Once you eliminate the impossible,

whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

Although the video from the other day probably showed the best autonomous flight control for a while, there were pieces I couldn’t explain or was unhappy with my speculative explanation.

So it’s time to move into a completely controlled test environment – my kids’ playroom – and check step by step everything that makes up the quadcopter.

  1. hardware – are the arms aligned – are the top and bottom plates flat? Surprisingly, the answer to the second question is no.  I was adding the new sticky feet onto the flight controller (Raspberry Pi + breadboard) and only 3 feet touched the top plate. Yet all four feet touch the table, kitchen work surface and floor.  Time for a replacement top plate methinks.
  2. gravity calibration – it needs to be done as best as I possibly can to avoid it corrupting further test cases
  3. vertical take-off, hover, and landing from a horizontal platform with only the inner most PID (angular rate with feedback from the gyro) in control to maintain horizontal flight with no drift – this can only be a short flight as gyros are prone to drift
  4. vertical take-off, hover and landing from a slightly non-horizontal platform with the absolute angle PID also engaged to control the angle when the gyro drifts – again a completely vertical take-off with 0 drift regardless of take-off platform should be achieved even over a longer flight
  5. finally, add the horizontal speed PID into the mix to make sure it doesn’t change things when the horizontal speed it set to 0.

Now I was planning to do this tomorrow, but now Phoebe has failed at step one, the testing can’t start until she has her new flat top plate.

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