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

Implementing Pixhawk

In previous iterations of this type of hybrid, you would need to use PX4 firmware (rather than Ardupilot or APM) with heavy customization. Luckily, the newer Ardupilot firmware versions allow for exactly this type of VTOL (they call it a Quadplane). Obviously, the channels are going to be a little different.

The following diagram shows how all of the motors/servos are hooked up:

An easy way to remember motor rotational directions is that the leading edge of the propellers always turn in toward the hull on a Quadplane. Nevertheless, we marked each motor direction (CW for clockwise and CCW for counter-clockwise).

Test and tune before making the leap

With all of the quad parts on the plane, make sure that none of the quad motors have power, and connections to Pixhawk are severed. You'll want to test-fly (and probably retune) the airplane with the new parts before attempting to use the quad functionality. Make sure you have a successful tuning with the most stable flight possible...