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ArduCopter controls STorM32 gimbal by UAVCAN

storm32

(OlliW42) #1


Hey Folks

next step in UAVCAN-izing my drone. I’ve added a AP_Mount_STorM32_UAVCAN class as well as the relevant code snippets in AP_UAVCAN to ArduCopter 3.6-dev, which enables controlling a STorM32 gimbal via UAVCAN. This is similar to controlling a STorM32 gimbal via MAVLink and a serial connection to a Pixhawk, which you might be familiar with, except that now the CAN bus is used, and UAVCAN as protocol.

The video below includes a short flight sequence demonstrating this in “real life”. That’s a demo of little practical relevance, but the control of course works also for all other situations which are covered by ArduPilot’s mounts (missions, POI, follow me, etc.).

Cheers, Olli


(rmackay9) #2

@olliw42,
This is really great stuff. I hope you don’t mind, I’ve turned it into a blog post to give it more visibility.


(OlliW42) #3

whatever that means
thx :slight_smile:

one should not forget to mention the incredible help by Pavel, thx sir


(Fnoop) #4

Interesting work. Do you have any plans to ever opensource STorM32? It could be a very important piece of the opensource UAV ecosystem at this important juncture.


(FRED GOEDDERT) #5

I did a short test with my RC Helicopter and a StorM32 gimbal today.
Grey winter day in the back yard - but smooth video.


(Marc Dornan) #6

I am guessing this does not have an easy answer but how do you add encoders to an existing gimbal? I am firing up Storm32s again with NT and i would love to add encoders, even if it is experimental. The Storm32 wiki is a little vague on this.


(OlliW42) #7

this discussion would probably be better placed in the rcgroups T-STorM32 thread

the answer is either easy or not, depends a lot on the mechanical capabilities at your disposal (I have nearly zero, and it’s a struggle)

the conversion consists of two steps:
(i) mounting the ring magnets
(ii) getting the encoder-motor modules (and mounting them)

the first step really depends on your gimbal, motors, and mechanical tools
my simplest solution (which I use on yaw of my gimbal stick) was to just squeeze a chop stick into the hollow axle, and the magnet onto it. For the gimbal in the video I had the (one-time) luck to get someone making me some brass pieces. This step is largely a matter of one’s creativity.

the second step is more difficult, as such motor modules are not available. I would be willing to build 3 for you, but would have to order everything, so, that’s something about 4-6 weeks (drop me a PM if that is of interest).

maybe you could/want contact rcgroups user buckker for his experience, he successfully did such a conversion. Reading the latest exchange with Ja1012 in that T-STorM32 thread might be helpful too. Pl don’t hesitate to ask if questions are still open.

cheers, Olli


(Marc Dornan) #8

Yes, I will move this over to the RCGroups thread Olli. Thanks for the pointers. I was hoping that I could get get a gimbal that already had encoders on it somewhere!!! I have seen motors with encoders like this: http://www.iflight-rc.com/ipower-gbm2804h-100t-gimbal-motor-with-as5048a-encoder.html


(OlliW42) #9

no, STorM32 is not Alexmos
the T-STorM32’s concept is different (but I claim it will pay out eventually, when I have fully pushed the possibilities of having motor modules)
and it’s also different in that you get the Alexmos stuff commercially, but nothing of the more recent STorM32 stuff
:slight_smile:

actually, that’s along the T-STorM32 concept: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=38141102&postcount=66
but I guess it’s also for AM


(Marc Dornan) #10

Thx. That explains things. I will join in on the RCgroups thread.