Boat Mode

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This was just discussed here: A question I hope someone can answer

But I think Boat Mode deserves a general thread of its own (and one with "Boat" in the title so people can find it).

Taking off from a boat is problematic. If the boat is rocking it causes a pre-arm failure in the IMUs/Gyros. Also GPS has issues if the boat is moving.

An old github where the developers discuss the challenges:
- https://github.com/diydrones/ardupilot/issues/1361

Chris Anderson (3DR Founder and CEO) a week or so ago (August 9, 2015) - specifically referring to the Solo:

"boat mode" coming soon! It will calibrate copter (and Solo gimbal) on moving vehicle. Dynamic home location (for moving platform) and GPS position-hold loiter optionally replaced by alt-hold, to ensure that the vehicle doesn't zoom "backwards" trying to hold a static position while you're on a moving vessel.

- http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/copter-3-3-beta-testing?commentId=705844:Comment:2066797

So it sounds like the Solo will get it first, then it will be ported back up to the main arducopter branch in 3.4.

Just remember when you check out the links that these are mainly developers and DIYers discussing it. If Boat Mode doesn't make it into the next Solo update, lets not all freak out and start shouting at each other about 3DR breaking its promises. The take away should be that they are working on it.
 
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That is good news...improvements, improvements. Dynamic home point would be great...particularly on a boat.
 
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It seems to me that if you can safely launch from a boat, then why not a train, a (slowly) moving pickup truck, a swaying platform (i.e. up in a tree - think Amazon), an elephants back (;)), etc...
 
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Just remember when you check out the links that these are mainly developers and DIYers discussing it. If Boat Mode doesn't make it into the next Solo update, lets not all freak out and start shouting at each other about 3DR breaking its promises. The take away should be that they are working on it.

Good point...again. Thanks for sharing all the links and re-posting. The solution has many benefits to all the APM platforms.

Autonomous landing on a moving object would appear to be the most difficult procedure. Be cool to incorporate the GP feed to an optical recognition algo to aid in the procedure. Basically control the pitch to the camera to help lock in on the landing zone on approach, once commanded to land.
 
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This was just discussed here: A question I hope someone can answer

But I think Boat Mode deserves a general thread of its own (and one with "Boat" in the title so people can find it).

Taking off from a boat is problematic. If the boat is rocking it causes a pre-arm failure in the IMUs/Gyros. Also GPS has issues if the boat is moving.

An old github where the developers discuss the challenges:
- https://github.com/diydrones/ardupilot/issues/1361

Chris Anderson (3DR Founder and CEO) a week or so ago (August 9, 2015) - specifically referring to the Solo:

"boat mode" coming soon! It will calibrate copter (and Solo gimbal) on moving vehicle. Dynamic home location (for moving platform) and GPS position-hold loiter optionally replaced by alt-hold, to ensure that the vehicle doesn't zoom "backwards" trying to hold a static position while you're on a moving vessel.

- http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/copter-3-3-beta-testing?commentId=705844:Comment:2066797

So it sounds like the Solo will get it first, then it will be ported back up to the main arducopter branch in 3.4.

Just remember when you check out the links that these are mainly developers and DIYers discussing it. If Boat Mode doesn't make it into the next Solo update, lets not all freak out and start shouting at each other about 3DR breaking its promises. The take away should be that they are working on it.
please educate me im just curious about boat mode what is the main function of this?
 
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To call it boat mode would be a mistake. Dynamic Home Point is really the functionality that you're looking for. DJI has it and although I've never had the need to use it, it seems like it would be great to incorporate into any on location shoot as you're not tied down to any particular location after you take off.
 
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Boat mode won't be here soon now, it was going to be, but there are challenges like coding for taking off in GPS whilst the boat has forward motion. Normally GPS just tries to hold, so if the boat was moving the Solo would end up slamming into the boat or a person on it!
 
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To call it boat mode would be a mistake. Dynamic Home Point is really the functionality that you're looking for. DJI has it and although I've never had the need to use it, it seems like it would be great to incorporate into any on location shoot as you're not tied down to any particular location after you take off.

I disagree. Dynamic Home Point is just one piece of functionality, and of secondary importance.

The important piece of functionality is the ability of the copter to arm and take off when the boat is rocking back and forth. Even if you are anchored and the waters are fairly calm, there is almost always so much movement that the IMUs/gyros can't get a fix for level (the copter can't pass pre-arm checks). Small boats will rock and sway just from a person moving around on the boat.

The dynamic home point feature is nice, but your are going to be on the sticks to land anyway. Frankly, I disable all the RTL (aka RTH) failsafes anyway - same for the geofence. Experience on both DJI and Arducopter platforms has taught me they cause more problems and crashes than they are worth. Its much safer to be an alert and focused human pilot than to rely upon those features - but thats a discussion for another thread.
 
