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Old Feb 24, 2010, 03:34 AM
a little boy's dream come true
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Open Pilot : new open source multirotor platform

this seems quite interesting :

http://www.openpilot.org

Can't wait to see what will come out of this new project.

Bob
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Old Feb 24, 2010, 03:55 AM
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Requesting that a moderator move this to the multi-rotor forum.
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Old Feb 24, 2010, 03:58 AM
a little boy's dream come true
bob.titus's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barak1001 View Post
Requesting that a moderator move this to the multi-rotor forum.
clumsy me!
Thanks

Bob
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 05:47 AM
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hi bob
i know the blokes who are doing this and it will be a true open source project.
it is going to be unreal every thing you wanted in a quad and more.they are asking any one who can help to please join in.
jamie
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 07:07 AM
a little boy's dream come true
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamied View Post
hi bob
i know the blokes who are doing this and it will be a true open source project.
it is going to be unreal every thing you wanted in a quad and more.they are asking any one who can help to please join in.
jamie
I got some info as well, and it definitely looks good if all happens the way planned.
I could help with beta-testing and debugging, and provide some frame ideas as well.
It would be nice to have some feedback from the originators of the project on this thread as well.

Cheers,
Bob
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 09:00 AM
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So is this another full featured controller board like the MK or QP?
Do they have a list of planned features and an expected launch date?
What about the actual hardware, will they be selling full boards?

Did some further reading on their website and forums. This looks very interesting!
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 01:40 PM
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Milan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schooner2000 View Post
So is this another full featured controller board like the MK or QP?
It's not just the board. It's a whole project. Among the objectives of the project is the development of a multi layer architecture.
While the PiOS is customed on the hardware the rest should be easily ported to different boards.
Besides it's not just quadcopter oriented, the aim is to have it as controller for fixed wing as well as multicopters aircrafts.

Do they have a list of planned features and an expected launch date?
dunno, the usual answer the Germans gave was "when it's ready" though
What about the actual hardware, will they be selling full boards?
yes

Did some further reading on their website and forums. This looks very interesting!
Yes, it seems so. Probably the developers will be able to provide more info.

regards
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 04:57 AM
OpenPilot
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined Apr 2004
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Thanks for this thread, been meaning to post about OpenPilot for ages.

I can explain a lot more and I hope people will really love what we are trying to achieve.

This project is fairly unique because of the way it is being run. We have put so much thought in to doing things the right way to start with and of course there is no point doing a project the same as everyone else!

OpenPilot stands on the shoulders of giants for sure, in some cases we have seen what they do right and used that, in other cases we have seen what other projects have done badly and gone in a different direction to avoid it. It is a unique project and I am extremely excited about it.

The key differences:

  • Non-Commercial project. Money ruins things at times and this is meant to be fun, hence we took money out of it as much as possible. We want the project to be accessible to everyone and the aim is to build a strong community. If people want to build a business around OpenPilot, they are free to do that and that would be excellent from the projects point of view. However, the project its self is set up for fun and not profit.
  • Obviously being a community project we are fully Open Source, in fact one better, we are what is called Free software and in both senses of the word: Free as in Freedom and Free as in we do not charge for it.
  • Hardware. Simply, it is really is awesome. Hopefully some people with hardware experience will chime in and confirm this rather than taking my word for it. Being non-commercial we can make awesome hardware and sell it for a very very good price. This is really a game changer and nothing like this has been tried before.
  • The project makes the hardware. Again a key difference, other Open Source project put everything out there and use vendors to make the hardware for profit. We don't. We are getting the hardware made and selling it as cheap as we can. This is about building a community and something cool. I have already put in a lot of my own money in to this so my money is truly where my mouth is. We also want to control the quality and everything is from a RoHS certified PCB assembler.
  • Fully finished hardware. A small but important one, the hardware is ready to go when it is sold, no soldering left to do. We are doing a lot of testing to make sure when the hardware is avilible, it will be right first time.
  • Built from the ground up as a UAV. OpenPilot from day one has been built to have advanced features like position hold and return to home. Additionally there are no limits to distance or waypoints, of course being Open Source there would be no point doing this anyway as it is so simple to undo.
  • We have used the industry standard way of doing things by using an AHRS. This is another major advantage we have and another example of things done right. The AHRS contains most of the flight sensors as well as a very powerful 32 bit processor. The AHRS handles all the complex maths of attitude estimation and this frees up the main processor for other tasks. This is a high end solution and standard in the UAV industry.
Besides these there is a lot more going on as well, for example anyone flying Quads (and especially Octos) should be interested in our TurboPWM feature.

This is just one example of where we're rethinking everything, where a suitable solution exists we use it, where we think we can do better, we do.

A lot of the time has gone in to the Wiki, I think we are 10 weeks in to this now and we have a very impressive amount of work done. We are also trying to make it simple for new developers and naturally a lot of work has gone in to this first. However, we have a few cool things for users, for example a lot of new people want simple and cheap frames, looking around we found not that much that was easy and cheap for a newbie so we got some made, again they are sold as cheap as possible:

http://www.openpilot.org/OpenPilot_Easy_Quad


The pricing is on http://store.openpilot.org for everything. It is not open yet but the prices are real. We have been spending so long developing we only just got around to the process of opening a bank account, when that is done the store will be open.

Just please respect what we are doing, we are a Community project, by the community and for the community. If you can, please get involved.

