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Author Topic: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim  (Read 955 times)

CurryKitten

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I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« on: January 02, 2020, 05:07:45 PM »

Howdy all,

Back in November, I started messing around with the game engine Unity.  I don't exactly remember why now - many years ago I loved programming and treated it very much as a creative endeavor.  Then I ended up working for IBM for 23 years and they beat it out of me.

So after 2 years of not doing much, I had a mess about with Unity and decided I was enjoying it... a lot.  So I started to mess with stuff until it turned into an FPV sim of sorts.  This happened very quickly... and as such didn't become very refined but you can sort of fly stuff around and it works.

So I stuck this up on YouTube just before I went off on my hols and there's a video here -



Despite testing it on MacOS and Windows with two radios... and it all working.  Sticking it out there to the wider public has revealed that they have lots of different sort of radios and they all work differently.  So I ended up putting this video out shortly afterwards



So having got back from my hols and had Xmas etc I've started sorting out some of the problems (hopefully) I've fixed the issue with shadows flickering and objects looking a bit jerky as you fly past.  I put the floating building back on the ground.  I'm just at the moment sorting out the trickier bit which is being able to reassign controls to whatever sticks you want and doing calibration (helpfully Unity doesn't allow calibration so I had to buy in a 3r party native plug-in)  I'll hopefully have that version out this month, but until that time please feel free to try it out (for Windows/Linux/MacOS) here https://github.com/CurryKitten/CurryKitten-Sim/releases

Keen to hear about any issues/things you liked/didn't like.  I'm less interested to hear about radio/controller issues until I've got the next release out, which (fingers crossed) fixes all of them

Coyote

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2020, 08:56:57 PM »

That's pretty impressive Wayne, well done :)
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Education and schoolin is good, but FPV is gooder :)

ched

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2020, 12:17:17 AM »

It is an impressive sim. It must have taken a huge amount of work and a very steep learning curve. Well Done.
It's great fun especially chasing the beach ball.

Happy New Year Wayne.
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The flying cat

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2020, 01:59:48 PM »

impressive stuff, and inspirational, makes me wanna have a go at making a reboot of one of my all time fave games-clusterball.
any reason you chose unity over unreal engine?
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CurryKitten

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2020, 04:09:12 PM »

impressive stuff, and inspirational, makes me wanna have a go at making a reboot of one of my all time fave games-clusterball.
any reason you chose unity over unreal engine?

I'd not heard of clusterball, but just having a look at the video - that would be a good project, and pretty easy to do.  Why Unity?  I didn't start out wanting to do a quad sim.  I can't remember how or why I noticed Unity, but just was trying out some thing and was impressed by the amount you could do before you actually needed to write any code (i.e I was dropping balls down landscapes and letting the physics engine do it's thing)

I actually almost went over to Unreal.  The version out now has a few issues graphically - you'll see the shadows flicker which I've been working on sorting out.  I was pretty unimpressed that this was a know issue in the engine when you clipping plane is very close in, but had been known about for 5 years and looks like it's not getting fixed.  It was only the fact that Unreal refused to run on my 6 year old iMac that stopped me.  I then came up with a workaround for the shadows (they'll be a new release tomorrow + video that also mentions Godot as well)

Also, as far as Unreal goes I'm no fan of C++, but to be fair I haven't touched it for yonks.  c# I'd never touched before, but it's so close to Java (which I did used to work on) which makes life easy for me.

CurryKitten

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 10:05:46 PM »

I released the updated version this evening



This should sort out (more) people with controller issues, and the fix to the flickering/juddering objects really makes it a lot smoother.

I'm off to get on with the 400 other items on the to-do list now :D

ched

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2020, 10:37:07 PM »

TX changes are great. The plugin does seem very comprehensive.
I crash so often  :D :D :D and I know you have lots on but could you add to your future features list a reset via a tx switch? Maybe even have a arm/disarm as on a proper quad? Oh I wonder if that could lead to having switches for modes (horizon/rate) sort of thing as people would have on a normal quad?

Still loving the beach ball  :D :D :D :D

Thanks
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CurryKitten

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2020, 10:21:39 AM »

As a future thing, I think I will look at being able to use switches.  Although it means digging back into Rewired and I'm already having massive differences of opinions with the developer of it about control remapping logic... so I'm going to leave it for a while.

One thing on my current list of to-do's for the next release is (as well as fixing the ability to go through the ground if you are upside down) a "flip" button so you can reset yourself for in the position you are.... if that helps at all.  I'm sure that will eventually make it onto a switch as well.

