Book Image

Designing Purpose-Built Drones for Ardupilot Pixhawk 2.1

By : Ty Audronis
Book Image

Designing Purpose-Built Drones for Ardupilot Pixhawk 2.1

By: Ty Audronis

Overview of this book

The Ardupilot platform is an application ecosystem that encompasses various OS projects for drone programming, flight control, and advanced functionalities.The Ardupilot platform supports many Comms and APIs, such as DroneKit, ROS, and MAVLink. It unites OS drone projects to provide a common codebase. With the help of this book, you will have the satisfaction of building a drone from scratch and exploring its many recreational uses (aerial photography, playing, aerial surveillance, and so on). This book helps individuals and communities build powerful UAVs for both personal and commercial purposes. You will learn to unleash the Ardupilot technology for building, monitoring, and controlling your drones.This is a step-by-step guide covering practical examples and instructions for assembling a drone, building ground control unit using microcontrollers, QgroundControl, and MissionPlanner. You can further build robotic applications on your drone utilizing critical software libraries and tools from the ROS framework. With the help of DroneKit and MAVLink (for reliable communication), you can customize applications via cloud and mobile to interact with your UAV.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewer
Customer Feedback

Running the numbers

We're not going to bore you with all of the calculations involved in computing your potential flight times. Instead, there's an extremely handy online calculator for helping you with your multicopter designs at

The results we get with this configuration are shown in the following screenshot:

I know the font is really small to read. The bottom line? We get about 5.5 minutes of flight time. If we were going into a production prototype, we'd spend a ton of time (and probably a lot more money) tweaking our parts until we reach just the right balance of flight time and payload. But this is certainly not a production prototype. Not with the camera we'd want to eventually carry, and nowhere near the size we'd eventually want to go for. For a simple proof of concept, we can deal with 5-minute flights. If we really want, we can bump that up to just over 7 minutes with a 5,000 mAh battery. But that may overload our motors if we ever go full throttle...