Despite all the work behind the scenes, we only announced the project in the last couple of weeks on the DiyDrones PodCast.

The MP3 can be downloaded here.

It would be worth listening to that to get some more information regarding OpenPilot.

I hope you like what we are doing, we have forums at forums.openpilot.org, come along and say heelo and catch up with how we are going. Of course if you can help in anyway, that would be really appreciated as well.
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 05:19 AM
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dankers - great post, thanks for the info.

I'm just a quad noob at this point doing a lot of reading but this project really interests me. I'm hoping to build my first quad sometime this year. What sort of timeline are you looking ta for having a fully functional quad board(s) ready for release and real use? 1 month, 6 months, year? Just trying to get a sense of where things are at overall.

Also, will you be putting together a "suggested" full parts list for the new quad builder, that includes everything to put together a workign system under the OpenPilot platform?
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 05:35 AM
a little boy's dream come true
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France, Corse, Santo-Pietro-di-Tenda
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@Dankers :
thanks for all the detailed information, I checked the openpilot forum and was very impressed by all the ideas I found there.
What you are up to seems really amazing, please let me know when you have a board I can test

Bob
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 06:10 AM
OpenPilot
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Melbourne, Australia
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It is very very hard to answer the time question. Within 6 months for sure but longer than 1 month. It is so tempting to say 3 months but that is a kind of internal time frame, with projects like this, things can change. We have a very talented group of people, our hardware guy is simply amazing and we are working very very hard on things. The more help we get the faster thing will go.

Hardware wise, the main OpenPilot board is done, several developers have them, as always there could be some small issues but they will get resolved quickly. The power sensor board is done (optional part), the AHRS will be completed next week and the GPS boards are designed, just need to order them. We are also testing two GPSs, both 10Hz and both seem to be very good but we want the best so we are still evaluating them.

Basically we can say the hardware is almost complete and a lot of work went in to it, hours and hours of testing. That is a big milestone and done in record time, Angus who did the hardware had many weeks with no or little sleep but the results are really amazing and everyone is real proud of it.

So, that leaves us with software, the foundations are in place but this is where most the work remains. The nice thing about a project like OpenPilot is that it is modular so tasks can be split up but I won;t pretend we are close to finishing it, we are not. There is loads to do still.

There are progress updates on the forums and some developers have still not got their hardware yet, when they do things will step up a gear!
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 06:32 AM
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Sounds great. A a newbie there isn't much I can offer in terms of helping, beyond maybe feedback from someone as a newbie to quads :-)

I think having a good intro to quads along with a good step by step guide, parts list and related will go a long way in helping get new people on board. That seems to be the big thing missing on the DIY side, as there are so many options and variations it can get confusing when building your very first one.
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 06:48 AM
OpenPilot
dankers's Avatar
Melbourne, Australia
Joined Apr 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schooner2000 View Post
Also, will you be putting together a "suggested" full parts list for the new quad builder, that includes everything to put together a workign system under the OpenPilot platform?
We will go much further than this. We have Juan managing the "getting started" page on the Wiki and I know that will be exactly what you need. But there is more, there will also be a tutorial video that shows starting from scratch to a flying Quad. Other tutorial videos are also planned, such as flying your first waypoint, updating the firmware etc etc. For example see the frame video on the Easy Quad Page:

http://wiki.openpilot.org/OpenPilot_Easy_Quad

For developers new to the STM32 we did this:

http://wiki.openpilot.org/Eclipse_Setup#Tutorial_Video

It is exactly the kind of thing we will continue to do as it makes everything easy.

I am still working on that Easy Quad page as there is a very simple and effect Carbon Fiber upgrade that we came up with. Again being non-commercial we have the advantage of just showing these things for everyone to benefit from as we can't lose any money by doing so.

For people flying Quads now they see it as second nature, when I started I came from a fairly experienced heli background but was lost with quads. I have made a load of notes on where I was stuck at the time and we will make sure everything is covered. Thanks to the people on RCGroups I got in the air and learnt a lot quickly but when I started, wow, what boards do I need? Which versions? What needs Soldering? We are trying to do as much as we can to stop this as well. Like I said everything is finished, no soldering. Another big one, the USB connector is on the board and it speaks via HID to the PC, no drivers required on Windows, Mac or Linux. No sercon or any or USB to serial, just plug it in and that's it. A very nice feature from Angus and the code for this is already done.

So yeap, there will be a kit on the store with everything you can buy from us. The other place we will show links to is Hobbyking, no point us trying to stock motors and all that and they are very cheap.

We might stock props if Hobbyking don't in the time we are ready for users, simply because I know how frustrating and expensive the shipping can if you have to hunt down all the different parts from different stores. Hence we are trying to keep it to two and as HobbyKing has good prices and the place we use ourselves.
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 06:58 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
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Hi dankers,

openpilot looks pretty awesome. Where abouts in Melbourne are you? I just submitted my own 4-layer quad PCB just last week, it's surprisingly similar to yours actually except using the PIC32 platform, which has a very similar peripheral set to the STM32 you're using. You guys have some great idea's.

If you need anyone else to help, let me know. I'm in Melbourne too (assuming your location is correct ). It looks like you've all got it covered though.
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 11:28 PM
OpenPilot
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined Apr 2004
1,792 Posts
Thanks Rowan! Yes we need other people to help! Especially people with your skill set and being in Melbourne is perfect.
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