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zondag 12 augustus 2012

Arducopter to Seeeduino Mega

This project isn't finished yet. So what's next?

I'm currently trying to port the ArduCopter uav platform from Diydrones to my hardware. The ArduCopter multirotor uav platform is opensource and arduino compatible. But the guys from DiyDrones build there own hardware boards.
I did choose this road and stop developing my own quadcopter software, because the arducopter project is open source, has a lot of features and has a very nice pc software (ground station). I think porting this project to my own hardware will take less time the continue with programming my own software.

The arducopter firmware I'll try to port is version 2.5.3. After succes I can maybe take a look at v2.6 or 2.7 But the arducopter requirements say that as from version 2.7 there own, but older APM1 board isn't supported anymore. The APM1 board has an atmega 1280 like my seeeduinomega board. The port that I"m going to do is optimezed for the 1280 chip and not the newer 2560 chip that is shipped with the APM2 board.

A second problem is that the APM1 as well as the APM2 board from diydrones have a extra chip that handles RC input. The data that is recieved from your own RC reciever/transmitter will be read and handled by this second chip. It is clear that on a arduino mega board or on a seeeduino mega board there is only one chip. So for this project I will not be able to fly with a normal RC transmitter. But that is not a problem, because the arducopter PC software can handle joystick input to fly any multicopter. And that is what I already did with my own software :)

in the next blogs I'll give more information and try to give a step by step tutorial.

- first of all you have to download the arducopter firmware
http://code.google.com/p/arducopter/downloads/list

- you need to place all the libraries in you arduino program. Go to the folder where you installed arduino. Locate the libraries folder and copy all arducopter libraries to this folder.

- as from know your arduino pc software is ready to compile the arducopter platform. I'm using arduino v0.22 and v1.0. But note that we still have to make some changes in the firmware itself.


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