boards when the final version of APM 2.0 is released.
  • --Mission Planner now uploads firmware and checks for new versions online. No need for Arduino (unless you want it)!
  • --Magnetometer fully supported.
  • --Current sensor fully supported
  • --Support for the latest HK Ground Control Station and QGroundControl ground stations.
  • --Mission Planning and configuration can now be done wirelessly. No need to use USB if you don't want to.
  • --No more fiddling with a configuration file in Arduino! The software comes ready to go, right out of the box
  • --New command-line tests allow you to check failsafe operation, Xbees, radio inputs and more.
  • --New versions of HK GCS and the Mission Planner operate in MAVLink mode, allowing for wireless operation and compatibility with other MAVLink devices, including those running the Robot Operating System (ROS)


Huge props to the whole development team: Doug Weibel (project leader), Michael Smith, Jason Short, James Goppert, Michael Oborne (mission planner), Paul Mather (GCS), Lorenz Meier (MAVLink integration), Randy Mackay, Ryan Beall, Darren Corley, Joe Holdsworth, and countless others who have contributed with flight testing and bug catching!


Remember that this is an initial beta release, so there may be bugs and undocumented bits. After the beta-testing period (usually about six weeks) we'll release APM 2.0 final version, and retire APM 1.02.


Loading the code automatically:


Just download the Mission Planner and select "Upload Firmware" from the Tools section of the menu. Make sure APM is plugged into your USB port and you've selected the right port from the Mission Planner menu. Click on "Update Check" and the program will search online for the latest version of the code and load it to APM.


If you want to do a simulation with Xplane, follow the instructions below. That will soon be a firmware option with the Mission Planner, too.


Loading manually (Optional)

[UPDATE: Ignore this section if you don't want to fiddle with the code. Arduino is no longer required to load the code!]


Download the zip file, unzip it to your desktop. You will have two folders inside your APM 2.0 folder, as shown:



Make sure you're using the latest Arduino (0022). Set your Arduino Sketchbook location to the APM 2.0 folder, as shown below. You must exit Arduino and restart it for this to take effect. Within Arduino, open up the ArduPilotMega.pde file within the ArduPilotMega folder, and that will open all the other files. Before you compile, don't forget to select the right board (Arduino Mega 1280 or Arduino Mega 2560)



(Note: in the final version of APM 2.0, you will not have to use the Arduino IDE at all: the Mission Planner will load the firmware for you and check for more recent versions. The Arduino IDE will just be available in case you want to modify or inspect the code. UPDATE: this is now live)



Additional instructions:

--If you're doing flight simulation with Xplane, instructions for doing it with APM 2.0 are here.

--Make sure you're using the latest Mission Planner and HK GCS. In the Mission Planner, make sure you select APM 2.x modes (MAVLink), shown at right.


Known issues:

1) Mission Planner won't write waypoints on Port 0 in HIL mode. Instead, write the waypoints via your Xbee (port 3); remember to change the Mission Planner baud rate to 57k when using the Xbee port.
2) Uploading mission commands is still not fully documented. We'll get to that this week
3) There may be some issues with datalogs not recording. We're looking into it.

4) The manual still describes the 1.02 software. We'll change that to 2.0 during the beta test period, so by the time we release the final of 2.0 the manual is fully updated.

5) This has been mostly tested with 900 Mhz Xbee modules and the XstreamBee adapter, which work great. However, there is an issue with the 2.4 Ghz Xbee modules, which have a slightly different hardware configuration that conflicts with that adapter when sending data upstream. A short term workaround is to solder a jumper from the adapter's CTS to V+ pin. The next version of these adapter boards will include a more graceful fix.


If you find any bugs, please file a report in the Issue Tracker. The dev team will not be responding to bug reports filed in blog comments

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Developer
    Hey everybody!

    I have been a little internet challenged since 2.0 beta was released due to travel and was amazed to find 12 pages in this thread already.

    I have not read close enough to figure out who has had their problems solved and who has not. Here are a few comments which may help people:

    First, know that most of the testing on 2.0 with respect to ground station interaction was done with QGroundControl, not HK's, so we are a bit behind in getting everything out with HK's. Please don't overrun the the issue list with HK GCS stuff - see if we get your issue worked out in the next week or so.

    Altitude storage is in a state of flux. 2.0 beta as released expects altitudes from the Planner or GCS to be absolute, not relative to home. This is probably the issue for those of you getting funny values. This was due to limitations in QGroundControl. I hope to change back to storing them as relative. QGC is adding another reference frame (absolute lat/lng, relative alt) to support this. A the present altitude works correctly if you use QGC for mission planning and enter altitudes as absolute.

    The issue with 2.4 GHz Xbee's and CTS only applies to the XtreemBee board. If you have an ADAFruit board it is not an issue.
  • 3D Robotics
    Phil: that's normal. The client has to send a MAVLink request, and then wait for the data to come back. But we could probably put something more helpful than "error" in those datafields while waiting. Maybe just "waiting..." ;-)
  • that may be due, to asking more questions these dayz on mavlink apm planner... it has config options displayed now , not just pids
  • Speed of that is dependent on baud rates... 57600 on telemetry will be much slower than 115200 on usb.

    But yes, I agree, bringing up pids can take awhile on apm planner

  • I can see the PIDs. It's just that the Planner form doesn't populate the boxes with valid values immediately when the form opens. The values typically appear a few seconds later.
  • Sorry, that was Phil who asked the PID question... ;)
  • Ole, Not sure why your haveing issues seeing the pids, I can grab them from both usb and telemetry ports.

    Hit me up on the chat, and I can help diagnose your problem.

  • Yes, now you remind me, QGC does have the customizable widgets. I'd read that a little while ago, but had forgotten.


    Perfect for putting up the two or three PID parameters I'd need to tune while flying.

  • I have attached here a screenshot of such a custom widget controlling the parameters of my visual localization / mapping pipeline, running on our onboard Linux computer. You see this is quite versatile, ranging from APM to Linux computer vision software:



  • Hi Phil,


    In QGC,

    1) click on Widget->New custom widget

    2) A new widget appears. Right-click into it, select "New Parameter slider"

    3) Click on refresh

    4) Select the parameter to tune, name it

    5) Click done


    Voila - you'll have a nice controller slider. You can also add action buttons to send custom actions (choose ACTION, not COMMAND for now, APM will later move on to COMMAND)

This reply was deleted.