By Chris Anderson [ http://www.diydrones.com/profile/zlitezlite ]
The ArduPilot Project
The ArduPilot project is a family of open source autopilots based on the Arduino open source computing platform. It consists of a choice of ArduPilot Mega (APM) electronics and a range of free software versions for different vehicles.
APM 2.6 [ http://store.3drobotics.com/products/apm-2-6-kit-1 ] is a pro-quality IMU autopilot based on the Arduino Mega platform, which can turn any RC vehicle into a fully autonomous Unmanned Aerial (or Ground) Vehicle. Depending on which software you choose, it can fly fixed-wing aircraft [ http://plane.ardupilot.com/ ], multicopters [ http://copter.ardupilot.com/ ], helicopters [ http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/traditional-helicopters/ ], and control ground rovers and boats [ http://rover.ardupilot.com/ ]. It handles both autonomous stabilization and GPS navigation and allows fully scripted waypoint missions and camera control. It supports 8 RC channels, has four serial ports and features an all-in design.
You can buy APM 2.5 for $159 ($240 with advanced GPS module) here [ http://store.3drobotics.com/products/apm-2-6-kit-1 ]. Everything else you need for a complete autopilot (flight software and desktop utility software) is free!
Hardware includes the following:
Last updated by Chris Anderson [ http://store.3drobotics.com/products/apm-2-6-kit-1 ] July 20 2013.
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