Intel Aero RTF with ArduPilot

We’ve been working a bit on improving support for the Intel Aero RTF developer copter including coming up with good tuning parameters and writing up a wiki page with details of how the vehicle can be flashed with ArduPilot.

The flight video above was after running it through autotune and overall roll, pitch and yaw control is good but altitude control is only so-so most likely due to barometer data quality issues. Since this flight, we’ve improved its alt-hold performance by increasing the EKF_ALT_M_NSE parameter from “3” to “5” which means we trust the barometer less, the accels more.

What’s special about this vehicle is that it comes with a very powerful companion computer on board and also a forward facing stereo camera (the RealSense R200) which could be good in the future for visual odometry based (i.e. non-GPS) position hold… There’s also downward facing camera which could potentially be used for precision landing although that would also require connecting a Lidar (which is possible).

This copter is meant for developers - it’s not trying to compete with a Solo or Phantom - it has no gimbal so it’s not well suited for taking beautiful aerial images. For those wanting to do vision based research and development with a drone however, it’s a relatively easy way to get started. The kit comes with everything you need to get a drone flying except a flight battery.

Copter-3.6 will be the first stable release to support this vehicle but until then developers can use “master” to fly it. If you’re nervous about that, please contact us and we can give advice.

Currently running Copter-3.6 Firmware on my Aero rtf drone. Seems a little bit more stable than 3.5.3 but what I noticed today is that in alt-hold mode it holds altitude way better than in position hold (loiter). Maybe position hold also gets data from GPS about height which can be affected by electromagnetic interference etc. I’ll try it again tomorrow in alt-hold to see if it really works that better or it was just today.

Maybe getting position (x,y axis) from GPS and altitude (z axis) from barometer is the solution for loiter on this drone.

EDIT: I was able to get version 3.6 working. I am not sure exactly which procedure fixed the issue, but this is what I performed:

-Downloaded Intel image 1.62 (I was using 1.61).
-Updated Bios, FPGA, and FC using Yocto instead of Ubuntu
-Installed Ubuntu 16.04

Now I am able to connect to Mission Planner and I will be working to integrate the Marvelmind.


I am also working on the Intel RTF and ultimately I would like to get it working with a Marvelmind indoors positioning system ( ).
The instructions explicit say to use arducopter version 3.6 or higher, I tried downloading from , but once I flash this version I can no longer connect the Intel Aero with MissionPlanner. With the arducopter version shipped with the drone (3.5.x) it connects without problems.
Have any of you guys faced similar issues?

Thanks in advance,

Can you check the output of “sudo systemctl status mavlink-router”? Is it active and enabled? If not then restart the mavlink-router service as that could be a cause.
Also what is the output of the following: