|Jul 02, 2012, 06:53 PM|
Autoquad 6 Autonomous Flight Controller
AutoQuad: End of Beta
The AutoQuad team is delighted to let you know that we are now ending the beta for the AQ6 controller and ESC32.
In the future we will make “release candidates” for the main firmware. These represent stable versions that has been tested by several team members and deemed stable.
AutoQuad will still remain a developmental project, so we still cant give you any guarantees about fitness for a certain purpose or pose any guarantees that there wont be bugs. But the release candidates should be quite stable and all higher revision numbers are labeled “developmental”
We will also very soon be making a Digital IMU available for the AQ6 controller. When this becomes available, we will end support for the analog sensors, and we won’t be able to replace analog sensors in the future. All boards sold from dealers will be with the DIMU in the future. Of course will continue to support the AIMU in current and upcoming versions of the code.
The DIMU will make the calibration simpler and it gives better performance in the altitude hold because of a better pressure sensor. Also, with the integrated gyro and accelerometer chip, we don’t have to align these two sensors to each other, and that means a simpler calibration run.
We are working further on simplifying the calibration – so far a “tare” function has been introduced for the DIMU that allows you to fly the board with just a simple stick combination that temporarily resets all bias numbers to 0. Basically what that means is that you can take a new board out of the box and fly it right away without having to go through a lengthy calibration sequence. But for best performance it is still recommended to do a full calibration.
We will also soon release a AQ “palm flyer” designated “M4”. It’s a full flight controller with GPS on a palm sized board with 4 coreless motor drivers on board. See photos below. A prototype run has been commissioned from our manufacturer, and we expect the first ones to become available for team members ultimo January, and if all pans out well, we will make it available to the public soon thereafter.
It is IMPORTANT that you understand that we issue no guarantees except that the HW is working as it should.
You should also be aware that Autoquad is a highly advanced system, and it will not fly out the box – most noteably there is a calibration process that takes time and requires a fast computer to do the calculations. Patience and skill is required!
So before you watch the video and decide you want one, please read the Wiki on Autoquad.org and make sure you understand what is involved. Its not too hard if you have multirotor experience, but it takes time to calibrate and setup an AQ and we can give no guarantees against bugs or stuff we overlooked. Only a very limited crowd has flown these so far, but we are confident that its working good.
Currently we support Spektrum satellite and CPPM stream receivers. Note that CCPM at the moment can require some minor adaptation in the source code depending on your exact receiver - it is reported to work well with FrSky and paparazzi-style PPM encoders. We are working on implementing all the CPPM parameters in the gui, but at the moment you can only change the channel assignments.
We also support S-bus, but we dont have enough data from users with genuine Sbus receivers to state if its working well and is free from glitches. We have had issues reported with Futaba SBE-1 converter and FrSky Sbus recievers. Until we have more data on Sbus, we recommend that ýou use the CPPM option instead.
The code is open source under GNU/GPL, so feel free to tinker and build on it yourself, or use it as inspiration for your own project.
Autoquad speaks Mavlink, and we have a customized version of Qgroundcontrol available from the download section for Linux and Windows (OSX version is coming, but the source is available so you can compile it yourself for OSX). The autoquad widget provides all the necessary tools to calibrate and setup Autoquad and its companion, ESC32. Mission planning is also done from QGC.
An android app for mission planning and control is being tested at the moment, and we expect to release a first beta very soon.
The current version of the FW (6.6) offers:
2" x 2.5" main board with MK mounting hole pattern
- Input voltage: 9V => 18v
- High efficiency DC/DC converters
- STM32F407 32bit Cortex M4 microcontroller @ 168Mhz (1MB flash)
- Standard Arm 10 pin 0.05" pitch SWD connector
- 14 general purpose PWM controllers / receivers (powered or un-powered)
- Dedicated Spektrum satellite (remote receiver) 2.4Ghz R/C radio connector
- uSD card slot driven by 4bit SDIO capable of 100Mb/s transfer (up to 32GB storage)
- onboard uBlox LEA-6T GPS module with battery backup and timepulse capture
- onboard u.fl (Ipex) active GPS antenna connector
- optional external bi-directional telemetry radio via standard 6 pin FTDI connector - powered up to 1A
- I2C bus connector for I2C ESC's (or other I2C devices)
- Onboard 9 DOF analog sensors (3x RATE, 3x ACC, 3x MAG) w/EMI hardening
- Battery voltage monitor
Extra options that can be added by users:
- optional external GPS via standard 6 pin connector (EM406, EM401, uBlox, MTK)
+ optional VectorNav VN100
- daughter board options:
+ 9 DOF analog sensor board
+ VectorNav VN100
+ High performance SOM (System on Module)
+ Any combination of the above
- Optional extra pressure sensor for airspeed measurement
The board is sold as a SMT-preassembled kit with a test-software onboard. Final assembly, firmware setup and calibration is the responsibility of the enduser! The kit includes all headers and connectors and a 35*35mm 15 db active ceramic patch antenna. Price is 319 Euro ex. VAT! Beta boards will be put up for sale on wednesday, July 4th at 18:00 CEST (Copenhagen) from Viacopter and Flyduino
The video below is made by Autoquad creator, Bill Nesbitt, highlighting the new autonomous features in the latest release code (6.6).
You can read more in Bill Nesbitts blog on DIYDrones
|Jul 02, 2012, 07:22 PM|
good piece indeed... but i still would like to know about the rough cost..
oh well.. it's about my affordability.... then I can decide get or not get
|Jul 02, 2012, 07:24 PM|
|Jul 03, 2012, 01:15 AM|
Netherlands, ZH, Zoetermeer
Joined Mar 2011
|Jul 03, 2012, 02:01 AM|
Netherlands, ZH, Ridderkerk
Joined Aug 2010
The wait is over
Finally an open and proper fc without shortcuts and enough processing power for further experiments.
Interesting reading code...
@Menno, if one reads the introduction of the AQ6 @ AutoQuad.org, it can be read as if the fc has no IMU.
The sentence below is incorrect (i hope)
|Jul 03, 2012, 02:29 AM|
Yep, onboard IMU and LEA 6T GPS module
|Jul 03, 2012, 03:02 AM|
Netherlands, ZH, Zoetermeer
Joined Mar 2011
Hmm, someone maybe already edited it but I can't find it. On my page it says
onboard IMU options:
9 DOF analog sensors (3x RATE, 3x ACC, 3x MAG) w/EMI hardening
optional VectorNav VN100
So yes, the IMU is complete
oh I see, in google cache and on the diydrones that mistake is made..
|Jul 03, 2012, 04:10 AM|
Sure, it's complete!
The AutoQuad 6 is an all-in-one FC+IMU with an optional daughter board (either used for optional sensors like the VectorNav or future features on extension boards like a gumstix running embedded Linux etc.)
Note: the recent AQ6 beta boards come without the second pressure sensor and the daughter board connectors.
|Jul 03, 2012, 04:40 AM|
Joined Jan 2010
"Full mission structure with waypoints, heading, altitude, loiter time, speed and POI Orbit
No limitations for range or altitude "
This mean no limitation for waypoints range?
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