Here's an update on the ArduPilotMeta software roadmap:
- The current public (zip file) code is the ArduPilotMega 1.0 Beta. We update that every week or two with the latest bug fixes (the version that went up last night fixes a bug with centripetal acceleration handling. If you're using the 1.0 beta you should update it with this latest version). You can see if you have the latest code by looking at the upload date. This is a fully functional autopilot and many people are flying it now, but it is a beta so we're very keen to get flight and bug reports so we can improve it. As always, file bug reports in the Issue Tracker, not as comments here.
- The next release will be APM 1.0 (not beta), which should be out in about a month. This will be integrated with a new Ground Station (GCS) that can handle in-flight uploading of mission command and PID gains, rather than just using the standard ArduPilot GCS in legacy mode is we do currently. It will also fully support the very cool Debug Terminal, which can give you very detailed data and control over APM functions in flight. You can watch our progress on this version in the SVN trunk, but we recommend that you do NOT try to run or fly this code; it changes every day and is often untested. We cannot offer support for this code or answer questions, simply because it's unfinished and if we have to explain our work in progress all the time we won't be able to finish it!
- Planning work on the APM 2.0 code is underway. Goals include adaptive control (so you won't have to manually set PID gains), better AI, more camera control including automatic location tracking, and easier setup processes, including an installation file that can allow people to use APM without ever having to see code or touch the Arduino IDE if they don't want to. We're looking at spring 2011 for a public beta.
- Meanwhile, the ArduCopter quadcopter and helicopter branches of the project are making rapid progress. The quad team, which already has a very smooth flying public beta, should be adding GPS position hold in the next week, and waypoints and GCS support shortly thereafter. The heli team (which is using the Trex 450 platform) has achieved good flying performance and should be releasing public code this month, too.