Yesterday was "let's be unfair to the DJI Wookong WKM day!" here at Build Your Own Drone, I've had a growing number of people asking just how good the WKM Flight Controller from DJI Wookong is, & how much setting up is needed to get the "outstanding flights" seen in the other videos I've posted here, I hope that this video might help show / answer just how easy it's to start with the stock settings straight from the box with the Wookong WKM, and then build on this with some PID tuning and taking a little care while building!
The test was done using a F450 Flame wheel with a DJI Wookong WKM running on the 5.02 firmware. The motors were 880Kv with 10" props between rain and hail storms rolling through!
So how did we make this an "unfair" to the WKM day, very easily, pay next to no attention on the details during the build, don't check for the CoG, use a few cable ties to hold "items" in place, take no time to build / don't adjust any PID settings from the box, don't balance a single prop, don't replace the prop adaptor which is running off centre and causing a ton of vibrations (this bonus was only seen after the first test flight), use the cheapest props you can get! Then go fly it on a bad weather day, you will see at the end of the video another rain storm starting, so I have to bring the Flame Wheel and WKM down real quick!
In summary, the WKM & F450 Flame wheel was put together with very little care or attention to detail, and I would say that this falls into what I could call a very, very "amateur" build, I was very keen to show just what the WKM can do even when you don't try!
I had to film and "fly" ("watch" would be a better term to use here than "fly") the F450 Flame Wheel & WKM combo yesterday, so the video is not that stable like the others, so sorry for the shakes and the odd cut where I have panned the camera, which did not look great!
I hope you enjoy watching the DJI Wookong WKM & F450 Flame wheel video!
Great stuff Martin, by the way did you notice my comment about the DJI's GPS system not working in
the southern hemisphere. At the moment I own a very expensive NAZA!
That is just impressive. It would be very interesting if we could have different systems on identical frame and electronics, doing position hold at the same time for a instant no bullshit realistic performance comparison.
I could not help but take the WKM / F450 out again last night, here in the UK the weather has been so poor all week, high winds, hail storms and huge rain storms there has been little chance of going out to do any more flights, however last night there was a small break in the weather and the wind was a little "strong" the weather reports said that there was an average of about 27 mph and it would be up to about 35 mph + at times :)
The wind sock jumped into the copter about half way into the video, which we found funny but no harm done we were back up and running in less than 30 seconds! The windsock, however, was a total loss... :)
I have not changed any settings from the first video, so still standard settings and all props etc are the same, the only change is the addition of some wind in this clip :)
I have benched both of my DIY drones (quad and hexa) and have been flying my Hexa DJI with waypoints for over two months with a total air time of 100 hours. I fly multi waypoints (average of 6 per flight) and have used the failsafe several times and in EVERY flight the DJI is perfect. And by the way, "unlimited waypoints" is not a useful specification. A typical flight duration with current lipo battery technology yields about 20 to 30 minutes of flight time depending on airframe and weight. The 20 waypoint limit on DJI is more than enough waypoints for 99% of waypoint flight plans. My issue continues to be the fact that NO ONE has posted the following video using any version of DIY Drones since the inception of the program. Auto takeoff, go to waypoint (WP) #1 and loiter for 2 minutes, go to WP #2 and loiter for 3 minutes go to WP #3 and loiter for 1 minute and then RTL and auto land at the point of departure. At the present time the only "reliable" operation of a DIY multi-rotor is manually flying it like an R/C aircraft at a flying field. Cos comparisons are a non-issue untilt DIY can perform as a true UAV system. Until it can, it is an apples and oranges comparison with DJI. And given the current dependency on being an expert on PID settings, the DJI is truely an RTF out of the box solution. And finally, when you add up the costs of replacing props, motors, ESCs, air frames, landing gear, etc. etc. on failed flights of a DIY, you can quicklly find your investment in a DIY approaching the cost of a 1 waypoint DJI system.
Although I totally agree with the above statements re how good the DJI is, I would like to point out
that here in the Southern Hemisphere the GPS will not stay "locked on" to the neccessary satelites.
