Quadcopter failsafe routine

I would LOVE it if someone in the arducopter developer group would implement this. With the recent FAA proposed rulings and the preponderance of copters in the air, safety is becoming critical to the survival of our hobby/industry. PULEEEESE have a look at this link. The APM may not have the horsepower to implement this but I’m sure the Pixhawk would.

spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robo … e-software

It seems DJI has implemented that feature in their controllers, e.g.:



That method is patent pending but we are working on our own way to recover.


Could you give us an update on any progress that has been made towards implementing a power-loss routine/algorithm/system for Pixhawk? Have you contacted anyone at ETH Zurich or got your hands on the algorithm that they said would be described in their published work? Mark Mueller mentioned that said publication was going to be available this past June (2014), but I’ve been unable to get my hands on anything from the internet.

In my opinion, this is a hugely valuable safety feature that is certainly worth pursuing. I am a firm believer that innovation is furthered in this field by keeping people in the air (literally, not figuratively), and not keeping them waiting on replacement parts from crashes. I’ve talked with numerous individuals possessing both intelligence and skill who have simply given up on multirotors (and RC/UAS in general) because of the unforgiving and expensive learning process. It often leaves them with a bunch of broken parts and that deflating feeling that we’ve all had sooo many times… but we can help do something about it! : )

If code like ETH Zurich’s can be implemented as a failsafe/safety feature (RTL/Land priority) for ArduCopter, it will do a number of things:

1). Allow a lower entry price for DIY multirotor builders. If they can achieve a high level of reliability from a Tri or Quad Copter, then they can forgo buying extra arms, motors, and ESCs to build a 6-8 motor copter. Of course there are other reasons to build those bigger copters than purely redundancy, but I’m only talking about beginners here (although the algorithm will undoubtedly benefit ALL pilots).

2). Give drone pilots another solid safety feature with which to defend our stake in the aviation world. The sooner these systems are in place, the sooner we can start recording success stories and building a more solid reputation as participants in the aviation community. This could play a significant role, politically, in what is to come with sUAS integration into the National Air Space.

3). Give 3DR a substantial leg-up in marketing to entry-level enthusiasts. The Pixhawk and APM are not financially easy pills to swallow for an entry-level hobbyest, so in an effort further sales (sales = use, use = innovation), I would suggest pushing this feature HEAVILY in your marketing campaign (assuming implementation is solid and reliable, of course), and explain in simple terms how it isn’t JUST motor failure protection: it’s ESC, Motor, bullet connector, prop adapter, propeller, and maybe (if you’re lucky) even boom/arm failure protection. I really feel like there is significant marketing value in this algorithm, and it would be a waste to not pursue it (I hope that 3DR already is).

4). Make me happy. And not just because I’m flying safer, but because a US-held company (3DR) becomes stronger by taking input from it’s user community and is able to continue employing new people who embrace new technological advances (even if the Swiss did it first! : ) that benefit all.

Anywho, those are my thoughts, and I’d love to hear if what (if any) progress has been made on this and when we might get to see “DeadArm_Failsafe: Disable = 0, Enable = 1” in our parameters menu… : )


Danny Blanchard
Seattle, Washington