Ardusub fish finder?
Many accessories are coming for ArduSub this year
Amen, this is exactly the kind of thing Ardupilot needs. I’m trying to get plane flying for months without success using a Nano Talon - cheap off the shelf plane. If there was a standard recipe for this, I should have been up and flying within a few hours.
The dev frame that @Coby is producing was borne out of the need for a reference design. It is an opensource, freely-downloadable set of 3d-printable parts that along with widely available off the shelf parts like CF tubes and wood screws will allow anyone, anywhere to put a frame together. A clear guide and videos to putting it together complete with arducopter setup and tuning would go a long way to getting people up and running - if he doesn’t have time to do it I’ll be happy to.
Similar with the projects that @rob215x is posting, that someone with basic woodshop skills and cheap off the shelf parts can build themselves a frame.
There is a huge gap between the great work that the ardupilot devs do on the firmware, and the enthusiasts/hobbyists/professionals who want to fly it. That gap is getting or building the frame/plane/sub/rover/etc, putting all the electronics together, and programming it to fly/drive/swim gracefully without plummeting like a rock.
The natural problem is that they want to appear neutral or at least supporting their sponsors and the fact that there interest is coding.
So maybe it is the place of the community to develop such a reference machine. I have been amazed at how sweet the Solo flies and I attribute that to the skill put in by whomever designed and tuned the system.
I think what is needed is what Lordneeko has asked for - a kit. Something that can be assembled with little or no tools or soldering. That is why I have been hammering on CANbus because it is a simple daisy chain architecture with one connector and cable for everything. No hacking cables.
For entry level folks I don’t think it is about simple materials or even 3D printing. Even tho 3D printing is commonly out there very very few people own a printer. Nor even the lowest cost is the impediment. It is about buying all the parts that assemble easily with no hacking or force fitting the parts. No confusion. No special skills. With a step by step set of clear instructions. Then have it fly well on the maiden.
This is an rtf.
Obviously the SkyRocket range too.
Jordi (mRo) has started selling an rtf nano talon.
We need to do better documentation for diy and reference builds though.
The CAN stuff is super cool and really exciting, and really looking forward to it. It’s one of those things that once standard people are going to wonder why we ever used anything else! But you’ll still need to solder ESCs/motors power, I don’t see any way round that unless we can find easily available ESCs/PDB with bullet connectors or something similar? But I totally agree, the less soldering or tools the better, and it would be fantastic to come up with a recipe that doesn’t need a soldering iron.
I’ve never even seen a 3d printer and have no interest in owning one, but I can simply upload opensource STL files to the likes of https://www.3dhubs.com/ and pick the printed part up next day in my local town, for very little money. Although I’m fascinated with UAVs in general and I wonder at the hardware that we fly, I absolutely hate the DIY side of hardware with a passion. The endless hours I’ve spent soldering, wire stripping, cable tying and learning how to integrate has never been done out of choice and has regularly made me super frustrated… Kits and/or clear recipes would make a huge difference to your average person who just wants the minimal fuss to get up and running (definitely includes me!). I really like what I’ve seen of @Coby next project, which should be as close to this as I’ve seen for your average joe like myself. Projects like @rob215x and others like @Hughes have done are more alternatives. It just really needs to be easier, it’s too hard at the moment, there are too few off the shelf options - the barriers to entry are too high. Every month and quarter that goes on the Ardupilot case gets less compelling as the commercial offerings like DJI get better and better, and cheaper and cheaper. I’m a hardcore opensourcer, and even I am considering moving over to DJI because their hardware, integration and features are just so good.
100% what I’m talking about. Because after you get someone hooked on building one (which even without soldering it teaches you a TON about how the component work), they will be more likely to dive into a more difficult kit, or building their own. It’s like model building. You build a Level 1 kit before you build a Level 5 kit!
A good entry level kit IMO would allow you to “snap together” (figurately not literally) the pieces, and then spend the “learning phase” on calibrating the system to fly well. This is where people would learn the software components of the system, while now already being familiar with the HW required to get one to work because they just put it together. If you think about it, AP is really complicated. So you really want to teach 1 skill at a time.
James, I don’t think we are talking RTF here. I think there are a billion RTF offerings out there already and I really don’t think most of those are going be used past the third outing.
The maker movement is really important because our young people are losing their fundamental ability to use tools. I read an article about how kids coming into machinist training don’t have the coordination to use a simple screwdriver.
