ArduPilot

ArduPilot aims to enable the creation and use of trusted, autonomous, unmanned vehicle systems for the peaceful benefit of all. Ardupilot is a project that can currently be described as an autopilot suite. As an open source project, it is constantly evolving and being developed. The development "DEV" team uses the community and commercial partners to add functionality to ardupilot that benefits everyone. Although ardupilot does not manufacture any hardware, ardupilot firmware works on many different boards (hardware) to control unmanned vehicles of all types. Coupled with ground control software, unmanned vehicles running ardupilot can have advanced functionality including real-time communication with operators. Ardupilot has the largest community dedicated to helping users with questions, problems, and solutions

Copter -- Plane -- Rover -- Sub -- Antenna Tracker

_images/home_ardupilot.jpg

Hardware is the peripheral sensors, controller, and output devices that act as the vehicle’s eyes, ears, brain, arms etc.

Almost any mobile machine can be transformed into an autonomous vehicle, by simply integrating a small hardware package into it. Hardware packages begin with a controller.

Using inputs from sensors, the controller is able to send outputs to devices such as ESC’s, servos, gimbals, etc.

_images/pixhawk_small.jpg

Firmware- is the code or “skill set” running on the controller. You choose the firmware to match your vehicle and mission: Copter, Plane, Rover, Sub, or Antenna Tracker.

The choice is yours – one autopilot for any mission. A firmware update is all it takes to repurpose your hardware into a different role.

_images/firmware_types.jpg

Software is your interface to the controller. Also called a Ground Control Station (GCS), the software can run on PC’s or mobile devices.

A GCS allows users to set-up, configure, test, and tune the vehicle. Advanced packages allow autonomous mission planning, operation, and post-mission analysis.

Mission Planner is a full-featured GCS supported by Ardupilot. It offers point-and-click interaction with your hardware, custom scripting, and simulation.

_images/mission_planner_spline_waypoint.jpg

Community:

Tip

Keep up with the latest ArduPilot related blogs on ArduPilot.org!

Community is what really sets ArduPilot apart from other proprietary offerings in the market. Ardupilot offers areas for open discourse on the project’s direction. Here are some of the places you can find ardupilot users and developers:

Discussion Forums:

_images/ArduPilotDiscuss.png

Facebook ArduPilot group

_images/FaceBookArduPilot.png

Developer Community:

Developers Portal

All things for those who want to get into the nuts and bolts of ArduPilot development can be found in the developer portal. ie. meeting times, Gitter Chat and email groups

History:

A constantly evolving repository of knowledge and innovation. The DIY Drones community provided a home and now still provides inspiration for ArduPilot. A comprehensive list of features that are continually born from the needs of the community.

_images/diydrones.jpg

Features:

  • Thorough documentation of the basic features backed by a community to help you set up any vehicle to fit your needs
  • Many command modes to fit every type of vehicle: Acro, Stabilize, Loiter, Alt-hold, Return To Launch, Land, Follow Me, GeoFence, etc.
  • Autonomous flight modes that execute fully scripted missions with advanced features.
  • Advanced failsafe options bring peace of mind in the event of lost control signal, low battery conditions, or other system failures.
  • Three Axis camera control and stabilization, shutter control, live video link with programmable on-screen-display
  • Real-time two-way communication between your GCS and controller, including GPS position, battery status, and other live information.
  • Full data logging for comprehensive post mission analysis, with graphing and Google Earth mapping tools
  • No dead ends – Advanced users will find endless options for customization and expanded mission capabilities