What's the deal about FCB?
The first step that anyone new can take into the field of Aerial robotics is to get a flight controller board commonly called as FCB and play around with it before investing time and money. We will use the term FCB instead of flight controller board in the rest of the blog.
FCB in simple language is the brain of the aerial robot/multi-rotor that takes inputs from various sensors,transmitters/receivers to control the motors and hence adjust the flight.
Aerial robotics can be costly so we recommend that you take things slow and start with an FCB as a first step.
FCB in simple language is the brain of the ariel robot/multi-rotor that takes inputs from various sensor
The best open source board which we recommend for starters is the CC3D board which runs on the open pilot now called as LibrePilot. It is easy to set up and you would need not break your head with errors.
CC3D FCB has powerful STM32 32-bit microcontroller run at 90MIPs with 128 KB Flash and 20KB RAM, Software support for Windows, Mac and Linux, Direct high-speed USB support and no drivers required, , 4 Mbits board EEPROM for configuration memory, 3 axis high-performance MEMS gyros and 3 axes high-performance MEMS accelerometers.
Powerful STM32 32-bit microcontroller run at 90MIPs with 128 KB Flash and 20KB RAM, Software support for Windows, Mac and Linux
This board as we said is not latest in the range of 32-bit microcontroller but it is quite good for a starter.
How do we get started after we buy the board?
You would need to install the OpenPilot now called as Libre Pilot Ground control. The setup files are free to download for all OS like Windows, Mac etc. The link is here below.
Download link for LibrePilot/OpenPilot.
You would need to install the OpenPilot now called as Libre Pilot Ground control
Next you would need a mini USB B type cable. Please note that the cable is not micro usb which are used for most android phones but a mini one. Buy a good quality one as you need the right power to come up to the board.
You would see the board light up. If there is no light then check for loose connections. Have a look at the video for some insights.
Since, we are not testing the motors here and doing the basic first test of the board it would be a good idea to see in the inbuilt accelerometer and gyroscope works fine. To do this you would need to follow the video above.
This video above shows the steps needed to test the board. It is really cool how the user interface of Librepilot is animated and the software reflects the exact motion you perform in the physical world with the board. Example - if you move the board right the animation will show right.
Hope this blog will motivate all our readers to start into Aerialrobotics. Please share,comment and like.