GCS Gamepad support

You can fly SMACCMPilot over the secured communication link using a USB gamepad.

At this time, we support the Logitech F710 and F310 gamepads, on a Linux system.

Logitech F710 gamepad

Logitech F710 gamepad


To use a joystick, you will need the driver/kernel support for it. On a Fedora machine, execute

sudo yum install kernel-modules-extra
sudo yum install joystick

There is a guide available here that may help.

To test your setup, you can follow instructions here using jtest:

jstest --event /dev/input/js0

You may wish to test/calibrate with a graphical interface; you can use jstest-gtk.

Additionally, you will need the Pygame library installed for MAVProxy to be able to recognize the gamepad. If you do not have Pygame installed, you may get the following error:

Unable to load module mavproxy_joystick:

Flying via gamepad

Once your gamepad is properly configured, to enable joystick control, enter joystick into the MAVProxy terminal. This will attach MAVProxy to the gamepad driver and enable the gamepad commands to be sent to the vehicle.

MAV> joystick
Trying joystick 0
joystick found: Logitech Logitech Cordless RumblePad 2
Matched type 'Logitech Logitech Cordless RumblePad 2'
4 axes available
12 buttons available
Loaded module mavproxy_joystick

For gamepad control to be accepted by the vehicle, SMACCMPilot must be in Auto flight mode. The [RC transmitter][rc-tx] deadman switch and mode switch must be in the appropriate positions for the flight controller to enter Auto mode.

We have programmed a deadman switch which must be depressed for SMACCMPilot to accept gamepad inputs.

Deadman switch on Logitech F710

Deadman switch on Logitech F710

Once you hold the deadman switch, the gamepad joysticks will control altitude, yaw, pitch, and roll.

TODO: image here showing joystick axes

Flying via the gamepad should be considered unreliable. Transmission errors in the 3DR Radio modems can prevent joystick commands from reaching the flight controller. Make sure to have a separate backup pilot using the [RC transmitter][rc-tx] at all times.