Suggested Flight Modes for Rover?

I am just getting started with an Ardumower attempt.
What modes are you running?
I could see manual, auto and an RTL or similar.
Any reason for more than 3?
Pixhawk Cube Orange newb. Attempting an ArduRover/Mower
Mission Planner 1.3.75
Ardupilot 4.1.1
Sabertooth 2x25 on a mobility scooter base
presently set to Lithium/Micro RC/Mixed/Exponential

I use a six position dial and have it set to the following:

I do a lot of driving in MANUAL mode because it gives me the finest control when trimming around trees, buildings, and landscaping. STEERING and ACRO are nice for long, straight paths. I bracketed AUTO mode with MANUAL so that no matter which way I turn the dial, I get MANUAL mode with one click.

If I had to choose 3, they would be HOLD, MANUAL, and AUTO.

I see no reason to use RTL for a mower. You’re only asking for trouble by asking it to drive directly to the home waypoint unless you have VERY well placed fences and good obstacle avoidance parameters to match (along with external obstacle sensing).

I use a 3-position switch on my controller and have MANUAL, ACRO and AUTO. I had STEERING instead of ACRO for a long time, but some post by @rmackay9 convinced me to try ACRO and I have just stuck with it. I think for all practical purposes, they work about the same.

I agree with Yuri that HOLD would be nice, but I have done OK without it. My current remote does not support more than a 3-position switch.

I do most of my trimming in ACRO, but MANUAL is always nice to have so that you can be completely in control, or at least think you are. :slight_smile:

I almost always have a computer with me running Mission Planner anytime I am doing anything with the mower. I make use of the “Fly to Here” feature a lot to move my mower “back home” in increments. As Yuri said, you may be asking for trouble executing an RTL. I can run over enough of my wife’s flowers and other objects without RTL! I don’t need it’s help! :slight_smile:


I guess I should add that my particular vehicle drives VERY well in MANUAL and reliably stops completely when the throttle is lowered manually. If it were at all hard to control/twitchy in MANUAL, I would make significant use of ACRO mode to tame it. I do like having ACRO mode available for tuning updates.

Thank you both for the replies.
I apparently dont understand all of the modes yet, such as the difference between manual and steering?

Between watching the videos of yours combined with Randy Mackay is a bit much to comprehend at once, or maybe ever but the learning will be fun.

The challenges seem infinite :wink: I was just barely scratching the surface of RC control for the bot and then hooked up my cube. All was going well but I couldnt change the stick mode in my tx. It had been working fine. Spent all day thinking it was a setting in MP only to find my FS I6 must have gotten corrupted. I have tried everything to prove that Mode 1 (Channel 1&3 on right gimbal). It shows the settings are retained but the display never shows the proper stick controlling it or able to change it. Weird.

I have a tx or 2 laying around. A Spektrum DX6I and the Flysky FS I6 modded for 10 channels (the one I having issues with atm. Any opinion on the better of the 2?

Do either of you have a button to retain a waypoint while driving in say manual? My thought is you manually drive the perimeter once while selecting points along the way, then using MP assemble a boundary, insert a pattern and load the mission.

Also, Yuri after watching most if not all of your videos. The terrain in your area looks almost identical to the area I live Houston/Conroe. Could it be? The similarities are uncanny.

Commonly used:
Learn WP’s

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Here’s the documentation on all the modes.

MANUAL is just that - the autopilot simply passes your RC inputs to the servo outputs without any of its rate controllers in the loop.

ACRO and STEERING are very similar and, in practice, behave almost identically at least on my Rover. ACRO takes your steering inputs and translates them to turn rate outputs, while STEERING controls lateral acceleration (in effect, turn radius). On many vehicles, those modes could be preferable to MANUAL once the tuning is good.

As Dave says, yes, I use the learn waypoint function often. I also wrote a Lua script that saves a waypoint each time the vehicle turns more than 3°. It’s a little rough, so I haven’t published it.

Between your two RC hardware choices, I’d go with FlySky to take advantage of more channels. I ran out of flexibility very quickly when I was using a Spektrum DX6. As long as it’s compatible, there isn’t much difference between various RC protocols when it comes to slow moving Rovers, as far as I’m concerned. I do like the pass-through telemetry available with FrSky protocols, but that’s just a nice-to-have feature - nothing critical.

While I once bought a truck in Conroe, and I do like the area, I live a good distance from Houston. I think you asked the same question on one of my videos (I thought I answered)…or else there’s another ArduPilot enthusiast in Conroe :slight_smile:

I am sure it was me on YT :wink: I have been stalking you both for a while.
Now to reflash the TS I6 and see if I can get it to behave again. I cant imagine why it lost mode selection.
Will read up on the modes. Thanks for the link.

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