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: 285

Comment by Nick Sargeant on December 24, 2008 at 10:34am
Chris, will you be selling the GPS modules as well as the ardupilot pcb or should i order one through sparkfun?
Cheers and merry Christmas,
Nick

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 24, 2008 at 10:49am
We'll be using the Sparkfun EM406 for starters, so if you want to order direct you won't go wrong ;-)

Note that we will be supporting the 5hz Locosys and Ublox modules in the future with the 3.3v daughterboard. But on day one it's just the EM406.
Comment by Nick Sargeant on December 24, 2008 at 10:55am
Thanks for the quick reply.
Have you any idea how long after the Ardupilots release the daughterboard will be avaliable?
Cheers,
Nick

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 24, 2008 at 11:52am
Probably not for a few months. But it's really easy to make your own, and we sell the bare board and have links to all the parts you need here.
Comment by Michal B on December 25, 2008 at 1:22pm
"Altitude hold is accomplished with GPS altitude sensing and throttle control."

Would not it be better to control elevator for holding altitude? Throttle method would probably change altitude as well as speed at same time, what if I want to keep constant speed while achieving altitude?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 25, 2008 at 6:24pm
For ArduPilot the elevator is controlled by the FMA Co-Pilot (for attitude, not altitude, control). If you would rather use the elevator for altitude control, please wait for ArduPilot Pro, which uses that method because it handles both stabilization and navigation (unlike ArduPilot, which just handles navigation).

Again, ArduPilot is meant to be a very basic autopilot, selling for less than $25. If you want more precise control, you'll want to move up to our more sophisticated autopilots (or pay $800 for AttoPilot).
Comment by Nick Sargeant on December 28, 2008 at 3:18am
Less than $25 now. Wow!
Regarding the GPS daughter board, As long as i can get a pcb i can manage the rest.
I haven't tried etching yet...
Comment by Nick Sargeant on December 28, 2008 at 3:25am
Btw will you guys directly be selling the daughter board?
From batchpcb:

Order Summary:
Subtotal 2.50
Shipping 2.00
Handling 10.00 :-(
Grand Total 14.50

It would be more reasonable i needed to buy multiple components but for one pcb...

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 28, 2008 at 10:01am
Well, the handling charge is just applied once, so if you order multiple boards they get a lot cheaper. If we can assure our production partner that there will be significant demand for the pre-made boards, we may be able to offer them with all components already on. Should cost around $10. But again, this depends on demand. Let's see how well ArduPilot sells.
Comment by tychoc on December 28, 2008 at 2:05pm
"Note that we will be supporting the 5hz Locosys and Ublox modules in the future with the 3.3v daughterboard. But on day one it's just the EM406."

How will you support the higher baud rate needed to use the 5hz update rate that this GPS has? From what I understand, you currently communicate with the 406 using 4800 baud? Will I need to make these changes myself in the code to make it work?

thanks,

-tychoc

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