CurryKitten

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2020, 10:03:06 PM »

I've got another release out which mainly: adds sound, detects a crash/fixes the clipping through the scenery, and attempts to fix more controller issues.  Here's a quick video



ched, the vote option is there for commands on switches, but right now the drone vehicle is leading the pack (as suspected, because that's the hardest one to do !)

ched

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2020, 11:25:37 PM »

Watched the vid and voted  :D
I have downloaded and will give it a go soon. All the mods sound great, see what I did there  ;D ;D ;D I don't use sound as practice on laptop in lounge when TV is on  :)

While it would be nice to use buttons to Reset and F it's no big deal t press keyboard. I was thinking that for beginners using an arm/disarm switch would get them in the habit of disarming as soon as they crash to protect motors & esc. 
It must have taken you a huge amount of work, well done.
Weather here (Blackpool) has been terrible till today  :D, supposed to be good tomorrow too  :D :D

I wonder if it would be easier to somehow record a flight and then use that as a drone to chase? Probably more difficult that way if it's even possible.

Maybe some more trees spaced out a bit so they could be used as a slalom. Maybe a longish line where gaps get smaller, so you could progress further down the line the better you get?

Just throwing ideas out there. 
Once again, thanks for all your hard work.
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CurryKitten

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2020, 11:36:39 AM »

The switches will get done, it's just a matter of when.  I like your slalom trees idea.  I have a bunch more mountain tops to stick some more trees on - and it's easy to add trees, so I'll do this for the next release, thanks :)

I am looking at how to record a flight as looking (way) forward I do want to do a "this is how you do a roll" etc, but for the first drone vehicle (which will be a car) I'm looking at some AI to take it around a course.  I'm hoping I'll be able to include a level of slight randomness that way which means it'll not be quite the same every time.  But I haven't started yet, so it could all change.

ched

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2020, 02:22:55 PM »

The switches will get done, it's just a matter of when.  I like your slalom trees idea.  I have a bunch more mountain tops to stick some more trees on - and it's easy to add trees, so I'll do this for the next release, thanks :)

I am looking at how to record a flight as looking (way) forward I do want to do a "this is how you do a roll" etc, but for the first drone vehicle (which will be a car) I'm looking at some AI to take it around a course.  I'm hoping I'll be able to include a level of slight randomness that way which means it'll not be quite the same every time.  But I haven't started yet, so it could all change.
Sounds good.
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ched

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2020, 08:43:23 PM »

Just had a thought, feel free to ignore, I only fly sub 250gms now and using sims I tend to find they only really cater for 5" quads. That said Velocidrone has an add on for 4 that is whoops. I haven't seen a sim that covers 3", 2.5" ot toothpick style quads. I have no idea how the individual virtual models would be made or how complex the physics of such things would be.
Maybe something to look at long term? i.e. if your sim is for beginners they may not be starting on a 5" quad? Actually, maybe that's the point, i.e. use the sim to learn to fly a 5" quad?
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CurryKitten

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2020, 11:29:23 PM »

People keep asking if they can choose different quads, or different motors etc.  As my implementation so far is a mix of finger in the air maths and me thinking to myself "this feels about right".  So at the moment, it's pretty worthless.

I do intend to come back and look at the way the power is calculated.  The power is just a linear line that responds to the throttle now, and it probably not the way a motor responds.  It shouldn't be too hard to get figures from props and motors and feed this all in... at some point

ched

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Re: I'm (attempting) to make a free FPV quad sim
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2020, 11:43:43 PM »

Oh thrust frame calc..... That brings me back to testing jet engines...... What fun.... :)
Not suggesting you do this but I wonder if one of the motor thrust frames could be used to do a 10 point power measurement! I can't remember who, but there is someone that does thrust tests on motors and props but only full power.
I'm not sure it's worth getting so much data to go in your sim.
Maybe, as your sim is for learning, a simple sort of power setting, like beginner, intermediate, and full power. Maybe even a set of preset rates and custom ones so a beginner could have docile control. Rates are something that people talk about but sometimes it's difficult for a beginner to guess at a starting point for rates. When if they had a preset for 'beginner' and maybe even an idea of how that relates to BetaFlight rates, mind you that might be too complex......
I guess the development path sort of depends on your target audience.

Sorry for long posts just 'talking out loud'. The sim is a very interesting project. I can imagine it takes a lot of time, you should be very proud of what you have achieved so far. Well done.
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