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Smart flight controllers, what should the be able to do?


New member
Hi all!

--- tl;dr:
What features should a smart flight-controller have?
An example I came up with is flying waypoints with a glider, using autonomous thermal flight.
Combined with a small swarm of gliders, this should work quite well.
What are your idea's on this?

--- end tl;dr

I'm a AI-student from Groningen, the Netherlands,
with a passion for flying and building machine learning programs.
So for a thesis project, I was planning to build an AI for rc-airplanes.

So, I was wondering, what should an airplane be able to do?
Regular flight controllers can do waypoint navigation, and have 'return to home' features, which is nice.
Though if you fantasize a bit, a rc-airplane resembles a bird a lot more than a Cessna, or 747..
So with the ingenuity of the RC-community, there are a lot of possibilities.

I was thinking of a smart glider, being able to thermal, combined with waypoint flying.
Basically the same setting as a glider challenge for real gliders. Sharing thermal info between multiple gliders
might give some nice robustness to this.

Other work I found:


I love to here your thoughts on the topic, or possible experiences!

Hi there!

I like your Idea! I think what's lacking in the industry are Flight Controllers that can allow users to customize and add sensors (ie Arduino Compatibles) and have support for them. I was looking into building a autonomous drone for a personal project with the APM 2.6 as it was arduino compatible only to realize that the software no longer supports the added sensors. I think a all-in-one open source GCS + Arduino Compatible FC would be a deal breaker to creators out there.