Servers by jDrones

Mission Planner "Makeover"

(James Elkins) #23

Just stumbled across this thread and thought I would show something I have been working on…
I am a programmer full time and part time I fly drones for a military contractor, we use MP and PX to fly all sizes/types of drones and exclusively on Windows based PCs.
Because of the part 107 requirement and the military flight plans are more aviation based… and because I can, I have been working on a new HUD.

I am using the FAA DOF (daily obstacle file) for obstacles and for adsb data. Also created a synthetic type vision to put these on the hud. Added some touch friendly buttons for when we are using touch enabled devices. It also uses the terrain data + obstacle data to provide an elevation guide. You can tell I got a lot of my ideas from the G1000 MFD.

This proves to be very helpful as most of our flights are way beyond LOS.

I haven’t got these changes ready for submission but eventually I plan to try to get them added to the main fork of MP. I wasn’t aware of the FB page and have submit a request to join so I can also get feedback there.

(mike kelly) #24

…Nice work! .

(Nathan E) #25

@jelkins, that is incredible! I recognize that from G1000 manned aircraft cockpits. Does Garmin have any patents or IP protection that this could violate though?

Thank you for the contribution, and I look forward to seeing more.

( .) #26

I know these are drones and not human flown, but being that they “might” fly in commercial airspace do you intend to get this interface DO178C Level A certified as a Primary Flight Display for the operators?

If you do, I understand that MP can’t take advantage of the certification, but without question, the commit you fork back into the master could certainly be tagged “DO178C Level A certifiable”. That’s a GREAT selling point…just a thought.

There are a lot of other questions I have (as a former Airworthiness person) but i’ll restrain myself. I’m really interested whether if you’re using this for real time flight how you can make latency garauntees.

(James Elkins) #27

@Naterater Actually hadn’t thought of that… I wouldn’t think so… but I am no lawyer :slight_smile:
I just liked the hud of the G1000 and decided it would be cool if MP displayed the data in a similar fashion.
And frankly, Easier to use.
When you send an aircraft on a mission sometimes 50+ miles away and MP is the only thing letting you know what the state of the aircraft is… it gets tedious looking over all the raw data and it makes better sense to me to be able to see the important info at a glance.

(ptegler) #28

Very nice James.
I’m assuming you primarily manually op your craft?..and this is your active GC?
Do you use the MP available live video feed behind that HUD?
great objective great effort

(wkf94025) #29

Agree that’s a good looking HUD, and with FPV video feed behind it, great situational awareness for RC pilots. Happy to test when you’re ready.


(James Elkins) #30

For anyone wanting to give it a try.

(bisenberger) #31

I like to see Michael keep adding updates that improve the functionality of Mission Planner rather than giving it a face lift. A face lift is what software companies do to their apps for marketing purposes when they run out of innovative ideas.

(ptegler) #32

love the HUD…just fired it up… update popped up…let it update…sure enough…HUD is gone.

Great idea, but you need a way to install the HUD without normal version updates over writing your HUD revisions.

bummer… next step is a delete (don’t need two MP’s installed) :frowning:

(ptegler) #33

have to disagree. MP has a TON of features most people don’t even realize are there!

Most software development efforts typically end up with UI’s as an aside to the ops of the coding.
successful apps are those that have updated UI’s that follow human logic and process of usage.

‘old adage’… if it take more than 15 minutes to figure it out, it’s too complicated.

Field use is most common. Touch interfaces nealry a must (with busy hands at the controls), drawing a circle for ‘circle mode’ buttons for popup functions/connections …the simpler to use the more people will gravitate towards using it fully.


