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New CC board The Revolution is coming

Discussion in 'Multi-copter/Helicopter Plans' started by blindflight, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. blindflight

    blindflight Moderator Staff Member

    Trophy Points:
    The Revolution is coming;
    http://forums.openpilot.org/topic/8804- ... is-coming/

    "It's a new breed of Autopilot using the STM32F4 Microcontroller, this is important as it contains a hardware floating point unit which is a huge advancement for hobby class autopilots, of course OpenPilot has been 32bit since day one, the FPU is another step up the performance ladder.

    The Revolution is an Autopilot for Multirotors, Helicopters and Fixed wings, it is a full 10DoF, Mag, Gyro, Accel & Pressure. As the CC has manged to fly many types of aircraft and also ground vehicles the Revo will of course do this also, just better but at the end of the day we are targeting things that fly (CC has also been in a rocket or two as well, more on this when we have video).

    Where's the Pro?

    People still mention the Pro, the Revolution replaces it. Why did we do this? Because we knew about the new sensors and MCUs and we wanted to use them to give people the best possible hardware, I personally hate it when a company brings out something that they know is going to be replaced quickly and then it's dropped. This is why there was no Pro sold to end users, it flew very well, in fact exceptionally on Multis (including position hold 10 months ago) and Fixed Wing navigation however, when it was ready we knew it would not have the longevity we wanted so did not want to appear to play the planned obsolescence for profit game, we leave that to others.

    Revolution Features

    The size of the Revolution is just slightly bigger than the CC, it has 8 PWM outputs, 8 PWM inputs, it has the flexi port of course and a bunch of additional connectivity options, also Spektrum and S.Bus support like the CC. We also have been working with the author of PyMite to add Python scripting to the Revolution & Pro for quite a while, an idea that has already been borrowed by another Autopilot after we mentioned it on FLOSS Weekly a year ago.

    Please, don't get too excited yet, we still have a lot of work to do and the idea with the Revolution is release it people when it can do navigation type tasks and very well. Like the CC, we want this to work well when it is released, releasing stuff that is half done just isn't fair to anyone and there are a lot of places you can already get that. The normal pattern we follow will happen: Developers first, Testers & Diamonds (yes that is what they are for) and then everyone else. This keeps it fair and the people with the most interest in OP, get the hardware faster.

    OP Production Issues

    I know it has been a frustrating few months, trust me I *really* know! There is good reason for it, with the CCs we have been having issues with gyro supply, we have been getting some gyros that are just out of spec or faulty. It is not our imagination or demand for perfection, all these gyros have been returned and they have been replaced by Invensense confirming that they are out of spec. So everyone thinking "why not make more" because its a huge risk to do so and a huge delay getting the gyros changed.

    You know how this project is funded? Credit Card debt, each batch of CCs costs us over $20,000 to make, this is done on credit card debt as we have no money, if we have a bad batch of boards, we (well me) are in real serious trouble. I know everyone wants a board, I know its frustrating but please understand that side of it and what we are trying to do with OP. There is no mega corporation behind it, in fact no one with any money hardly at all (our lead firmware developer is on welfare) and it is a huge risk and stress to get these boards out. We are just a bunch of guys that got together and do something for passion and the love of it, there is a small donation on the boards only just too keep the lights on. This is why clones suck, we get barely enough money to keep going yet some people want to take that away.

    Even if you don't have a CC and have another board, I think OP has changed things for the better in the hobby and why we want to stay around, thanks to CC a lot of projects and businesses have been forced to lower their prices, of course we also get a bunch of hate for operating as we do from them, I understand why, I don't care but I understand it :) The other projects benefit a great deal from OP, we do a massive amount of R&D which they use, we have features and ideas that they borrow and things like our GCS caused a lot of other projects to step up their game as well. Our code is now also appearing in other Autopilot projects and hopefully we can benefit from this by getting patches and fixes back from them.

    Although we test and test the CC boards and of course with the gyro issues test a massive amount, some of those gyros that are out of spec have shown their problems after they have been sent. We can't have this, its beyond acceptable and not at all what we are about. I have personally had quite a few hobby things that arrived faulty and it sucks so much, excitement of a new toy turns in to disappointment and frustration. I never wanted to do that to anyone with OpenPilot but alas it has happened despite out best efforts.

    This leads us to a finding a solution, we have a new board called the CC3D, prototypes of this have been made and do fly but it is still early days for the new sensors, the CC3D must at least match the performance of the CC of course and we need to do testing to ensure this happens. This involves, testing on a range of Multirotor sizes, Helis and fixed wing as well, but we have to make sure the CC3D is solid. "

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