APM Mission Planner now also serves as ArduCopter 2 Configurator

We're getting ready to launch the beta ArduCopter 2.0 (formerly known as ArduCopterMega, or ACM), and much has changed. First, it's our first real quadcopter UAV code, designed from the ground up for fully scripted autonomous missions as Jason's runs at Sparkfun demonstrated. It's also totally built on the APM code base, so sophisticated MAVLink mission planning and telemetry is built in and it inherits APM's mature navigation algorithms.

 

Replacing the LabVIEW configurator that we used in ArduCopter 1.x is a configuration utility built into Michael Oborne's fantastic APM Mission Planner. This both gives you command-line (CLI) access to the ArduCopter 2's interactive setup process, as well as a graphical display of all the sensors at work, so you can see at a glance that everything is working right. And because it's all MAVLink-based,  you can use it equally well on the bench via USB as at the field (or in the air) via Xbee. And it will work for any MAVLink-based UAV!

 

Unlike the old Configurator, you don't need to install LabVIEW to use this. Although the Mission Planner is Windows-only right now, you can use ArduCopter 2's built-in CLI to set up the board and software on any operating system, which will give you a text-based version of all the same data.  Our aim is to be totally cross platform, just like Arduino.

 

As with APM, the Mission Planner will also load the code, so there's no need for Arduino anymore (unless you want to tinker!). Our aim is to make ArduCopter the easiest quadcopter UAV setup on the market. We've still got a ways to go on that, but the progress so far has been very impressive. There are a lot of RC quads out there, which are increasingly easy to set up, but very few real UAV quads with autonomous mission planning. We'd like to make setting up a UAV no harder than setting up a RC aircraft. ArduCopter 2 is a big step in that direction.

 

As for the release of ArduCopter 2, we're very close. The dev team will review the last outstanding issues on Sunday, with the target of releasing the first beta next week, with documentation.

 

 

 

Views: 3491

Comment by Owen Booth on April 30, 2011 at 8:40pm
Hey Chris, that is music to my eyes(?) to read, it'll enable us real noobs to have access to a full working rig so we can just get down to using them. Can't wait to get her airborne again, and start flying into the quake zone for a unique point of view of our devastated inner city area, Christchurch, New Zealand.  BRING IT ON!!!!! :)
Comment by Guntars on April 30, 2011 at 11:25pm

Waiting for code!


Distributor
Comment by Martint BuildYourOwnDrone.co.uk on April 30, 2011 at 11:34pm
That's is great news! A huge thank you to the whole team behind this project, I've been waiting for the ACM code to be released, I've just built my first copter and I'm looking to send it up for its first flight today.
Looking at the amount of time and effort that has been invested in the code would my assumption that it's going to be very stable be misplaced?

Regards

Martin

www.buildyourowndrone.co.uk
Comment by Daniel Gru on May 1, 2011 at 5:49am

Sounds absolutly great, can't wait to get the first scripted mission to work on my flyingfield ;-)
May I ask, will the Y6 code be in it from the start?
Building a quadro for the first tests, then switching to a y6 setup :)


Daniel


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on May 1, 2011 at 6:22am
Martint: I think the stability (if what you mean is how stable is it in the air) is about the same as ArduCopter. But other things, like altitude and GPS hold, should be much better, and of course GPS navigation is new. The code has been tested a lot on the dev team's hardware, but until we put it into public beta we won't know how it performs on a wide range of different airframes. That's what public beta is for!
Comment by Ron Holley on May 1, 2011 at 11:42am
I am pleased to hear about cross platform. We have just had better luck with our mac computers taking into consideration customer support and technical issues. I personally don't mind piddling to solve issues, but my wife just wants things to work period. We actually have sql servers and dozens of old windows laptops. I would rather spend the money that I would need to purchase a NEW windows laptop on DIY DRONES STORE items. Once again, thanks for the site, the store, and everyone's hard work.
Comment by Paul on May 1, 2011 at 12:00pm
Great to see. Can I ask if this will also include facility for Helicopters? or are we still out on a limb if we want to fly the real thing  hehe :)

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on May 1, 2011 at 12:15pm
ArduCopter 2 is not yet working on helicopters. For that you'll want to go with the older ArduCopterNG code modified for helis here. Right now we're focused on multicopters, but helis will be the next priority.
Comment by David Asker on May 1, 2011 at 2:10pm

Having acheived my first stabilised (-ish!) flight on my TRex500 this weekend, I have to say I am hugely impressed and grateful to the Team for their hard work - and I acvtually enjoyed working with Arduino and the CLI

 

The degree of control that this system offers in terms of PID settings is just what I need to explore a suitably stable flight envelope, and I am interested in learning the coding and principes needed to develop an autonomous Trad Heli platform - having seen what ArduCopter 2 is going to offer in terms of flight planning now that its homologous with the APM fixed-wing family, I'm keen to see it developed into the Trad Heli platform

 

Since learning to fly helis about 3 years ago (aged 49 - I figured that, as a mid-life crisis compensator, it was a cheaper alternative to a hair transplant or a sports car!), I've used stabilisation on my other 4 scale helis  (pretentious, moi?)

 

This took two forms - iR sensor & mixer and pitch/roll gyro-stabilised systems - I've always preferred a stand-alone HH gyro (Futaba GY201 since these use preset gain and anyway I'm too tight to buy a 7 channel Tx!)

 

The iR stabilisation system consisted of a Spartan AP2000i mixer and IR horizon sensor (very stable, even used it for a flybarless AH1z 4 blade Cobra, just dont fly too near to a 20 foot high hedge, or try to land in snow with the sensor underslung!!). This is simple and easy to adjust gain in flight, so its fitted to my  TRex600/Bell222, ESmart 600/Bell206L and TRex450/Bell UH1C.

 

The gyro stabilised system is a KDS FlyMentor, currently fitted to a TRex450/Hughes500D - PID settings are not fine grained enough, but a fair compromise has at last been reached. I previously used the Helicommand system, which suffered from the same issues and was never quite "on the nail" - one always had to fight the system for control when it was in stab-only mode - and far too pricey for the features

David A

 

 

Comment by CyborgCNC on May 1, 2011 at 5:37pm

I Can't wait!!  I have been flying with the ArdupiratesNG code, and I have been running into some pretty nasty oscillation issues on Descent, with the "stable" Mode.  Not there if i am running it in Acro-mode...many others have reported this also.

 

i am going to run the 2.0 code from here as soon as it is out of the gate, as I think I have reached my limit with the Ardupirates code....

 

GOD SPEED!....and I CAN"T WAIT!!  :-)  AWESOME work TEAM!!

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