My recent obsession with Arduino brought me back to an old interest: autonomous flight!
I totally love the open source community and the great stuff that people throw in together on…such as DIY Drones.
DIY Drones is a community built project using Arduino microcontroller to control a multi-rotor helicopter (though it also can control a single rotor heli or fixed wing aircraft). A dedicated Arduino board (ardupilot) connects to an IMU sensor board which contains minuscule gyros that sense the orientation of the aircraft and the built in software responds to changes in attitude by adjusting the speed of separate motors.
I have added GPS support and a magnetometer to sense magnetic heading, along with a bunch of pretty lights that help identify which way is front!