Vicacopter – Open Flight Robotics

Source code and many notes used in Vicacopter, the 1st English language source code for a fully functional helicopter autopilot.

Vicacopter – Open Flight Robotics

Vicacopter uses a ground computer for flight control. An 8 bit airborne microcontroller handles rate damping, PWM, & sensor capturing. The ground computer handles navigation & provides a simple instrument panel. This was the cheapest & most flexible way to fly. The system can be converted to a completely airborne autopilot very simply.

Vicacopter - Open Flight Robotics

Some Features

  • Automated landing & takeoff
  • Sonar position sensing for indoor flight
  • GPS position sensing for outdoor flight
  • Ground station instrument panel
  • Untethered communication from pilot to ground station
  • Curved or linear paths

The Tri-Roter one used 3 gyros for short term rotation sensing, 2 accelerometers for long term tilt sensing, 3 magnetometers for long term heading sensing, a high quality GPS module for horizontal position, a barometer for altitude sensing. A 3rd accelerometer was too sensitive to vibration & altitude changes to be any good. Because of the long term sensors & the very stable gyros, the orientation was always pretty accurate & didn’t drift.

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