Flying a quadcopter from the computer

Flying a quadcopter from the computer

The next part of my quad-rotors project is to control them via the computer. Having that sorted, I can play with nice swarm algorithms and of course motion tracking using Optitrack cameras that are available at the SAS lab in the University.

So… I have tested two FC (flight controllers), the APM (Arducopter) and the MultiWii.

I still need to make the post for a micro quad-rotor build I did for testing the MW, hopefully later in the day.

I find that the code is a little easier to read and modify and also the hardware for MW is quite more cheaper, the NanoWii cost me like 20 bucks… So, I think that if I want to build swarms of small UAV’s the way to go is MW.

I been reading the code of the config GUI for the MW, its really quite impressive, they implemented a nice serial protocol for us to play with it, the only problem is that we have to figure out how it works by ourselves :S

But after some days I was able to perform my first flight using a joystick connected to my computer, and 3DR modems (UART), and it was not so bad… Still need a lot of work, but I can say that for right now its “flyable”, sort of.

The problem is that the GUI demands lots and lots of data coming from the MW, and of course when its plug in into a USB port, there is no problem at all, but when you try to use it with a serial modem at 115200 bps, that can be a huge problem, and that problem is lag.

So, I strip the MW protocol to the minimum, I’m only sending the RC data and receiving the ATTITUDE from the MW, and in that way, it works well 🙂

Next step… translating that code to MatLab.

Note. The first video is lagged for some reason, my GoPro was misbehaving that day 🙁