3D Robotics

180px-Gluonmagnetometer.jpg?width=180Free-flight glider competitions, which don't use RC control, usually use mechanical compasses to keep the glider pointed into the wind. But an autopilot can do it even better. Tom Pycke modified his Gluonpilot autopilot to do this. Cool!

On request, a special version of the gluonpilot has been created to be used in F1E (free flight gliders) competition.

This is how the gluonpilot adaption works:

  • A 3D magnetometer is connected to the 3V3 I2C port.
  • Before launch, the model is pointed in the correct direction and the SMD button on the PCB is pressed. From then on, the output on servo 1 is proportional to the "heading error". With a rudder servo connected to servo 1, the plane will always fly in this direction.
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • To be clear: you set the automatic steering to the direction which gives the possibility for the longest flight. It doesn't have to face the wind directly, a long slope is prior to a wind direction if there's no good terrain in the wind direction. So you have a desired flight direction, you set the compass steering mechanism so that your plane will keep the desired direction, considering that the direction of the wind may be different from that. So it's about working against the wind.

  • Funny, but it's not always easy to reveal the right wind direction, moreover it changes sometimes :)

  • Sure, just buying and using one of these could seem like less fun, but for a lot of us here, designing, building and successfully testing something like this is at least as fun as the actual flying.  :)

  • this is no fun!

    the real fun is to learn where the wind is comming from.

    mastering the wind and physics is done by pressing a button :-/


This reply was deleted.