Cable Cam Mode - Ideas for implementation

A new mode (Cable Cam) has been discussed between users and developers. It is time to gather ideas and thoughts as to it’s implementation. Your ideas as to the specifications of the human interface is very important and I have been tasked with discovering what people would consider a good solution.

We welcome all ideas.

I’m interested in this, but I work on the PX4 flight stack. I’d like to add appropriate commands to the Mavlink spec so that the GCS can trigger things like flying the mission backwards, etc.

To provide continuity between Solo users and users of Arducopter, I use both, as many other do, why don’t we keep the controls as similar to Solo’s as possible. This way users will not get confused between the 2 systems.

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I agree and second what @Rusty_Jones suggested. Use a companion computer as done with Solo, keep them as close to the same as possible, and call it a day.

Being the SW/Firmware is the same/similar, and the likelihood of 3DR surviving, safe and wise bet would be to emulate what has already been done and proven to work.

Moved to ArduCopter category which covers all versions

I like the idea that a developer shared with me… "You would do a normal mission setup but instead of the aircraft traveling along the mission at maximum speed, the speed would be controlled by the throttle stick. So you could adjust the speed and heading. We could also make the throttle stick go both positive and negative so you are able to move backwards along the path as well."
The only thing I would change is to use the roll stick instead of the throttle stick for direction changes leaving the throttle alone (allowing altitude and yaw to be changed). I think this type of implementation saves time compared to actually flying the cable run (like the Solo) to establish waypoints.
In it’'s simplest implementation using only 2 points… Entering the mode the quad would fly to the first point and go into loiter waiting for the operator to control the movement along the cable run with the roll stick. If the roll stick is centered it would stop. If the quad reached either end of the cable run it would go into loiter mode again.

The following was from Ron Davis (from the original Copter 3.4 thread):

“I came at it slightly differently, and was thinking of a more manual process that didn’t involve auto missions. I was thinking of a Cable flight mode that when you switched into it, would set position A. It would then fly like Loiter mode until a switch was thrown that marked position B. It would then fly much as you described, using the “pitch” control to specify the speed that it moved along points of the defined line segment. Roll input would not affect it but you would have full Yaw control. Sort of a super-simple loiter mode on a fixed line segment.”

The following was from Tim D (from the original Copter 3.4 thread):

"I have thought about this before. I think the cable cam would be a great add to the firmware.

I don’t think that the fence is a good way to go about it. Getting the fence where you want it is hit or miss setting it through mission planer or what have you. What we really need is a flight mode that is like auto but can control the progression of the mission the a knob on chan 7 or pitch on the controller. Moving though the mission speeding up lowwing down reversing would be very useful to getting great shots with the copter.

If we had something like this we could save waypoints with a switch on the controller then switch to “cable? mode” and move through the mission with rc input.

I Dont have a deep understanding of how the mission work but I think it would be hard to implement. I know you can do a jump from one waypoint to another but toi Dont have fine grain control. You either have 0 or 100% between waypoints.

Maybe the devs can chime in to explain what it would take to get something like this implemented."

Hi all,

At least to start with there will only be one implementation so the two waypoint version will be controlled in the same way as the multi-waypont version.

We will use the existing mission waypoints so we already have a switch to add waypoints. We will simply build on that and add additional control interface to control the mission.

Solo: a detailed description of how solo does it coppied here would be helpful for the discussion. 3Dr should have implemented it this way in the first place as it offers significant control advantages.

3Dr are probably not going to be around for much longer so I don’t think we need to consider their plans. I suspect that solo users will need to rely on arducopter devs for future support.

Px4: not important here. Tools not toys.

Here’s a detailed description on Solo’s setup and operation:


So I was basically thinking of using the same set-up as solo in freelook mode. We would also need to look at how or if we use or swap between linear and spline waypoints.

We also need to define control input in mode 1 vs mode 2.

Then we could also use a different control mechanism like the ch6 knob as already suggested.

Once we get this all up and running we can then start looking at integrating additional mission based camera controls. More discussion required there though.