HoverFLY Open, on Quadcopter, can be used without receiver&transmitter?

Hello everyone, I have bought the ELEV-8 V2 Quadcopter Kit and I am working on it. I would like to know if I can use the microcontroller just for some little experiments without having a Controler?
I have used Assembly Giude to build it, but then in step 22 i realised that i need Spektrum DX7 Transmitter & Receiver. If I dont have it, can i still build my quadcopter, even though i wont be able to fly it, but maybe it does some simple movement by reprogramming the HoverFly Open microcontroller. Can I do this, is it possible?
Thank you.

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  • arlind223 wrote: »
    Hello everyone, I have bought the ELEV-8 V2 Quadcopter Kit and I am working on it. I would like to know if I can use the microcontroller just for some little experiments without having a Controler?
    I have used Assembly Giude to build it, but then in step 22 i realised that i need Spektrum DX7 Transmitter & Receiver. If I dont have it, can i still build my quadcopter, even though i wont be able to fly it, but maybe it does some simple movement by reprogramming the HoverFly Open microcontroller. Can I do this, is it possible?
    Thank you.

    The Elev-8 is a Remote Control aircraft. It is meant to have a transmitter and receiver to operate. That is not to say that you need the Spectrum transmitter. Any 6-channel transmitter/receiver combo will do. They can be had inexpensively, such as this one from HobbyKing:

    http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__9041__Hobby_King_2_4Ghz_6Ch_Tx_Rx_V2_Mode_1_.html

    I picked that one because you are in Europe, and most flyers there use Mode 1. (throttle on the left).

    The HoverFly Open Board is "open" as in the the hardware. The software is closed, but having said that, the board can be programmed like any other Propeller board. You can alwas revert back the the HoverFly firmware when needed.
    Infernal Machine
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited August 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    You could explore the Hoverfly board alone and not installed in the Elev8 with code examples that Jason Dorie provided sometime ago.

    This might help you learn something about the IMU and how it keeps track of the Elev8 rotation and direction during flight. But it really is only demonstration and study code, not the package that is required to fly the Elev8.

    Completely autonomous flight might be possible, but every government in the world is looking at regulating such.(How are you going to fly autonomously and avoid airplane traffic.? There is real concern about hurting other people.)

    They are also regulating remote controlled flight. You might find out about local laws that might apply to you before trying autonomous flight. There are website that discuss it, but generally the topic is beyond Parallax's product support for the Elev8. The Elev8 has always been sold as a remote controlled device.
    Hwang Xian Shen, Puddleby-on-the-Marsh.
    All things considered, I can live and thrive without Microsoft products. LINUX is just fine.
  • You can use a servo tester to check that your motors spinning in the correct direction. I used a 9V cell and a servo tester to check that the power distribution board, esc's and motors were connected properly.
    Once you connect the Hoverfly you'll need a receiver.
    Larry

    If the grass is greener on the other side...it's time to water your lawn.
  • You could explore the Hoverfly board alone and not installed in the Elev8 with code examples that Jason Dorie provided sometime ago.

    This might help you learn something about the IMU and how it keeps track of the Elev8 rotation and direction during flight. But it really is only demonstration and study code, not the package that is required to fly the Elev8.

    Loopy, You might be confusing the HoverFly Open board with the HoverFly Gimbal board we bought. The HoverFlyOpen only has a 3-axis Gyro on it, not a IMU. But I believe Jason has written software for both, and would be good to explore.

    Infernal Machine
  • Yes, I might be confusing the HoverFly GIMBAL board with the HoverFly OPEN.

    But the GIMBAL does have 9DOF -- 3 gyros, 3 accelerometers, and 3 magnetic compasses -- for X, Y, and Z axis. To me, either 6DOF, 9DOF, or even the 10DOF units are all IMU.

    I DO ADMIT, Jason Dorie may or may not have provided good examples for the HoverFLY OPEN as I only have the other device. But he still is one of the best resources for understanding spin and direction control and his examples do work with the GIMBAL board.

    A warning to the newcomer, the whole topic is a bit complex. If you just want start out enjoying flying, there are plenty of reasonably priced Transmitter-receiver packages for r/c controlled flight that should work with the Elev-8.

    AND, if you really desire to test the whole board and motor configuration without an r/c receiver, there are servo exercisers that can do so by replicating the PWM inputs. BUT, I STRONGLY suggest that you only do such testing will all the propellers removed.

