3D Robotics

Day two at DIY Drones HQ--success!

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....
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  • 3D Robotics
    @Michal: No, ArduPilot is a 3D autopilot. Each waypoint has an altitude entry. It does "fight" the FMA co-pilot a bit, but that just means that it crabs and rocks a bit going through the turns.
  • 3D Robotics
    @tycho: all the instructions, including everything you need, are on the ArduPilot home page. Short answer: you need to download the Arduino software
  • I'm still thinking how 2-servo autopilot (throttle and rudder) can technically work, mainly how it will control altitude by throttle with assistance from FMA copilot.
    I suppose that FMA copilot just tries to keep plane fly at same level (no rising, no descending). If autopilot wants to change altitude - and I assume it is supposed to do this - won't it fight with FMA which will try to keep the plane fly straight on same level?
    Or I'm mistaken, and ArduPilot will just fly on same altitude all time, and only turn left/right to follow waypoints? Actually doing only 2D navigation...
  • So in addition to the ArduPilot that's about to release for about $30, the CoPilot and the GPS unit, what else do I need to get to make those changes in the ArduPilot?

  • 3D Robotics
    Yes, the code can support any baud rate. You just change the serial speed setting in the setup routine. It's easy to find

    Remember this is a DIY autopilot at the moment. You need to get into the code to change settings, such as waypoints, RTL mode.
  • "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?


  • 3D Robotics
    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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 3D Robotics
    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).
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