VTOL FireFLY6 now available with APM-based autonomy built-in

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.

Views: 6630

Comment by Volta Robots on November 16, 2015 at 1:36pm

Great! Maybe I missed a couple of points:
1. Where is the code VTOL for pixhawk? 
2. FireFLY6 Planner? Why?

Comment by Wyatt Earp on November 16, 2015 at 1:38pm

another person trying to claim that they created the tower app.... the tower app from 3dr does way points all that you do.. the pixhawk mission planner does all the stuff you list... its not new.....

so if you created the mechanism that turn the motors and or the software yea.. but your just using servos and a switch on your controller to switch over.. this is the second time ive seen claims to stuff already created by somone and them claiming fame.. it has to stop


Moderator
Comment by Dwgsparky on November 16, 2015 at 2:20pm

I wish to distance MY Business at Air-Vision-Air or AVA from this post.

We have been supplying launching catapults to DIY Drones members for many years and the use of AVA in this video is too close to our logo for comfort.

We always trade and advertise in an ethical way and do not want any of our loyal customers to be confused with this site. Thank you.

Comment by Quadrocopter on November 16, 2015 at 2:33pm

I too am confused...

Code for VTOL?

Or is it just mixing servos outputs to rotate motors?

I like given credit where credit is due....but..... ?

Comment by BacklashRC on November 16, 2015 at 4:11pm

Do you really need all of those motors to get a wing to perform successful VTOL maneuvers?  It seems like using a single nose mounted vectoring motor with >1:1 power to thrust ratio, controlled by an FC (APM?) would be much lighter ( more efficient) than the setup that they are using here. 


Developer
Comment by Randy on November 16, 2015 at 6:25pm

I think it's great to see Ardupilot being modified and used on the firefly.  I'm not sure but I think "TeamTiltrotor" may have done much of that work and I'm sure it wasn't easy!

It's also good to see them joining dronecode and publicising that it's Copter under the hood.  Ardupilot is all GPLv3 so FireFly will need to make public the code that's on the vehicle (hopefully they're already planning to do that) and maybe we can accept those changes back into master if it fits in ok so that others developing VTOLs don't need to start from scratch.

Comment by Andrew Murphy on November 16, 2015 at 7:56pm

I'd really like to hear from BirdsEyeView. They know how critical people are on this website. Let's give em a chance to explain their plan with this software. 

Comment by Wahono on November 16, 2015 at 8:14pm

Hmmm, I read from their web, even on the Pro version they lock already available features of APM and ask additional fee to unlock them.  It means they ask additional 450 bugs (Mapping version) from customers to unlock all features have been made by others. I can not imagine this is an acceptable way.

Comment by Stewart Loving-Gibbard on November 16, 2015 at 9:11pm

Guy McCaldin:

You are correct, while it seems sleazy, it is perfectly OK to charge for binaries compiled from GPL sources, so long as source is made available as well (see https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney).

But that's not what BirdsEyeView is doing. They are making the binaries freely available:

http://www.birdseyeview.aero/pages/downloads

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/35788481/Website%20Downloads/Av...

I've downloaded the vehicle binary, which makes me a "user" under the GPL v3. BirdsEyeView is required to offer me and all other users source access, and until they do so they will be in violation of the GPL. I've emailed them to ask about this, but haven't heard back yet.

They've obviously spent some effort coming up with this scheme, which isn't original, or in compliance with the GPL v3. I don't know if they received faulty legal counsel or just think they can get away with it.

I encourage others to download the binary linked above, and to inquire about the source code they will then be due access to under the GPL. Their support email is support@birdseyeview.aero.

Comment by Greg Fletcher on November 16, 2015 at 9:27pm

I am by no means an expert on open source code licensing, but I thought derivatives of open code(copter and plane) had to be published. If they want to charge for the binaries for users of their aircraft, the fine. They did the integration work, but they are also charging for the work of all the devs open code. I am planing to build a tricopter- plane and was excited to see they had done it for their frame. My plan was the same, stripped down copter and transition to plane. If the code is not published I will continue with my original plan, do it myself.

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