The best I've achieved is just over 1 minute. I'm not alone with this observation since various people
in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil have also had this problem.
DJI Wookong China are supposedly looking into it but customer service in China still has a lot to be
I own both apm1 and wookong. Trust me the wookong is worth its money and is miles and miles ahead of the apm1 I also had the apm2 same storry. Wookong is miles an miles ahead. I also see the statement that apm does mission, loiter, etc etc. Pls show me a movie where loiter is same as wookong in 1m box. and I like to see the waypoint flying too. I love the apm but it is not even close too the wookong.
i got the APM because it can be used on a boat,plane,heli,quad or ground vehicle .haven't seen anything else to compete with that period at any price !
Maybe some day in the future it can do this-
Watching an intelligent vehicle navigate and make decisions is a thing of beauty. My stability is at least as good as DJI. I remember Chris saying to get robotic precision might take us ten years, you were 9 years off. Once again thanks for something so affordable and so wonderful.
If we are talking about a pure price point difference, then on paper there is no doubt that the WKM is more $/£'s than the open source controllers in the market place, and there is no moving away from the point of this test was to just to place a WKM on a frame and do nothing with it apart from set the very basic information required as you move through the calibration settings. However the price is not so important to the person who need to have a working copter day in and day out, so paying the extra for a system that's easy to set up & works will not even enter in to the process of buying a WKM with all the trimming!
I have set up and seen the DJI WKM used on many Quads & Hexas frames now, and every one has just worked from the box, and with some slight adjustments to the settings they have been rock solid, so, many different frames, many different ESC’s & many different motors all of which the WKM just works with. I don’t know how they do it, but they have done it some how! So the point above on the "many different airframes" made towards the ArduPilot and its use in the Arducopters standard frame(s) from Jdrones or 3DR is a valid point / question. If you have an APM 1 or 2 and a 3DR / Jdrones frame should all the features just work from the box as these are standard kit parts all coming from the same source with the same AP's?
As always I point out that I don't look at the ArduPilot and the DJI products as being in the same class and to that point I don't look to stand them up side by side and say why is a $200 AP not doing the same as a $1199 AP, I think there is a very simple reason they don't act the same, one is a "DIY" part to have some fun with and play with (which I do enjoy) and the other is a "pro tool" to get the job done. The very title DIY is the biggest clue here, in the UK DIY means just that, you save on the cost of a product by building / fitting etc yourself, if you happen to have a skill in that area your finished job will be much better than that of someone just looking to save a some £'s on the job.
Each of these AP's does have a place but not standing side by side at the moment. If we were to roll back the clock a good 5 years or more the Ardupilot would have cost most of us here a very large part of our annual pay if not all of it for what we can have today for only a few $'s, and the DJI WKM would not have been in reach to every day people, give the technology a little longer, as Chris has pointed out before it will not be long before the price of a system like the ArduPilot / WKM will be very low, who knows it might even make the ArduPilot Mega's look very expensive for the amount of features and functions offered! I know Tech I have bought a few years back is now a 1/10th of the price I paid for it, I don't see why the world o autopilots should be any different.
When I have the time I will try and fit up a WKM to a Quad or Hexa from the 3DR or Jdrones range of frames and see what results we have, however this will not be for some time as the WKM system has been fully booked out with customers who are demo'ing it.
I only have one final thought on this subject of APM V's DJI, it's like all things in this life, we all want the best for the least amount, and sometimes you can't have the best for less than the best costs, so if you need the best, by the best you can afford.
Yes, Chris has a point. DJI avionics on a DJI frame, should fly with no tuning. However, AC is supposed to be open source, so I would not like to see a situation where the software will only fly trouble free on a 3DR frame with 3DR electronics. The AC software needs to support other platforms, and in fact should support more than just APM controllers, which is not the case right now. I would not call AC truly open source, until it supports controllers other than APM.
Right now, the closest thing to truly open source is AeroQuad. It in fact supports AeroQuad, MultiWii and APM1. In fact with little software changes, it should support any Arduino with at least 6DOF IMU.