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Boat mode won't be here soon now, it was going to be, but there are challenges like coding for taking off in GPS whilst the boat has forward motion. Normally GPS just tries to hold, so if the boat was moving the Solo would end up slamming into the boat or a person on it!
Yeah, I can see many difficulties in trying to accomplish what they are trying to do. Dodge says DJI has it, but I wonder how it works? For instance, you initiate it and travel by boat or whatever, and it is updating home point based on your moving location. Then you lose GPS or controller signal and you won't know the last good home point that it is returning to? And for take off from a moving platform, you would almost have to take off in manual then hover long enough to get a lock.
 
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Boat mode won't be here soon now, it was going to be, but there are challenges like coding for taking off in GPS whilst the boat has forward motion. Normally GPS just tries to hold, so if the boat was moving the Solo would end up slamming into the boat or a person on it!
There are a couple Arducopter/Pixhawk based drone makers that already support "boat mode." When you put the copter into boat mode, GPS is not used. Basically you are taking off in Alt Hold - what Solo users call Manual. I almost always take off in Manual anyway, so this is not a problem for me. Once the copter is up in the air, then I switch to Loiter (aka GPS assisted mode called "Fly" by solo users). I think you will find a lot of users do this.

Here is a link to one: http://mikrokopter.altigator.com/boat-mode-take-off-from-a-boat-n-340.html
 
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Experience on both DJI and Arducopter platforms has taught me they cause more problems and crashes than they are worth. Its much safer to be an alert and focused human pilot than to rely upon those features - but thats a discussion for another thread.
Boy, you hit the nail on the head there and a real pet peeve of mine. I know many pilots new to flying will disagree, but I would bet a great deal of returns and crashes would have been reduced by learning to fly the old fashioned way first. Of course, 3DR marketing can take much of the blame by aiming the product at push button flyers. And yes, you can also blame the early GPS problems as well. Though the vast majority of those crashes were under 10' and around obstacles, but again, had they learned to take off/land in manual may have been a different outcome.

Many crashes I read had 1 part of the statement in common; 'It all of a sudden went fast to the left (forward, back, right) and hit a (insert object here)'. I have experienced that when I was testing and purposely flew in the woods under heavy canopy. Was flying in 'Fly' mode to purposely let it go in and out of manual. And because of a slight delay in switching modes, it would often start off quickly in one direction or another. But I was able to correct for it, which sometimes required almost full stick for a quick second. But I am also still on my original props. I am still FAR away from a great RC pilot, but I have been flying RC off and on for many years.

I guess what I would like to see is the Simulator that was promised be released. And in there they could incorporate what many games do; after some basic maneuvering skills you would see 'Your Ready! go Fly!.
 
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I guess what I would like to see is the Simulator that was promised be released. And in there they could incorporate what many games do; after some basic maneuvering skills you would see 'Your Ready! go Fly!.
Yeah. What ever happened to the simulator?
 
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Great example/link Erik.

This method uses as reference the last values of the gyros that were saved during the most recent initialization made on the mainland. It is therefore important to have completed this process (initialization) during the last 1 or 2 days before, because these sensors are quite sensitive and unstable in medium term.

Based on the above, this would be easy to implement to existing. Then like you said, take off in manual mode (aka alt-hold), as part of the Boat mode settings.

edit to add: I was assuming Boat mode meant the Solo would keep pace with the actual moving craft...i.e. 10 knots forward motion as an example.... :oops:
 
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I just posted that over on diydrones (just in case the Devs weren't aware - they can't track every ardupilot branch). I think its a perfectly valid approach. Sure, I'd rather not have to arm on the mainland first, but its not that big of a deal. And since I take off in Alt Hold 95% of the time anyway, I certainly have no problem with that. You can always switch to Loiter (GPS) once your aloft.
 
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I just posted that over on diydrones (just in case the Devs weren't aware - they can't track every ardupilot branch). I think its a perfectly valid approach. Sure, I'd rather not have to arm on the mainland first, but its not that big of a deal. And since I take off in Alt Hold 95% of the time anyway, I certainly have no problem with that. You can always switch to Loiter (GPS) once your aloft.
Got a response from one of the devs. They seem pretty confident they have Boat Mode nailed down. Sounds like it just needs to be cleaned up when they get the time.
 
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OK so I just found this post as I could not launch the SOLO in any MODE including FLY MANUAL from a boat while filming in the BVI's. The SOLO would never initialize "Startup Successful". Just 4 solid green lites. Would have been nice to know upfront as we went with the SOLO over our DJI INSPIRE. Can someone clearly explain why FLY MANUAL mode would not work as it just kept switching to LAND on the controller everytime I would try to startup, hold the FLY button with left stick down. Shouldn't it fly in Manual mode off a boat or does Manual mode rely on NAV electronics as well. USING FIRMWARE 1.0.5, just upgraded to latest but back on land and cannot test from a boat again for another week.
 
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Can someone clearly explain why FLY MANUAL mode would not work
Just click the first link I provided in this thread. The one to github. It's old, but it explains the issue. If you read through the rest of this thread and follow the other links, it should be clear.

(I'd also remind you that the manual is pretty clear that you have to take off from a stable and level surface, so while I understand your frustration it's not entirely fair to be upset that you weren't informed "upfront").
 
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Any update on this I was just out at sea and lost some great footage and a friend lost his Yuneec to the water gods...sad day but glad my solo refused to take off
 

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