Jordi came over today and finished up the work on ArduPilot and the second simulator. He caught a lot of bugs that had been bedeviling us, especially unintended crosstalk between the main autopilot processor (the atmega168) and the failsafe processor (the attiny45) that made it impossible to load code when one or the other was on. All fixed now: it was a code error, not a problem with the hardware. The new MUX code is here. The ArduPilot code is still in alpha but we should be able to release it in a few days.
But the important news is that the boards have checked out fine. You know what that means? GREEN LIGHT TO PRODUCTION! The picture above is the final version.

The countdown to commerical release starts now. Stay tuned....

Views: 281

Comment by Nick Sargeant on December 22, 2008 at 2:45am
This is excellent news. Thanks for all the work you guys have put into this project.
Did you have any time for in-air testing?
Nick
Comment by Remco Bos on December 22, 2008 at 3:27am
Hi there,

Nice work guys.
What will it cost complete en ready build?

Remco

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 22, 2008 at 8:50am
@Nick: no time for in-air this weekend, I'm afraid. Maybe next weekend...

#Remco: We're targeting $30, but we'll see what our production partner says.

Moderator
Comment by Sgt Ric on December 22, 2008 at 12:12pm
Cough, cough, ...sorry I just sprayed my coffee all over the office!

You mean $ 300 don't you?

I know you were always shooting for sub one hundred $, but this is amazing!

This might even mean that the ArduPilotPro may also be sub $ 100 (?) !

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 22, 2008 at 12:21pm
No, that's $30. Of course, you'll need to buy a GPS module and a FMA co-pilot, too, so it will be close to $130 when you're all done. ArduPilot Pro will be about the same price, all in. The difference between the two is really about how much control you want over the autopilot--if you want the most simple, easy to understand version, that's ArduPilot. If you want more power and control (but also more complexity), that's ArduPilot Pro.
Comment by tychoc on December 22, 2008 at 2:12pm
Wow, I'm ready to purchase as soon as it's released. I don't remember from other posts, but do you support using the EA-85A GPS as well?

thanks,

-tychoc

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 22, 2008 at 2:24pm
The EA-85A uses a different connector so you'd have to make your own cable. We don't have that GPS so we haven't tested it, but if it runs at 5v and puts out standard NMEA at 4800 bps, it should work fine.
Comment by Paul Marsh on December 24, 2008 at 9:12am
Chris,

A few ArduPilot questions (I really am trying to learn these things on my own, but I have a very long way to go): Will the setup you recommend allow for GPS datalogging so that your flight path can later be plotted? If not, can you or anyone else in the community make recommendations? Second, I know I have a hang-up regarding altitude control, but that seems to be the one control aspect missing from some of the DIY UAV projects I've seen. How will that be accomplished with this system?

Finally, I wish you and yours, and all members of the DIY Drones community a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Take care,
Paul
Comment by Paul Marsh on December 24, 2008 at 10:05am
Chris,

Thanks for the quick response. I have been reading on this site that there is more confidence with GPS altitude data, so I get it now. Also, I was already thinking of putting the iBlue 747 GPS datalogger in one of my planes just for fun; either that or my Garmin, but it doesn't seem to log its own trackpoints (cheap one, I guess).

Thanks again,
Paul

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 24, 2008 at 10:11am
@Paul: We don't have built-in GPS datalogging, but instead fly with one of these in the plane, which does the trick very nicely.

Altitude hold is accomplished with GPS altitude sensing and throttle control.

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