New Andropilot feature: Specator mode

So the 1.9.06 beta adds a new menu option called ‘Read only’. If you turn this option on you can then give the tablet/phone to any random stranger and they can do only ‘read only’ things - all the usual features work (map, hud, telemetry, voice warnings etc…) but at a protocol level it prevents sending any packets to the vehicle (other than required heartbeats).

This is useful for the following:

  • Allows you to use andropilot with any mavlink based autopilot (not just APM based) (if you find problems, please send me an email or post)
  • You can let non pilots play with the tablet (though of course, it is presumed that your friend isn’t going to dive deep into the menus to turn read-only back off)
  • If you have any doubts at all about what andropilot is doing with your vehicle, you can put your mind at ease :wink:

Available now for beta testers, or about a week from now for general availability.


  • Support ‘spectator/read-only mode’. The new ‘Read Only’ menu item will switch Andropilot into a mode where it never sends packets to the vehicle. This is useful for vehicles that only have a one-way radio link


  • Support the new px4 USB device IDs (reenables direct USB connection to Pixhawk) (Thanks for the report Tridge)
  • Support VERY small screens (320x240) with a special UI (move bluetooth options into menu etc…) (Thanks Rory San Miguel)
  • Better support for nvidia shield
  • Prompt for arm & disarm in the menu (thanks Edgar)
  • Do not allow arming (from andropilot only) if the vehicle is not level (thanks Craig Baldwin for the idea)

Great idea, I like

Would it possible then to listen only with the tablet and have a laptop with another radio doing further fligth following and changes?

Hi Gary,

Alas no - because of how the frequency hopping is done on the 3dr radios there can only be two radios on a channel (unless you are willing to do a bunch of funky stuff). However, Andropilot can serve up any receivd packets over UDP so mission planner can listen/talk on UDP at the same time andropilot is talking to the vehicle (in fact - this is how I originally did my andropilot testing)

As yes of course, silly me!

What a great Idea, could you take it further and allow the other people to connector to your Andropilot connection via bluetooth or wifi and read the same data (coming from the telemetry connection) only it is read only without any ability to go back into “read/write” mode. I would call it something like “group share” or “Andropassenger” ??

Yep! Actually I’m working on something like this right now for We’ll see how it goes.