This is actually pretty cool. The Cheerson CX-20 Phantom clone ($330 at Banggood) uses an APM clone flight controller, running ArduCopter 3.1. Found on RC Groups here

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Comment by Gary Mortimer on April 29, 2014 at 1:35pm

Wow, didn't see that one coming.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 29, 2014 at 1:36pm

Gary, are you being sarcastic?  I knew this would happen a long time ago. I'm just waiting for the first time we see it on a $10,000+ commercial or military product.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 29, 2014 at 1:37pm

Apparently it has problems with Toilet Bowl.  Guys trying to hack it to use a remote mag.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on April 29, 2014 at 1:40pm

No, I didn't imagine APM would end up on a mass produced Chinese machine. It was not top of mind when the project started. Back then it was just keeping things the right way up. It's the logical conclusion of course.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 29, 2014 at 1:44pm

I guess what's going to happen here, is the FOSS benefits will allow other vendors to clobber the Phantom.

Comment by Austin Suhler on April 29, 2014 at 1:47pm

@Gary: It was only a matter of time :)

@Rob: With its functionality, performance, and incredible ease of adaptation to almost any airframe, I'm surprised it hasn't been used already. Especially since the release of the PixHawk. I've been considering the possibility of making commercial photomapping/surveying kits based on APM for a while. We'll see what the FAA has in store for the US before that happens though, and I'm sure someone will beat me to using APM on a large commercial system. 

Comment by Gary McCray on April 29, 2014 at 2:13pm

This also looks like about the cheapest GoPro carrying setup available, although you really need a brushless gimbal for good GoPro use.

I wonder how hard to add FPV with OSD.

Under the open source / hardware license they copy the APM from aren't they also legally required to make available schematics, PCB layouts and firmware source?

It seems fine that they copied it, but it will be a pain if they now decide they don't have to play by the rest of the rules.

Comment by RC on April 29, 2014 at 2:29pm
There will be a million hacks and mods for this puppy. It is the drone version of raspberry pi.

Comment by Roberto Navoni on April 29, 2014 at 2:36pm

I buy one for doing a bit of hacking :)

Upgrade it to 32 bit :)

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 29, 2014 at 4:15pm

Guy, that's true.

Gary, good point.  I believe they do have to release the schematics.  Given the fact that they didn't even seem upfront about the fact that it even uses APM in the first place, I figure that might be a hard fight.


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