    Obviously, getting the inputs working with propellers attached to motors might lead to all sorts of disasters. Safety first.
    Hwang Xian Shen, Puddleby-on-the-Marsh.
    All things considered, I can live and thrive without Microsoft products. LINUX is just fine.
  • You can also use the ORX T-SIX transmitter and receiver from Hobbyking. They are a lot cheaper than the Spectrum and there should be a guide on how to set it up on step 22. Hacking the HoverFly OPEN can be a bit of a challenge if your a newcomer and if I'm not mistaken the firmware is closed sourced.
  • Hoverfly Open only has a gyroscope, so it won't be capable of autonomous flight without additional sensors. At the absolute minimum you'd need an accelerometer and altimeter, and probably a compass. Writing the code to manage those isn't trivial.

    Elev-8 is basically a helicopter, and needs a pilot. HoverFly Open is a stabilizer, so it's like a pilot assist to make the aircraft stable enough to fly, but it can't fly by itself without a lot of extras.
  • I would like to thank you all for giving some help :) I managed to pass through this problem by using and Arduino and controlling motors without Hoverfly-Open. Now I am trying to use Arduino as a transmitter. I have done some experiments and HoverFly-Open works good with signal that I send from Arduino. By using HoverFly-Setup application I have seen that if i sent a pwm at Hoverfly's pins (throttle, aileron, elevator etc), Hoverfly works good by responding to those signal. The only problem I have at the moment is that I dont know how to make the arming/disarming process without a transmitter/reciever. As you all know, there are some steps that we had to follow to arm/disarm the quadcopter by moving the throttle to different position. I have trying by sending MAX/MIN signals with Arduino but it never goes right.
    I was thinking that if I want to make an autonomous system, i suppose there is an auto-arming process.
    Someone has any idea about that? Thank you :)
  • P.S: I am aware of the fact that HoverFly-OPEN is a closed source unit, but we can still use his pins (throttle,elevator etc) as we want. I mean we just send some information there by sending pwm signal. So if we send a sequences of pwm signal (2sec up, 5 sec to the right, 2 sec to the left and then left) does that mean that we can make an autonomous system?
  • HoverFly Open is not self-leveling, or self-hovering, so you will not only need to be able to send it remote control signals, which is pretty easy, but also perform your own orientation and position estimation, which is much harder.
  • Infernal Machine
  • arlind223 wrote: »
    ... So if we send a sequences of pwm signal (2sec up, 5 sec to the right, 2 sec to the left and then left) does that mean that we can make an autonomous system?

    In theory you could, in practice, absolutely not. The ELEV-8 does not have the required sensors to be autonomous. It can not tell which way is up. The gyros only serve to maintain it's orientation, as in attitude (not altitude). That means that constant fine control inputs are required to control it in flight. It also cannot tell if it is moving. It can only tell if it is rotating about one of it's three axis. It will strive to maintain whatever orientation it is in but it won't know if that orientation is correct (it almost certainly won't be) - that is up to the pilot to determine, and it is the pilot's job to make constant corrections. An autonomous quad will have the pilot on board in the form of an IMU and lots of code. The HoverFly Open does not have that stuff.

    What you propose is similar to having someone fly it while blindfolded. Telling them to go up, right for five seconds, left for two, then presumably, down. That would be a disaster. At least the blindfolded pilot would be able to hear the motors, that would help - and hopefully some experience so they would have an idea how much throttle to apply, how much to roll it etc.. It would be fun to try - but not with mine. ;-)
  • arlind223 wrote: »
    P.S: I am aware of the fact that HoverFly-OPEN is a closed source unit, but we can still use his pins (throttle,elevator etc) as we want. I mean we just send some information there by sending pwm signal. So if we send a sequences of pwm signal (2sec up, 5 sec to the right, 2 sec to the left and then left) does that mean that we can make an autonomous system?
    An "autonomous" multirotor is a big jump. One of your first tasks will be learning just to make it hover with the front facing away from you.
    That alone requires you to control pitch, roll, yaw and altitude. Remember that even slight breezes cause your craft to drift.
    While learning, be sure to keep a supply of extra propellers. You 'will' crash from time to time.
    Larry

    If the grass is greener on the other side...it's time to water your lawn.
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