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Thread: Teensy Pilot?

  1. #1
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    Teensy Pilot?

    So here goes, I guess I'm going to try and "get involved". Just do me a favor, if this sounds a little too crazy, tell me now. Get this over early.
    I want to build a TRULY open source autopilot, control system, for UAV and hobby enthusiast rc piloted aircraft.
    I could be TOTALLY off base here, but would this be a great platform?
    I want it to be modularized and I want it to be generic. When I say I want to do an open source project, I want anyone who wants to build this thing to be able to go to radio shack or frys or wherever and use OFF THE SHELF parts to build something. I don't want to knock any of the other platforms but seriously folks, I own just about every arduino board made. Nano, Pro, Mega, Uno, Fio, a couple of obscure ones. I have shields, sensors. Little circuits I've built just because I had parts and a soldering iron not even knowing what they would do. I have all this stuff and yet if I want to build a DIY Drone based on the open pilot or ardupilot or any damn pilot I have to use THIER PROPRIETARY PLATFORM?
    I want to build an airplane or an underwater bot or a cool crawler rover and use off the shelf parts and then have a software interface that allows me to run it, click the boxes of the sensors and hardware Im using, click and drag my interface buttons and joystick controller parts around the screen to design an interface and go.
    I think all the tools and components are all there for anyone to easily drive to a local hobby store and buy which allows for dads like me to start a project with my kids that I can finish over a weekend or on spring break. And if i break something, go get another one.
    When I started flying rc I was 9 years old. I had to build my plane (no arfs) and they were a bitch to fly. I crashed everytime I went flying for YEARS. But I could go by the local hobby store on the way home and get parts and advice and on a weekend I could crash for two whole days.
    The teensy with a compliment of sensors and interfaces seems like it would make an ideal platform for this stuff.
    Or am I totally nuckin futs?

  2. #2
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    Hi, I'm not sure the existing platforms are all proprietary, but I'm sure you're not totally off base.

    I'd like to build a quadcopter, and yes, it could be teensy driven, and yes, I find the DIYdrone proposals too expensive for my own usage. Now whether you use teensy 2 or a nano for example won't make a big difference IMHO. Except if you mean teensy 3.0 ?
    So if you want a "large community" to follow your project, maybe you should start a blog or posts about your efforts on a more drone-oriented platform. I think that even on DIYdrone forums, you could post messages about it without using any of their stuff, just like there are messages about teensy on the arduino forum(s). It's all open !

  3. #3
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    I'm trying something which might be vaguely related. I got into Teensy boards for building flight simulation interface hardware. Most flight sim enthusiasts have a horror of programming, which is fairly understandable, so I've begun writing helper classes which integrate the Teensy's FlightSimClasses with the general Arduino interface libraries to the extent the user needs to write 2 lines of code to link up an LED, and three statements to link and map a servo to an X-Plane dataref.

    I have a plan where more of the hardware-input processing is done on the PC, which will allow the creation of a FlightSimHardware config and project creation app, where you pick your components from a list, link them to X-Plane's datarefs and commands, and map and test the hardware, all through a GUI instead of with hardware.

    This is similar to how existing flight sim hardware is configured, except existing flight sim hardware is ludicrously expensive and inflexible. With Teensy boards, the config app would be producing a Teensy sketch which the user can always override or replace with their own.

    Teensy boards are great, they're really empowering to work with, if you enjoy programming. I enjoy programming and I love Teensy boards. But I know a lot of people who hate programming - a hobby-specific GUI would really help them.

    I have a blog where I write about using Teensies with X-Plane at simelectronics.wordpress.com, I'll be writing about this kind of stuff soon there.

  4. #4
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    I like the sound of this....

    So my goal is to take my love of flight simulators, Radio Controlled airplanes, Full scale flying and roll them all up into one.
    Let me explain.
    I have been flying FPV (First Person View) airplanes for a while now. You mount a camera in the aircraft and fly it like your sitting in it by using either goggles or a screen.
    I then graduated to using my computer as my controller which allows me to use a joystick, rudder pedals and throttle instead of the traditional rc transmitter with two sticks and a couple switches.
    I've been working on an actual cockpit, or simpit, and want to use that as my primary flight controls.
    I have telemetry that streams down the video link and gives me all the same information I would normally get in a real aircraft. Airspeed, altitude, heading, temp of battery pack, outside temp, you name it, I can get the info. It is displayed using an OSD (on Screen Display) which I have configured to look exactly like a HUD with ladders.
    THE FINAL STEP for me is to take the telemetry data and feed it to ACTUAL GUAGES in my panel. Of course making an all glass panel would seem like the trick thing to do, and it is, what I want is to use ANALOG gauges with realistic faces. I actually do have a back up data source and my thought has been to use a hud type glass display on the top of my panel, a couple glass panels (monitors) in the middle of the panel for primary flight data, and then use the backup data stream to feed a series or 4- 6 "backup" dial instruments.
    I agree the Teensy 3.0 would be ideal for this application. I am sure the interface would be something similar to gettting the data from a flight sim because I am also already using a pc based program to display a series of guages on my laptop screen. I am sure I can export the data real time in a standard format.
    I will check out the blog you mentioned.
    C

  5. #5
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    My experience with DIY Drones has been a little frustrating. There seems to be quite a bit of internal struggle and someone who wants to do something with the platform that is viewed as non conformist doesn't seem to be very welcome. Also, the hardware is constantly changing and has become an almost fully integrated one board platform that doesn't really fit with what I'm trying to do. Im not really looking to reinvent the wheel nor do I wish to start a whole new community for fear Id end up right where they are now.
    What I really want is to be able to use a standard commercially available arduino and then pick and choose the sensors and accessories I want form my project and be able to use a basic software platform that could be modified through a simple gui interface so I dont have to become a programmer on top of all the other things you have to learn to fly your aircraft. Basic PDE programming isn't too difficult and would be even easier with some basic libraries.
    c

  6. #6
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    cwleveck do you have a blog? I'd be keen to see photos and keep an eye on your progress.

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