Jordi's finished the first beta of ArduPilot, in anticipation of the board's commercial release. Changes and improvements include:

  • The code is now hosted in a proper code repository (Google Code) for version control and to allow others to contribute to the project. You can find it here.
  • RTL (return to launch) and waypoint modes are user selectable
  • Waypoints have altitude as well as lat/lon
  • GPS parser now returned to ASCII NMEA, for compatibility with any GPS module, 1Hz or 5Hz. Very efficient code will allow it to run at any baud speed the module can support.
  • PID loops used in all control functions
  • Lots of bug fixes and error-trapping inserted

Views: 294

Comment by Enrico on January 6, 2009 at 10:33am
Hi Chris,
There's something i didn't understand:
How can the system control and set the altitude, just acting on propeller and motor speed?
It's ok if you need to reduce it, but what happend if you have to rise up?
Is the propeller supposed to be mounted in direction that pulls up te plane nose?
How are you planning to implement this function in ArduPilotPro?
Just conceptual curiosity !
You're doing a really good job !
Thanks for sharing it !
Bye fro Italy,
Comment by Michal B on January 6, 2009 at 10:40am
I asked the same on some other post, and I got an answer, yet I still don't understand it.
But I've bought Ardupilot just now, so I'm going to play with it :)

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 6, 2009 at 10:42am
All properly trimmed aircraft should rise when thrust is increased and descend with thrust is reduced. The FMA just keeps it level during that process.
Comment by Enrico on January 6, 2009 at 10:54am
Nice way to appoach doubts.
I would do the same but i'm brand new in this field!!
I've just bought the transimitter, still waiting to receive it, thinking about first plane and then, at that time, probably the PRO version will be available !!!
Anyhow maybe it's reated to the fact that "lift force" is proportional to speed, so increasing the speed and keeping the same attitude, the bigger force pulls up the plane.. should work! maybe slowly comared to the horizontal speed, but still...
Comment by Enrico on January 6, 2009 at 10:57am
Hi Chis,
While were writing, i was doing the same, so i couldn't read...
Thanks for the answer
Comment by Michal B on January 9, 2009 at 3:25pm
Bugs in code:
1) in Servo_Control.pde, both pulse_servo_throttle and pulse_servo_yaw have bug in 1st statement:
constrain(angle,180,0); makes simply nothing, should be:
angle = constrain(angle,180,0);

2) applet folder in google code repository seems to be redundant, since this is compiler-generated folder and files; I recommend to remove from cvs to avoid confusion

3) I'm preparing the code for use in Microsoft Visual Studio (freeware Visual Studio edition is available here), and making it real C++ project. Anyone interested to get it, or maybe putting to official CVS? It should be backward compatible with Arduino IDE for non-Windows users.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 9, 2009 at 3:27pm
@Michal. Good catch on the bug. Will delete applet folder, which keeps getting automatically generated for some reasons. Still a little fuzzy on using Subversion.
Comment by Michal B on January 9, 2009 at 3:38pm
About waypoint definition - it would be nice to make some file parser from Google Earth's KML file. One would design path in Google Earth, and simply put it to chip.

But the ATmega chip has no file system (to hold KML file), as well as limited memory, so entire executable needs to be rebuilt each time when waypoints change.

Solution may be to develop a PC tool for converting KML file into C header file holding waypoints, and then rebuild AVR code (ideally automatically), so one would get new mission file from KML file by single click.
Comment by Paul Marsh on January 9, 2009 at 6:00pm
Real pilots can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe with full scale aircraft power=lift, i.e. altitude is controlled with speed, particularly during landing approaches. Use of elevator at lower speeds to gain altitude can lead to stalls.
Comment by Paul Marsh on January 9, 2009 at 6:03pm
Just to complete the thought, with models generally being overpowered, we don't often relate speed to altitude control. Up elevator usually gets the job done just fine.


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