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Feb 10, 2009, 03:45 AM
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Life without accelerometers & magnetometers

The answer is yes. The trirotor can fly itself with gyros & GPS only. Position sensing on the uBlox is good enough to compensate for the slow drift & an IMU based on ADXRS150's is a thoroughbred. This can cut $90 from an autopilot.

It is slightly sloppier than the 7 degree of freedom IMU. The quaternion becomes more unstable as the angles drift farther apart. There is a limit to how much maneuvering you can do & the flight time. But this system is immune to electromagnetic problems. Might skip the magnetometer forever.

Corotating 12x3.8's generated enough power to lift the camera. The battery was pegged at the cutoff voltage for the entire 5 minute flight & the motors were smoking, but it did it. Without the camera, the 12x3.8's got the same flight time as a quad rotor. If counter rotating 12x3.8's were part of the next economic stimulus package, we'd be golden.
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