CatsEyes Aerial Photography

AF Vehicle blog — June 19, 2016

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(re) Introduction

This is my "new" blog documenting my investigations and development of an autonomous flight (AF) vehicle. This is the first of the current batch of blog entries. I have also left my older "noodlings" in for historical reference (if anyone is interested). You can click the "<< Historical" link, above, to see the older posts, though I must emphasize that they are really no longer relevant.

The next logical step in aerial platforms would have been some kind of multirotor craft. However, unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the "drone" phenomenon has just exploded. You can now buy these things at Best Buy and Henry's for heaven's sake! Anybody with a few hundred bucks to plunk down can purchase a "drone." The control systems are so sophisticated that you don't even need piloting skills to "fly" the thing. Where's the fun in that?

I will probably pick up a multirotor at some point anyway, just to have it for various photographic missions I would like to do, but I have decided instead to focus more on an AF vehicle. That seems much more interesting!

My historical thin previous approach was based on the idea that I would have to develop and test the flight stabilization and navigation systems myself. However, it appears there are already "autopilots" out there that are quite capable of what I wanted to do, among a great many other things. In fact, it seems like there is an embarassment of riches at the moment, with at least 5 autopilot systems out there:

  1. LibrePilot (based on the now-defunct OpenPilot)
  2. PX4 Autopilot
  3. ArduPilot Autopilot Suite
  4. Paparazzi UAV
  5. SLUGS (Santa Cruz Low-cost UAV GNC System)

The old "AF Vehicle" page has now been incorporated as the "historical" portion of this blog, for interest's sake, but I suspect none of it is relevant any longer.

AF Vehicle blog — June 19, 2016

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