No Compass/GPS Options

Hello All,

I’m new here and deep diving into Arducopter after watching a Flyability ELIOS2 complete some inspections for us at my plant. My first thought was - I can build one of those!

The first stage of my plan is to learn the basics and put together a basic platform with all the regular navigation aids and perfect this outdoors. Then I will add Lidar collision avoidance all around and get that down.

The last step, which thankfully is a ways off on, is getting it stable indoors without GPS or Compass. My end goal involves using it to inspect things inside a (very) large operating power plant. We take EMF to a new level here! Even the ELIOS2 had issues, I suspect were related to it’s compass being very confused.

Initially, I saw the Intel T265 as a viable option, but since they’ve stopped production, the entire internet is already out of stock.

So - my long winded question finally - Are there any other options for stable flight without GPS and Compass? Perhaps 360deg Lidar with companion computer? I’m just not sure if that would also stabilize my Yaw. If there is currently a gap now that the T265 is gone, what are the odds that someone is working on this small niche issue? I’m OK with assisting/testing if something is in the works, I’m not afraid to break some stuff and provide feedback :slight_smile: I don’t code, but I can solder stuff, break it, and send log files!

Any help at all is very appreciated, and I can’t wait to get my first shipment of stuff and try this all out!

Maybe before you get too far down this path, start with a basic (GPS) build and get that tuned & flying. Also keep track of your hours so you have a good idea of why the Elios is the price that it is. :slight_smile:

One thing I’d be interested to see is how Arducopter handles touching a wall like the Elios? Some control drone loops don’t handle touching solid objects very well. That might be a bigger challenge than the non-GPS non-compass.

Well, I hadn’t thought about that. The Elios could drive around like a ping pong ball, just bounce it off everything and it didn’t really care. I’m fully prepared to break some stuff and find out!

My plan is in 2 phases. I’ve always been interested in drones, flown a few, but never had one.

Phase 1 - Personally buy a basic platform, likely a Holybro X500, and learn everything I can about it. Gradually make it smarter with Lidar and optical flow and eventually see if I can get it to behave indoors.

Phase 2 - If the above shows promise, then I continue development on the company dime.

Worst case scenario - my plan doesn’t work, I have a nice drone for myself, and I tell my boss to buy me 2 Elios3’s

I’d be curious to know if anyone else here has purposely run a caged drone into things. Did it behave?

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