…Of course I’m serious, and don’ t call me Shirley!
Indeed Airplane! is a great movie, but why bring it up, you ask? As both pilots became ill, it was up to Otto Pilot to take control of the plane and fly towards their destination. In the world of multirotors, fully autonomous design is an ideal goal: Amazon wants to deliver local packages, and shopkeepers in Michigan are being cited for delivering beer to ice fishers using multirotor aircraft. We all would love the ability to get our hands on an autopilot system or equivalent ‘hands off control’. The price, on the other hand, can be a bit steep: 3DRobotics offers an autopilot system for $250, and DJI has their A2 system for the low price of $1,299.
Which leads me to the mystery envelope I have in my possession. What if I told you that there is an autopilot system out there that included the Main Control Board, GPS, Compass, and FPV hookup (Also known as an OSD (On-Screen Display) unit) available for purchase in the US for $150 shipped? Madness, you say? Nope, for I have found ReadyToFlyQuads out of Florida and have acquired this setup just to share here with you guys!
This unit utilizes Arudpilot (aka ‘APM’), an open source programming system that uses the Arduino computing language to control all aspects of flight, and combined with Google Maps can run ‘Missions’ just by clicking on points of the map and sending the details to the main board via USB. The really cool part? The Ardupilot system can be utilized in 3 Types of Radio control systems: Airplane, Helicopter/Multirotor, and CAR. YES I SAID RC CAR!! The APM:Rover program can set you up with not only FPV, but waypoint driving via its Mission Program system. Why use Spektrum’s AVC system when you can just let the car drive itself? Check out all Ardupilot systems have to offer by stopping by their Webpage.
Enough with the suspense, check out below what you get with your $150 from ReadyToFlyQuads. Not looking for such an extravagant system? ReadyToFlyQuads also offers a basic multirotor, Arduino-based control board called the MultiWii Flip for a mere $18! Details of the APM and the MultiWii Flip can be found on their website Right Here.
ReadyToFlyQuads APM 2.5.2 Kit Unboxing 1
ReadyToFlyQuads APM 2.5.2 Kit Unboxing 2
Right after completion of the Raging Rotors Build Project (check it out here) (Note: Sorry for no updates on that, waiting for components to get in can be very frustrating when I’m impatient.), I will likely throw this bad boy into my DJI Flamewheel F450, or maybe I’ll skip that and toss it in my Slash 4×4 LCG just to really put a fun spin on this aircraft column! Right now one can expect the next installment to the build project in the coming days (ish), but until then Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!