3D Robotics

New announcement from BirdsEyeView:

BirdsEyeView Aerobotics is proud to introduce AvA: Advanced VTOL Autonomy for the FireFLY6.  AvA is the culmination of a year of behind-the-scenes development and testing, producing a powerful, elegant single controller autopilot solution for the FireFLY6. 

AvA is flight control firmware, designed for the PX4hawk autopilot, that gracefully handles the FireFLY6 in all regimes – takeoff to landing.  Flight mode transitions from hover to forward flight (and back) are fully AvA-controlled, making transitions a simple matter of flicking a switch.  No special radio programming or piloting techniques required.

AvA also enables fully-scripted autonomous operations, where all flight behavior (including transitions) can be preplanned using map-based point-and-click commands in our custom interface, FireFLY6 Planner.

FireFLY6 Planner runs on your Windows laptop or tablet, providing a real time link to the aircraft via the telemetry radio set included with your PX4hawk.  This allows for continuous monitoring of the FireFLY6’s health and location as well as point-and-click retasking. 

In particular, we focused on making mapping missions with the FireFLY6 easy, with intuitive access to the necessary flight planning and image georeferencing tools in FireFLY6 Planner.  This makes the FireFLY6 a killer mapping platform when combined with our upcoming mapping camera mounts, which are compatible with the FireFLY6 Gimbal Mount Kit – giving your FireFLY6 mapping bird the flexibility to also excel in gimbal-based aerial observation tasks (aerial videography, search & rescue, powerline/pipeline monitoring, etc).

AvA is available now in three different flavors, defined by your choice of key.  AvA keys unlock different levels of functionality, each level aimed at a specific user group: Sport, Pro, and Mapping.  More information on AvA keys and the functionality that they unlock can be found here.

AvA and the FireFLY6 Planner are built on a foundation provided by the APM Project.  AvA is a heavily modified version of APM:Copter, stripped down to the simple essentials and tailored to the FireFLY6, incorporating a special brew of custom forward flight algorithms and select functionality borrowed fromAPM:Plane.  Similarly, FireFLY6 Planner is a heavily modified version of the APM Project’s Mission Planner, lovingly recrafted in BirdsEyeView Aerobotics style with the FireFLY6 as a centerpiece. 

As a result of AvA’s APM heritage and PX4 backbone, we’re also happy to announce our membership in theDronecode Project.  We look forward to being active members of the open source aerobotics community.

Say hello to the FireFLY6 with AvA Onboard.  Welcome to the Revolution.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

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

Join diydrones


  • Dear Andrew,

    Many thanks for the clarification. I have just built a firefly6 with the endurance batteries but it has yet the fly (the weather here has been terrible). I have another two enroute to Turkey where I have mapping to perform in June (I have a range of platforms there, fixed wing and multi-rotor housed with my Turkish collaborator). My first job is to make sure this thing can carry the payload (a sony a5100) and stay in the air for a reasonable amount of time.

    I feel a little restricted by the modification made to Mission Planner, hence my pursuit of standard MP.  I have another PX4 (dropix) coming this week and once I finish teaching (three weeks time) I may be able to find time to set up the revised firmware on this controller and give it a go in the firefly (sorry I doubt I can do it any earlier). I am a relative ardupilot novice so I may need help to get the parameters right - I do have plenty experience of rebuilding platforms I have crashed so who knows, I may be well-suited to this task :0

    Thanks again for the work you have been doing on this.


  • Developer

    @Darrel, once the PR has been reviewed it will go into master and that will be built by the auto-build system. The resulting firmware will appear here:


    It would also be useful to know whether this is just quadplane tiltrotor support or will it support the Y6 frame of the firefly?

    It supports tilting of any subset of the motors on any supported multicopter frame, including the Y6. One of the main test platforms I have been using in developing the patches is a simulation of the FireFlyY6.

    If you have a FireFlyY6 and want to be the first one to test this let me know!

    ArduPilot firmware : /Plane/latest
  • That pull request looks great. Although I am used to writing and building software myself I am not familiar with the arduplane developer procedures.  What is the process once the merge has been requested?  Do the binaries get built automatically into a daily build or do I need to build from the merged code? Do I need to be a developer to do that?

    It would also be useful to know whether this is just quadplane tiltrotor support or will it support the Y6 frame of the firefly?

    Apologies if these are dumb questions.

  • Craig, Bill thank you for the help. I am happy my exercise in futility is now over thanks to


    A - Overview
    A has 52 repositories available. Follow their code on GitHub.
  • Bill, for what I have seen the zip and the github are the same. And some of the code is bugged, ie syntax errors. I did an ardupilot repo and started adding the firefly code to the ardu repo, but to me the firefly code does not tally

    See  ArduCopter.cpp

    Again really appreciate your help and would be happy if you would have a look at the above .cpp file.

  • Developer

    You need to do a manual dif on every file, preferably with the original files from the date that Birdseye started with. A problem is we are not sure where they started from. But if you dif with current master and can sort out what are the AVA changes and apply them to master then you might  be able to make it work 

  • Developer

    @I would try and get the code building from the zip. Ignore the github repo. or add this zip to a newly initialized repo so you can track your changes. (but not a the ardupilot repo) To merge the ArduPilot repo and the zip would be a manual process so would take some time.

  • Hi Craig, Bill, thanks for the help but after few hours of looking into it seems that the code  of zip and github from firefly are the same. Also when viewing the files with Notepad++ it flags error. So I think Bill is right, the code is somehow junk, seems like waste of time to edit and merge. Advice appreciated

  • thanks Craig, easy one. I had a look at their github and I am comparing it to the dropbox download, so far no difference.....

    So far I have forked ardupilot and I am going to add the lines fro the downloaded AvA zip to my fork. Is that correct?

    Do I have to add birdseye copyright stuff? Thanks for your time

  • Developer

    You'll have to actually add the lines of code.

This reply was deleted.