3D Robotics

ArduPilot 2.0 Beta Code Released!

I'm delighted to announce the release of the ArduPilot 2.0 software, now in public beta. This software uses the current ArduPilot hardware but handles the FMA Co-Pilot stabilization function itself, without the need for a separate stabilization unit. It is, in short, a complete integrated autopilot. That little ArduPilot board can do a lot! 2.0 Features:
  • All the ArduPilot 1.0 functions: programmable 3D waypoints; return-to-launch mode, in-flight reset ability, fully programmable actions at waypoint and totally expandable board.
  • Now integrates the stabilization and navigation functions, eliminating the need for a FMA Co-Pilot and vastly improving waypoint tracking
  • Controls elevator and ailerons/rudder. Throttle control coming in 2.1
  • "Fly-by-wire" mode stabilizes the aircraft in RC mode, duplicating the function of the FMA Co-Pilot
  • Stores home waypoints and sensor calibration in EEPROM, so they are retained even in the case of a system restart
  • Controls altitude with the elevator, vastly improving performance in wind
  • Currently optimized for the three-channel EasyStar. Versions have also been tested on Funjet and four-channel Superstar (code coming soon)
  • Simple in-field calibration process
  • Can use any thermopile XY sensors (default settings are for the FMA sensor, but Paparazzi, AttoPilot and custom sensors can also be used)
  • Currently supports the EM406 GPS. Support for Locosys and Ublox GPS modules coming soon
  • Uses "chained PID loops" to combine the stabilization and navigation functions seamlessly
What you need (if you already have an ArduPilot and FMA Co-Pilot you don't need anything else): Instructions for modifying the FMA sensor cable to use it with ArduPilot are here. Instructions for in-field calibration and setup of ArduPilot 2.0 are here. (Note: ArduPilot 2.0 put the EM406 GPS module into binary mode, which disables its onboard LED. That means that if you try to use the same GPS module with ArduPilot 1.0, it won't work (unless you program back into NMEA mode with a utility such as this one). However, if you let it sit for a few days without power, the onboard capacitor will run out and it will return to its default NMEA mode and will work with ArduPilot 1.0 again) The next version, 2.1, is now in private alpha. It will include the following:
  • Uses Z sensor for self-calibration in the field
  • Uses small desktop app to load ArduPilot settings and waypoints, without having to work with code
  • Adds throttle to altitude control, improving accuracy and wind performance
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  • Developer
    Thanks for your help Chris , I needed to reinstall Arduino 14 and USB drivers , version 2.0 complied just fine and uploaded to ArduPilot, My FMA sensor should arrive today, I can't wait to try out on first flight.
  • William, I emailed Adafruit before buying the XBee boards and asked if the were compatible with the 868s. They said that they ' should be'. I ordered the kits but haven't had a chance to build them but seems that there is no need now!
  • Didn't mean to get us off track here with the telemetry question! This 2.1 annoucement really reallly sounds good, and that setup software is icing on the cake. you guy's continue to amaze. When do you think the FunNjet / Superstar versions of 2.0 you mentioned will be forthcoming? I think i'd like to move straight to the Superstar version.
  • Chris, yes I do understand. Just adding my vote to the NMEA bandwagon but don't expect it to be done anytime soon. I don't see how you and Jordi could get things done any faster than you're already are doing.

    I'm happy to play with the 1.0 version for now.


  • 3D Robotics
    tychoc: we will support additional GPSs in the future, probably by using NMEA. Please give us time. Right now the variety of hardware configurations people are using is dizzying and we can only maintain so many code bases. The simplest thing for us is to lock down the hardware requirements, but we understand that people want to integrate ArduPilot with their existing equipment. We'll try to find a path that allows them to do this, but it will take time.

    Most autopilots don't allows this at all, so I hope you can see that this is a significant challenge and won't happen overnight. The reason the project is open source is so people can modify it for their own needs, and we'd really rather not have to do it all ourselves, especially for hardware configurations we don't have and have never used.
  • Thats more good news Jordi!

    BTW, If anyones planning on getting the XSC long range Xbee, be aware that I have just discovered it will not fit the Adafruit board due the the extra lenth hitting 2 componets. :-(. I'll have to remount then to the backside of the board. However, the Sparkfun USB explorer board fits great, and i'd recommend it for the groundstation module..
  • That would be my preference as well. However, I do understand that the Arduino might not have the processing power to do the NMEA parsing and the PID loop at the same time.

    Chirs: In another thread you mentioned yesterday that you would support the locosys in the future for version 2.0. Will this be done using NMEA? I thought I read Jordi say that the locosys didn't have a binary protocol.

    Great work on the 2.0 version. Hopefully I can us this in the future.

  • Developer

    yes the plan is to use XBee, in my case the 900mhz version because i have 2.4ghz radio, and 1.3ghz video.... =)
  • Developer
    THe Nono,

    The version 1 of ardupilot will continue, and it will use NMEA and eeprom to save home parameters.. But will be partial autonomous.. (requires FMA)..
  • Hello People It is really a disappointment that the last version works with the GPS in binary way, this closes the doors to the compatibility with different modules and OSD to him. I would really like much that returned to be as flexible as the previous versions. Greetings. -
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