APM (also known as ardupilot) is an open source autopilot software that helps you build several autonomous vehicles (Copters, Planes, Rovers, HexaCopters, ...) delivering the following features:

  • Point-and-click programming/configuration gets you up and operating without hassle.
  • Multiple command modes: Acro, Stabilize, Loiter, Alt-hold, Return To Launchpoint, Land, Simple, Guided, Position, Circle, Follow Me, GeoFence, and Auto (which runs fully scripted missions using GPS waypoints)
  • Failsafe programming options bring peace of mind in the event of lost control signal or low battery conditions
  • Three Axis camera control and stabilization, shutter control, live video link with programmable on-screen-display
  • Data transceivers allow real-time telemetry and control between your ground station computer and APM, including joystick control options
  • Full data logging provides comprehensive post mission analysis, with graphing and Google Earth mapping tools
  • No dead ends — Advanced users will find endless options for customization and expanded mission capabilities
  • Open source

Erle Robotics, as a member of the Dronecode Foundation provides development and suport for APM-related vehicles and devices. APM sources are available from https://github.com/ArduPilot/ardupilot.