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Dronecode Technical Community Update – August 31st

By September 4, 2015April 11th, 2017Announcements

General ArduPilot

The master-AVR branch has been created.  Moving forward all official AVR builds (APM1, APM2, APM2.5) will be done on this branch rather than master.  This means that commits done to the master branch will need to be pull across into master-AVR should the feature or bugfix need to be included for APMs as well.


  • Quiet at the moment as we manage the creation of the master-AVR branch and the knock on effects to the automated build and testing systems.


  • TRIMs detection has been disabled on startup as users would often start their vehicles with the sticks not centred and the TRIM would be incorrectly set from that point onwards.
  • The Lighware LIDAR is getting support via a driver written by Tridge.  Thanks to Lightware for supplying a development device – an SF10/C.
  • The Mag calibration code from the Solo is in a PR about to go into Master.  This means everyone will get a new improved compass calibration procedure for the vehicles.  Its a big patch and been a lot of hard work for all involved.
  • Beta testing continues on 3.4


  • Copter-3.3 release testing continues to go well with no crashes or serious issues attributed to the flight code software in over a week.  We should move to a soft-launch of AC3.3 for multicopters in about a week.  TradHeli will likely be held back by a couple of weeks to resolve an issue discovered with the servos not moving before takeoff.
  • Copter precision landing in master for IRLock on Pixhawk.  Future planned enhancements to this feature include a tunable response using a velocity controller and the addition of other vision sensor like the PX4Flow sensor.

Trad Heli

  • Restructuring of AP_Motors_Heli complete and merged into master which includes basic gas engine support and allows for easier addiition of new frame types, Coaxial, Tandem, Compound, etc
  • RPM measuring code added by Tridge

PX4 Middleware

  • UAVCAN update
  • UAVCAN actuator configuration concept in active discussion. This is required to configure the location of ESCs and their turn direction
  • Impending code style enforcement: This will introduce a one-time diff, but will ensure that future code contributions are done in the right format.

PX4 Flight Core

  • v1.0.1 release out, users are generally happy. The current release has seen quite intense testing
  • SITL support extended from multirotors to planes and VTOL
  • Support to trigger a servo through a mission command



  • The specification has been fully reviewed and updated. The website now contains the up-to-date specification, and it is planned to publish the updated tutorials as well in the following few days.

Mission Planner

  • Mission Planner now has a better view for EKF and Vibration messages, alerting users to problems before they happen. Mission Planners GeoRef function has been updated to better support the self describing nature of Bin/Log files. This should remove previous errors involved with bad field offsets. PX4Uploader has been modified to prevent several forged certificates that have appeared in the wild.


  • Mavlink error messages show up at the top of the window in a modeless ui element. This should make people more aware of critical errors coming from the vehicle.

  • You can now reset all parameters to their defaults from the Parameter Editor

  • New Fly View functionality:

    • Shows currently connected vehicles on the map

    • Initial implementation of showing Mission Items

  • Working on moving from local TeamCity builds to cloud Travis and AppVeyor

    • Including support for iOS and Android drops

Hamish Willee

Author Hamish Willee

Hamish is the Dronecode Technical Content expert! You can find out more about him here:

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