Ardupilot will always be about people who want to do more. We just need to lower the barrier to entry to a reasonable level.
There is great value and satisfaction building a multirotor etc, and getting it to actually fly.
But it is the opposite experience if it flips, crashes or flies away on every flight and there is no success.
What type of components and pricing? I assume if we are talking entry level then the price needs to be kept low. Hard for my shop to compete at the bottom end of price range. Not really sure what people would pay for the value of kit bundles. With Amazon et al it might be better just to doc a bill of materials or two; add some build docs/vids using those parts; with a complete parameter file that is good enough to get people to at least autotune. That’s the approach we will try with the Dev frame project anyway.
When I first started I built a DJI 450. I had nothing but problems and almost gave up after months. Then I found out the pitch stick in Mission Planner moved in the opposite direction from all the other stick calibrations. Worked much better going in the right ditrection. But it still didn’t work well enough to enjoy. Then I moved to a Tarot 680 pro. But half way through I realized I should not be learning all this stuff on either the 450 or the 680.
So I stopped work on the 680 and built a 250 mini-quad but with a APM mini fc. I added a flight camera for FPV and a Mobius for video. I had a lot of trouble getting it to fly because the stock settings in Mission Planner are better for larger craft. But building and testing and learning to fly with a 250 is much smarter in my opinion than a larger craft for the first build.
If you added to that formula a reference build, that was “snap-together”, was pretty much guaranteed to fly with the right parameter file it would be a winner in my opinion. I would never want a beginner to mess with autotune.
This would allow you to learn how a multirotor works, no matter what size, learn how to fly, learn how to fly FPV, learn Mission Planner and missions all with a rig that you can crash without a heart attack. You would learn pretty much everything you need to know about building a big aircraft.
And you built it all yourself.
I think we’re talking between $150-200 for brushless…probably not much lower right?
I would need to add it all up. If an omnibus class fc is used then might hit that price range. Then you are back to solder. I have exhausted my four letter word vocabulary soldering small builds so not sure. Just a pixfalcon kit chews up a bit of that budget. If you skip gps I think you might as well stick with cleanflight et al in a small build. I bet 200 is hard to do if you need batteries. If started from nil then add charger and frsky 7.
Not sure what Skyrocket pays to build their SV 2450 GPS, but it sold for $150 in the beginning (now about $100). The only thing it is missing is the “snap togetherness” and brushless
Yep. And that is the challenge. Unless you need something special it is hard to beat. DevFrame is designed for a bit more interior volume so you can strap a companion computer on it. Totally optional but still drives the design. Unless someone like hobbyking puts the kit together price will be an issue.
I agree with you Mike. I have taught engineering students how to run a drill chuck and solder. Problem is that is an education issue. Hard to solve from my end as a business. As much as I would like to.
In my world Maker was not a title. It was just something you learned growing up.
You can’t compare an off the shelf ‘toy’ (I don’t mean that to be derogatory) with DIY kit, on many different fronts.
Understand, but they used mostly parts (and software) that three diy are
using… They get cost reduction due to scaling of manufacturing
And perhaps ironically you may have to charge more for kit over rtf to cover support. If you care about support. And if you want to differentiate from cheap imports you probably do. From a biz perspective I am not sure it’s a winner. From ardupilot perspective well documented prac app of tech is still needed.
@fnoop thinks I am a bit daft but I think you solve this with a co-operative. Member owned and controlled with ability ( read capital) to buy in volume and hire full time support.
Probably way off topic by now but if someone wants to explore coop option we can start a new thread. I just want to get paid to manage it.
Maybe that’s the answer.Get HK on as a partner supplying cheap Arducopter kitswith included stickers.
It’s how I got involved in the hobby (through an HK Quanum Nova/Cheerson CX-20 - I still have three).It was a low cost introduction to Arducopter with plenty of learning opportunities along the way due to the cheapness of components.I’ve worked my way up to serious multirotos and expensive bits through a number of builds since that introduction.That was an RTF/PNP intro for me but a kit would of parts would make a lot more sense.Something along the lines of an F450 with some low cost motors and parts.Bolt together in this order and plug this into that sort of thing.
Also worth putting together a cheap school project kit so kids can learn something useful for a change during the day.
I LOVE this idea. Our local Air Force museum is constantly having STEM camps over there. Would be neat to approach them with the idea of a STEM summer camp building quadcopters! It’d probably be aimed at 12-16 year olds or so? I’m not sure exactly the different age camps they have over there. I’m sure it’s a logical break out.