iPad Ground Control Station

Just wanted to share some progress on an iPad Ground Control Station app I've been putting together for a little while. Here's a quick introduction:

As the video shows, the (non-jailbroken) iPad is hooked up to a Digi XTend radio modem via a RedPark iPad-Serial cable and a RS232 Shifter, with the radio modem powered off a UBEC. It communicates with the APM via MAVLink just like the regular APM Mission Planner.

Have also used the iPad-Serial cable with a XBee and XBee Explorer Serial board with my other UAVs, which makes for a simpler hook-up.

Just a personal project at this stage, particularly as use of the RedPark cable limits the redistribution options available (i.e. not permitted on the App Store at present), but have a laundry list of features I'm hoping to add over time, and we'll see what happens on the device interface front - would like to make the app accessible to all if there's sufficient interest.

Thanks for reading - looking forward to any comments you might have!

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  • Will there be the possibility to tweak the settings on an Ipad?
  • Not yet available Cao, but coming soon... you might like to subscribe to the mailing list at http://www.fightingwalrus.com/ for future updates.

  • where can I install the application of this GCS to ipad?

  • I want this!!!

  • Hi Graham, thanks for your interest. The iPad used is an iPad 2.

    The easiest way to connect to this app in the near future will be via the Fighting Walrus radio. You might like to sign up for future announcements here: http://www.fightingwalrus.com/

    We're hoping to make the app as intuitive as possible. Here are a couple of screenshot of some recent UI mocks, the implementation of which has just been merged into the mainline:


  • sorry i thought the Digi XTend radio modem was an apple tv... you can see i am just a beginner at this. 

    I am looking for an intuitive , low cost radio that gives me the warnings, and tells me what mode i am in like the ipad app.  any help would be great.


  • is this using an Ipad 1? 

    What is the update on this do i still need the apple tv, etc

  • Thanks for the interest Janne :-)

    Drone Cell would definitely be a viable option, as the software is designed to accomodate various comm interfaces. And quite an interesting one given the long range capabilities as you mentioned. There's an outstanding request for connectivity via WiFi (i.e. via a WiFly board) listed at https://github.com/cnatoli, and the work involved to support DroneCell would be similar. We'd certainly welcome a Pull Request implementing either of these interfaces.

    For the time being however, and although I personally continue to use a RedPark cable, the focus is very much on the Fighting Walrus project. I think it has the best chance of widest takeup amongst members of the APM community who use iDevices, and I'm proud to be a part of that project.

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  • DAMN YOU!! I had been able to resist bying an iPad this far, but damn.... :)

    Absolutely epic!

    Question: Why not Drone Cell?


    I had been planning on using dronecell anyways as the project's target is a very long range setup. And especially with iPad it would make a whole lot of sense because the iPad cellular version. And you wouldn't need the whole Fighting Walrus project either.

  • Good to hear you got it going MD. For any future issues, please don't hesistate to log an isse at https://github.com/cnatoli/igcs

    iOS Ground Control Station for drones. Contribute to cnatoli/iGCS development by creating an account on GitHub.
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