(David Merchant) #34

As still a relative newbie to MP, I have to say, it is horrendous to use – until you’ve spent years using it. (Also, professional programmer since 1977, with emphases on databases and UI’s.) First thoughts: 1) setup UI pages by FUNCTION, with mouse/finger “hovering” over particular items bringing up notes, definitions, or links to more detail; 2) allow that list of 800 settings to sorted in whichever parameter the user needs at the moment; 3) allow the parameter list default to have the most common things to change at the top of the list, with the other 780 sorted by columns and subcolumns that can be altered by the user (and his preferences saved); 4) color code the parameters by relative danger of changing them, and/or importance; 5) include some pages that DESCRIBE (document) what the MP software does, from a top-down, plain English “executive summary” per major function. In each exec summary, include hot links the parameters applicable to it; 5a) include some executive summaries for the in-flight monitoring to explain to the user just what they are seeing and make NO assumptions. And so on.

(Nathan E) #35

Overall, there has been little attention given to this topic. A top-down approach and collaboration don’t appear to be a priority. As so, I have compiled a list of some GUI-related priorities that could be possibly addressed:

Mission Planner “Makeover”

CTRL-F “temp” menu complexity
Dataflash logs and TLOGS don’t belong below the VFR HUD
Live Map is cluttered
“Advanced Options” hinders new users
Themes other than Burnt Kermit almost unusable
Zoom behavior and reset to home view
Quick Numbers should not be colored
VFR HUD should be blue over brown - not green
Wind Meter Location
WIZARDS need to be fixed and supported or be gone
VFR HUD Compass rework to industry standards

What do you think? What approach is best? There are a lot of differing opinions on this subject.

(proficnc) #36

ProfiCNC and Hex are proud to announce that we have now hired Michael Oborne full time!

(proficnc) #37

@skypuppy1, so glad to hear that you have volunteered to take on the daunting task of redesigning the UX of Mission Planner!

It’s such a relief to see someone willing to jump in and put the effort in to make the changes needed.

(mike kelly) #38

+1 :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: Absolutely refreshing in fact.

Although I would assume proficnc would now invite a contract to do such work at time and materials?

(proficnc) #39

this community has thrived on people volunteering their time. only those that have put in the long hard years of commitment to the project on their own time and dedication tend to get the community sponsorship. We are so proud to finally be in a position to give 3 Key developers a full time gig.
The funding for this is from dedicated people in our team that see the value in the community, and are sure that by financially sponsoring the developers, the full community will benefit.
Unlike the previous history of this community, there are no VC funds going into it… many companies are using the system, but only a very few are putting back more than a fraction of what they take from it.

(mike kelly) #40

I guess cynical humor does not translate well into Austrailian.

I have been irritated by this thread because the OP does not seem to understand that this is largely a volunteer community and there is nobody to “makeover” Mission Planner unless he volunteers. I have tried to indicate that I, for one am thankful that Michael has created MP, just the way it is, and has been willing to share it. I have donated to Michael on a number of occasions as a thank you.

The “humor” was supposed to be that if the OP wanted to fund the effort then maybe someone could afford to do the work for him.

International forums are difficult because an attempt at humor can often be misinterpreted. I also very much appreciate your work Philip, especially since I am a green cube Solo owner, and am discouraged that my comments were received in the opposite way that they were intended.

(proficnc) #41

I got it… but thought I would spell it out… in case others missed it :slight_smile:

(Nathan E) #42

I don’t think my points are understood very well. If I had the experience to make the changes, I would have done so already. If I had the money to fund such changes, I also would have done so. I come as a community individual, making NO profit from Mission Planner, and only representing those that I interact with. I feel like I am but a small voice for the community who provides little feedback. Please do not interpret my requests as being ungrateful. I have thanked again and again while being constantly told that I should just be doing it myself. I too volunteer with testing and often sacrificing my equipment for the benefit of the community, and I devote some of my time every week to help new users here on the forums.

Instead of bashing those who agree that there should be changes, volunteering them to make the changes themselves, and assuming that they are ungrateful, I think we all should keep these ideas in mind to make the ArduPilot project the best. Saying “PR’s welcome” is about the equivalent to “we don’t care enough, go do it yourself.”

I’m very excited that Mission Planner can receive some attention, and the whole community will thank all involved, especially Micheal, Hex, and ProfiCNC.