The autopilot is the main board on your drone, its brain. It contains the code that makes your machine fly, it is the same OS as Windows on a pc, the gray matter of your UAV. The proper use of an autopilot enables you to automate the process of guiding and controlling your UAV. In this article, we present different tasks that autopilots can automate.
At Drotek we design and manufacture in our premises in France a range of autopilots including Pixhawk 3 Pro. Our autopilots are modular and can adapt to multiple platforms and multiple configurations: VTOL, aircraft, multi-rotor, traditional helicopter, car, boat, submarine and robotics in general…
GPS navigation system is also an essential element on which the autopilot is based to control the position of the multirotor. Position hold, return to base, and Waypoints self-navigation are also based on this unit of the drone. Discover our range of gps on our website.
Take off, preprogrammed flight and automatic landing
These advanced features allow pilots (even beginners) to take off, safely navigate and land without risk to the drone, as well as pre-program full flights from take-off to landing. It is also possible to program the triggering of the camera at each waypoint (Waypoint) or by distance intervals (or time) before returning to the takeoff position and landing automatically.
Automated Point Way Flight (Waypoints)
Thanks to a Windows computer or Android tablet, a user, even a novice, can program a flight plan to navigate the drone between waypoints at a preset speed between 0.36 and 54 km / h, and at a specific ground level. An option may also allow the pilot to vary the speed between two waypoints using a rotary knob on the radio control.
For applications such as panoramas or large-scale mapping, it is possible to register waypoints as relative positions with respect to the previous waypoint. This then makes it possible to position and orient the drone according to the recorded waypoint. For example, the drone could be positioned 50 meters to the left of its current position, and so on.
These relative Waypoints are set in the field using the radio control and do not require a computer or tablet.
Long distance navigation by waypoints
Waypoint navigation can be done on both short and long distances.
Click and Fly: Single point navigation
With a simple click on a map, on the screen of an Android computer or tablet, it is possible to control the drone so that it goes to this place of the map or that it lands there automatically .
The position hold function keeps the drone stalled at a geographic location. Even in strong winds, the drone is maintained at the coordinates chosen so as to let the pilot take care of the camera or the camera.
Dynamic position hold
Even when the drone is maintaining position, the pilot still has the opportunity to move to another position. This makes it possible to fly in a straight line even in windy conditions. This is a very useful feature for recording videos.
The drone maintains its flight height thanks to the onboard altimetry probe. The throttle stick then stays in the center and acts for the altitude as a kind of “trim”. This mode is activated by a simple switch on the radio control.
It’s easy to create and save waypoints during the flight so you can return with your drone later. This operation is done via the radio control and therefore does not require a computer or tablet.
Points of Interest (POIs) and 3D Waypoints
For terrestrial imagery, such as shooting buildings or other ground structures, it is possible to program three-way points around a particular point of interest. The drone will then be automatically directed towards this point of interest during its navigation, each point being defined by its geographical position and its height.
You can adapt your drotek autopilot to multiple installation as aircraft, ground vehicle, watercraft..