Hi all,

I've made two videos showing the ArduCopter Auto (and RTL in second video) capabilities of ArduCopter.

The first video is a flight with 5 waypoints at varying altitudes and includes AutoLand.

I only did not include Auto Takeoff in these videos but can confirm that also works well. There was limited takeoff space so I took off in Stabilize mode and then switched over to Auto.

Still have to work on the jello effect, as it turns out I have one motor which causes a lot of vibration.

I hope this shows nicely how well this functionality works!

While flying I have had a continuous videofeed (as a failsafe) via FatShark Goggles and using MinimOSD for HUD projection overlaid on the video. Nb. the new 5.8 Ghz 600mW Tx from ImmersionRC works a treat even at longer distances!

The second video shows a flyover (at high altitude) of a local fair and a return flight via RTL.

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  • @Vinh K: Wow, a reply to a post of 3 years ago :-) I don't even have this copter anymore. But to answer your question: No, it cannot be done without GPS. For autonomous flights GPS is the only way for the copter to know if it's on track.
  • I mean: a risk I look at differently now.. I understood at the time why I did it but when I think about it now, should not have done it.
  • @Hugues: I do agree with your comments and warnings and in hindsight regret flying over the fair but decided to post this anyway. At the time it was a calculated risk but one that one I look at differently. I know it's one of the ground rules not to fly over people. I did I at the time as I had gained quite a bit of experience over time and crashes or issues have been quite a long time ago now that I use quite rigorous pre flight checks. So I took the chance. I will repeat your message here that this IS open source and home built so no military grade stuff and things can and will (and have) gone wrong.
    It's easy though to feel confident (and I do) but still should not again take this risk
  • MR60

    nice vids

    however on the second video you took high risks of flying above people, animals and cars/houses. This gave me chills as I experienced flyaways and lots of technical incidents. That could result in bad accidents.

    Safety best practices would mean you would approach the fair to film it but not fly above it.

    Do not want to criticize your excellent videos but want to attract some attention on the potential dangers of these machines.

  • @ Vitalik: Below is an example of waypoints for an autonomous flight, similar to what you see in my first video.



    In this example, I have first chosen a home location. Then clicked on the map for the other waypoints (which you can drag and drop to move around). I then entered the altitude for each waypoint. Then I selected waypoint 5 in the list, and clicked the 'Add below'  button which adds a ' blank'  waypoint without GPS coordinates. In the command list I then selected Return to Launch and the Alt is 0. In my case I have set the Standard Parameters for the Drone to land completely (min. alt. is zero). Then I selected WP1, pressed ' Add below' which creates another blank WP between WP1 and WP2. Then move that blank WP up with the arrow buttons so it appears on top.

    Assign that one the Takeoff command and give it an altitude.


    What happens when you fly this simple mission is the following:

    First, you arm the motors in Stabilize mode. When armed, you change mode to Auto. The copter is then still on the ground not moving. Now, as soon as you touch the throttle stick, it sees that as the ' GO' signal and it will lift off on its own. It will hold it's starting position and will just climb to 50 meters in this case. Then it will turn and fly towards WP2 and during this leg of the flight it will climb to 80 meters. After reaching WP2, it will turn again towards WP3 and fly there. When reaching WP3, it will turn towards WP4 and during this leg of the flight, it will descend to 40 meters. When reaching WP4, it will turn and fly towards WP5 and descend further to 30m. Now, when it reaches WP5, it accepts the command ' Return to Launch' which means it will fly back in a straight line to the starting location either at the current altitude (30 meters) OR at the default RTL altitude (if that box is ticked in the waypoint list), so if your default RTL altitude is 50 meters, it will climb back to 50 meters on it's way home. Else it will stay on 30 meters. Once it reaches the home location, it will enter a steady hover and once that is accomplished, it will start descending to the ground until it has completely landed. When it has landed, the engines will reduce power so it stays on the ground. At that point you should check if your throttle is down(!) and then can switch back to  Stabilize mode, after which you can Disarm the motors.


    Hope this (rather lengthy) post clarifies how to fly using Auto mode with Waypoints.

  • Hi Phil and welcome! It does in fact come to a full and complete landing on it's own.

  • I am completely new to these autopiloting systems. When you program the autolanding does it land itself or just come to a WP with a reasonable altitude for you to manually land yourself?

  • @ Vitalik: I'll try to upload a screenshot of a Mission Plan later today.

    In essence, you click on the map where you want your waypoints to be and then in the bottom half of the screen you can see the coordinates of the waypoints. For each waypoint you can choose a specific action, like Loiter but default is just a 'fly-to'  location. If you manually add a waypoint *before* the first ' fly-to' waypoint, then it will appear in the list without GPS coordinates. Edit that waypoint and give it as action ' Takeoff' and put in an altitude.

    The moment  you then switch to Auto mode, it will take whatever position it has currently, and rise to the given altitude, and then continue to the next WP.

    For AutoLand, I manually add a WP (again without coordinates) and give as action 'RTL'. When you have set RTL standard parameters to 0, it will automatically land when it reaches Home. Alternatively, you can add the 'Land' action as an action after the WP where you want it to land.Hope this makes sense

  • Stefan78: Thanks too... Im using kdenlive on linux to edit my videos, but in didnt find out how to put the hud and the map together. Also in that video when the quad goes to WP2->WP3 its flying sideways (90 degrees of yaw). I need buy a nice camera (HD) to install on my quad.

    PS: sorry in my last reply i mismatch the users and the replys.

  • Sure... give me a couple of days, i will send the screen and I guess i can save the WP for you.

    But it relly ez, just put in the 1st WP takeoff and when go to run the mission follow the steps:

    1) arm the motors in stabilized mode

    2) switch to auto

    3) give a little Throttle and it will "fly away"... lol

    So, witch video editor are you using? Im trying to put the hud and the map together on the video, without sucess...

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