Copter-3.4 beta testing starts

Copter-3.4-rc1 has been released for beta testing and can be downloaded using the Mission Planner's Install Firmware screen's beta firmware link.  Some of the changes since Copter-3.3.3 are listed below.

1) EKF2 allows "boat mode" (attitude initialisation without gyro calibration)
2) Throw mode by Paul Riseborough
3) Terrain following:
    a) Support terrain altitudes during missions using GCS's map data or rangefinder (i.e. Lidar)
    b) LightWare range finder driver fixes (I2C works but we still recommend using Serial interface)
    c) Bebop sonar support (we strongly recommend the Bebop2 over the original Bebop)
4) Precision Landing using IRLock sensor
5) Attitude controller re-organisation (all parameter changes automatically moved and scales adjusted)
    a) RATE_ parameters become ATC_RAT_ (i.e. RATE_RLL_P becomes ATC_RAT_RLL_P)
    b) Rate Roll, Pitch, Yaw P, D are reduced by 10% for X, V, H frames, increased by 27% for all other frames
    c) STB_ parameters becomes ATC_ANG_ (i.e. STB_RLL_P becomes ATC_ANG_RLL_P)
6) Motors library improvements:
    a) support OneShot ESCs (set MOT_PWM_TYPE to 0 for Normal, 1 for OneShot or 2 for OneShot125)
    b) TriCopter compensates for tail servo angle
    c) SingleCopter, CoaxCopter adjust control surfaces based on throttle output
    d) MOT_PWM_MIN, MAX allow specifying output ranges to ESCs which are difference from throttle input channel (i.e. RC3)
    e) TradHeli servo objects moved into heli class (HSV_ parameters become H_SV1_)
7) uAvionix Ping sensor support (ADS-B vehicles appear on GCS, avoidance will come in future release)
8) Improved Solo support (gimbal and buttons now work)
9) Pixracer support
10) Safety:
    a) warning if GPS update rate is slow (under 5hz, does not stop arming)
    b) RTL cone (vehicle won't climb to the full RTL_ALT if it is RTL-ing from close to home)

Warning: It has been reported that Tower's Follow-Me mode causes a rapid descent with Copter-3.4 so we recommend not using Follow-Me until this is resolved (it's likely a mix-up as we've added support for absolute and terrain altitudes).

For this release we will be doing the support on the new ArduPilot discourse server instead of creating a monster thread here on DIYDrones.

This beta testing include both multicotpers and traditional helicopters.  We're also starting beta testing of the Antenna Tracker (Release Notes here).

Thanks in advance to the beta testers!

P.S. I would like to personally thank EnRoute (youtube channel) for stepping in to support my ongoing development efforts on ArduPilot and Colestl/GatewayGeospatial for their sponsorship of the Terrain following work.

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  • Nothing about integration of second gps?

  • Developer


    There are several safety improvements including the two listed above and we're always very careful with each release to ensure it's properly tested (which is why we're doing this beta testing) but are there any particular items you're concerned about?

    The safety feature that I'm most keen on implementing in the future is vision and/or lidar based object avoidance.  I suspect we will have that by the end of the year but it's a complex job and will take multiple people cooperating to get it done.

  • Developer


    Leonard Hall is really the expert but it looks to me like we now proactively account for the change in vertical and rotational thrust as the tail servo leans the rear motor.  In earlier versions of the software I think it was more of a passive response.  So as the rear tail leaned we would lose thrust at the rear of the vehicle, this would cause the vehicle to lean back a bit.  The attitude controllers would notice that and compensate but that would take a moment.  In short I think this change reduces the yaw<->pitch coupling (i.e. a change in yaw will have a reduce effect on the vehicle's pitch).

  • i am thinking that you wouldn t add more features and focus to improve reliablity.

    are you intend to change you prority

  • wondering what "compensates for tail servo angle" on the tricopter does

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