We've been describing ArduPilot as a navigation-only autopilot and saying that it needs the FMA Co-Pilot to provide stabilization. But that's actually not true--we just hadn't written the stabilization code yet. ArduPilot is powerful enough to handle both functions, something that Jordi proved this week with his ArduPilot-powered FunJet.
The above picture shows all the elements (click for a larger version): A FMA X-Y sensor is connected to two of ArduPilot's analog inputs. The four wires in the FMA sensor cable are, in order, roll, pitch, 5v, gnd. Connect roll to ArduPilot's analog 0 port and pitch to analog 1.
This is an example of how flexible the basic ArduPilot hardware is. It's the exact same board, but with different code and sensors added on the analog ports. We're going to add an airspeed sensor, too, and other goodies over time. You can do a lot with this little board!
is the alpha code, which is just so you can see the basics of how he did it. It's got the GPS stuff stripped out, but Jordi also has a working version with a 5Hz UBlox GPS
For the public beta, we'll use a 3-channel EasyStar, rather than the FunJet, and the standard 1Hz EM406 GPS. The FunJet is, well, fun, but hard to fly (Jordi crashed it three times this week alone!) and not for everyone, and we want to stick with the simplest, easiest to use equipment for our main releases. Stay tuned.