We're within a day or two of releasing ArduCopter 2.6.1 to the public in the Mission Planner. It's the best performing code we've flown and the waypoint accuracy is really impressive. You can check out Marco Robustini's video above to see an long-distance waypoint flight, some tight loiter at 5:30 (holding in a 1m box!) and a fun demo of autorotation.

A full list of changes is here, but they include:


Performance improvements:

  • Better loiter, especially with the new 3DR uBlox GPS. Check out the video from Marco above!
  • Better yaw control
  • Better DCM implementation, resulting in noticeably smoother flight
  • Better camera control, including improved setup in the Mission Planner.
  • Etc


  • Fix to dataflash erasing, which should resolve an issue some users were having
  • Fix some MAVLink commands
  • Fix Circle command
  • Fix some units
  • Etc

Views: 4231

Comment by Crasher on July 17, 2012 at 3:47pm
In 25 years of RC flying I've never seen anyone look so damn cool at the flying field. Dev extraordinaire *AND* style icon....
Comment by Jeff Olijar on July 17, 2012 at 3:55pm

so how exactly does the auto rotation work? 

Comment by Mark Harrison on July 17, 2012 at 5:48pm

What does it take to upgrade an existing APM2 (with attached GPS) to the new 3DR GPS?

Comment by Mark Harrison on July 17, 2012 at 5:56pm

and sorry for being dense, but what is autorotation?

Comment by Robert Pigeon on July 17, 2012 at 6:46pm

Auto rotation requires collective pitch as far as I know. Elaborate please.

Comment by Aaron Buckner on July 17, 2012 at 6:46pm

the props rotate automatically when in free fall, I don't understand why it was "demonstrated" as you only really hear about it when helis lose power in flight causing an auto-rotation. the problem I have and its a minor one is that we get no real good sense of scale on when he applies throttle and how close the quad is from the ground at its lowest point. I would be interested to find out what a decent safe autorotation landing height would be as thats valuable info in the case of battery failure or power loss at height

Comment by Jeff Olijar on July 17, 2012 at 6:52pm

I am guessing it detects freefall and then powers the motors to maintain a safe decent rate... 

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on July 17, 2012 at 7:12pm

I do not think that it is autorotation that is demonstrated. Instead he is showing that arducopter will not stop the motors while in flight, even if you have zero throttle. The reason for this is that if you let the motors stop completely in a free fall they will indeed start to autorotate and spin the other way. And opposite rotation makes it hard for the ESC to start the motors again, resulting in a crash.

Comment by Rana on July 17, 2012 at 7:25pm

How such a nice GPS position accuracy achieved ? Is some special GPS used ?

Really what a great performance ! approaching toward the performance of DJI.

Comment by Randy on July 17, 2012 at 7:39pm

Another great video Marco!

In helicopter-land, an auto-rotation is an unpowered descent.  So in a traditional helicopter if you lose main power, you can still land safely as long as you keep your main props from stalling (i.e. stopping).  They act a bit like a parachute and you can maintain control.

I'm actually a little surprised that Marco's quad doesn't immediately flip when he reduces the power to throttle to zero.  When I do that, my engines do stop and the quad tumbles..of course, as long as you have some altitude it's easy to recover..just give it some throttle and it recovers very quickly.  Maybe Marco has his radio set so that his engines never completely stop until he disarms?


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