Copter-GCS: Android ground station for ArduCopter

Hello all,

After some field testing, i'm finally ready to release a copy of the Android based, bluetooth GCS for ArduCopter into the wild.

For all the details go to the site.

Its available in 3 ways:

  • Install from Android Market ($5, largely to offset publishing costs/support development) Copter-GCS
  • Install the APK from the download section (Free)
  • Build from source, following these instuctions.

The reason for the market version is for those who would like to just install in the easiest way possible / receive automatic updates or would like to support development costs (thanks you) such as the fee required to publish on the market.


















Current features:

  • GPS plotting of phone and GPS, quad path rendering and logging of the track to the SD card.
  • Sensor graphing
  • Status display, such as current mode and GPS state
  • Setup
    • PID Tuning
    • Accelerometer Offsets, both traditional and using the drift direction
    • Transmitter Calibration

Let me know how it works for those that try :)



Views: 14042

Comment by Dano on June 8, 2011 at 10:10pm
Sweet! I'll check it out :D
Comment by Simone Chiaretta on June 9, 2011 at 12:55am

I have no problem in paying something if it good and to support development, but please don't say that you just want to recover the publishing fee, because the android market publishing fee is 25USD... unless you think you will just sell 5 copies of your software

Comment by Paul Mather on June 9, 2011 at 3:26am
Very cool!
Comment by Bart on June 9, 2011 at 5:10am

@simone You're right, that was poorly worded; I had a better description on the project site. To be honest the idea really was formed due to the registration cost, and I have no idea how many people may actually buy the app, since its freely available on the project site. It is by no stretch a money making venture lol.


If any one comes across bugs, or misses things that could be useful, please let me know and I will see if they can be added / fit with what the app is meant to do.

Comment by healthyfatboy on June 9, 2011 at 6:10am
You say it's Bluetooth. Is it connected through Bluetooth to a computer? What exactly do you mean by Bluetooth GCS?
Comment by Bart on June 9, 2011 at 6:16am
Oops, I should have added a link to the site:

Since phones dont support the XBee modules directly I needed some way to connect a phone to the APM. As a solution, the app assumes there is a bluetooth modem connected in some way to the telemetry port on the APM (the modem could be on the quad if desired). However, since bluetooth is short range, I have made a bluetooth <-> xbee bridge, which you can see on the site also, with some details on how to make one. All it does is to connect phone -> bluetooth modem -> Xbee -> APM, giving you the convenience of bluetooth with the range of XBee. This way you can be in the field, without a computer, and just use your phone to tune / monitor your quad.
Comment by Ethan Ferrell on June 9, 2011 at 6:18am
Says he made a 900 MHz XBee to BlueTooth bridge.
Comment by ken on June 9, 2011 at 6:34am
@healthfatboy, it looks like he has a custome xbee to bluetooth box. The google-code page shows the hardware and links to buy the same.

@Bart, I really like the idea and want to use it. What about getting the info from a hosted laptop using either wifi or bluetooth? It might be really easy to emulate the xbee bluetooth bridge with some simple script. Or any plans to use an android phone to host a usb xbee module? I would be very interested these alternatives.
Comment by Ethan Ferrell on June 9, 2011 at 6:52am
I think the idea was to take the laptop out of the picture entirely. If you're going to have a laptop on site to act as your bridge between the UAV and your phone, you might as well just use the laptop. You can probably get an Xbee linked to the Android OS directly, but that would require a physical attachment to the phone. I really like the idea of the Xbee > BlueTooth bridge--I think it's the most sound choice if you want to run a GCS on an Android Phone. Going this route will also allow for an iPhone port.
Comment by ken on June 9, 2011 at 7:04am
I was thinking more about being able to mount the phone to a RC transmitter and being able to walk around while leaving the laptop station, well, stationary. Also it would provide a way to use the android app without buying extra hardware. If I felt that it was enough to drop the laptop altogether, then I would consider spending the extra money on hardware. Still I think that what you have is really good, and because you opened it up, I can add my own ideas easily. Thanks again.


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