Otus Quadcopter (deprecated)

If you are looking for the Otus tracker documentation, please click here.

Otus Quadcopter Manual

**If you want to download the User Manuel, please view and download it.

Otus Quadcopter Software download

A new Otus Quadcopter has three files determining its state initial. The Raspberry Pi image file is copied on the Raspberry Pi SD card using the software Etcher.io. The Pixhawk firmware is flashed using QGroundControl. The firmware behavior is determined by the parameters contained in a .param file.

Raspberry Pi Image File

Download - June 8th, 2019

Unzip and flash on a SD card >=16Gb using Etcher.io.

Parameter File

Download - December 5th 2019 (22.14 kb)

The parameters can be uploaded using the "Load from file" button in the "Parameters" tab of QgroundControl. You will need to redo the calibration after loading a new parameter file. If you do not wish to redo the calibration, first download your old parameter file using QGroundControl. Open it with a text editor and copy the lines between 1 1 CAL_ACC0_EN and 1 1 CAL_MAG_SIDES inclusively. Those lines are your calibration parameters. Paste those lines over the default lines in the new calibration file.

Previous Versions

Raspberry Pi Image File

Download - December 5th 2018 (3.68 Gb)



In recent years, interest in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has greatly increased. Consequently, there has been much interest by academic institutions in setting up laboratory environments for research related to UAVs and related subjects such as machine learning and SLAM. However, currently there is not much documentation for the setup of such labs and thus planning such a lab as well as designing a drone to act as a testbed for experiments can be a time-consuming process. Additionally, flights within indoor spaces is another challenge that industry aims to solve within the next 5 years. We have established the documentation for the setup and testing of a new quadcopter, featuring the Otus Tracker and the Otus quadcopter for precise indoor motion capture of the UAV.

In a spirit of openness, to foster research and innovation, we are also releasing the complete documentation to replicate our quadcopter kit. This can be useful to build a quadcopter with motion capture from scratch, or to modify the Otus quadcopter. The section Otus Quadcopter kit assumes that you bought the complete kit. The section DIY Quadcopter assumes that you are building the quadcopter from off the shelve components and setting up everything yourself.

Most universities and research groups take approximately 1 year to get their drone reserach labs up and running. This document will highlight the hardware required, as well as the setup needed to create a flying quadcopter using the RCbenchmark tracking lab software. Our quadcopter is based on the PX4 platform. The PX4 platform is well documented, well supported, and is currently used for cutting edge research, as well as for commercial platforms. Once you have completed your development indoors with motion capture, you can use the Otus system and the Steam VR light house tracking system for commercial deployment. The Pixhawk platform can also be used outdoors for commercial applications.

Some the the tools used in the Otus quadcopter. You can also build your own quadcopter using this documentation.

Pixhawk ®: Flight controller

  • PX4: Firmware
  • Pre-configured quadcopter 250mm frame
  • Pre-configured high speed router
  • Otus Tracker™
  • Qgroundcontrol
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • Battery Charger
  • LCD screen for status messages and user messages.
  • RCbenchmark Tracking Lab
  • Mavlink
  • MavProxy
  • Raspberry Pi 3 B+
  • 250 mm frame
  • Dronekit
  • Propeller balancer
  • Taranis X9D Plus
Otus tracker diagram

Here is the system overview of the Otus quadcopter kit:

Otus quadcopter system overview

Otus Quadcopter Kit

The following is a comprehensive guide explaining interfaces, components and setup of the tools required to fly the Otus Quadcopter.

Otus quadcopter kit

Software architecture

The Otus Quadcopter is designed to simplify as much as possible research and development while retaining the full capability of the powerful PX4 platform. The quadcopter comes preloaded with the scripts and software necessary to fly the drone. The platform is open: all the code is available if you want to replicate the Otus Quadcopter with your own hardware. You can even program the quadcopter from your browser using the powerful Cloud9 IDE! The system below explains the main interactions between the components.

Otus quadcopter software architecture

 Open the image above in a separate window if you are on a small screen.



The Otus Quadcopter Kit comes equipped with a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, which has 4 USB ports, an HDMI port and its I2C pins connected to an LCD display.

HDMI Port:

Raspberry Pi can be connected to a monitor to enable GUI interfacing using the HDMI port. The port is located in the center of the board.

USB Ports:

There are 4 USB ports on the Raspberry Pi to facilitate high speed IO capabilities. You can connect a keyboard and a mouse to the ports to interact with the Raspberry Pi.

LCD Display:

Otus Quadcopter is equipped with an LCD screen to display real-time status of the flight control programs running on the Raspberry Pi. Once the Raspberry Pi is connected to the internet, the screen displays the IP address of the Pi. This can be used to remotely connect to the Raspberry Pi via SSH using PuTTY from the main computer.

The LCD screen helps with quick discovery and debugging of the issues. Displayed below is the guide to understand what each error message means and how you can get resolved.

Error Message Reason Fix
Internet Offline The Raspberry Pi is not connected to the internet Connect the router present in the kit tothe computer with an ethernet cable. Turn on the router and the pi will automatically connect to the router.
MavProxy Failed This indicates that the MavProxy script did not launch. Please reboot the Raspberry pi. Incase the problem still persists please download the ISO image file from here
Pose Forward Failed This indicates that the position forwarding script has not been launched. Please reboot the raspberry pi. This should fix the issue.
Tracking Lab Offline This indicates that the pi is not receiving any messages from the RCBenchmark Tracking Lab Please check the IP address and port number, then switch the streaming OFF and then toggle it back ON. Incase problem still persists, force close and restart the Tracking Lab.
EKF Yaw Error This indicates that Local axis was not reset on the RCbenchmark Tracking Lab causing the position forward to process wrong estimates to compute the position information. In order to fix this issue, you need to reset the local axis on the Rcbenchmark Tracking Lab and reboot the Pixhawk through QGroundControl.
Incorrect Network This message is shown when the quadcopter is not connected to the right network. The IP address which is displayed coupled with this error indicates that the it is connected to a network other than the router network. Connect the quadcopter to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Restart the quadcopter and disconnect from the wrong network and connect to the Robotics Network hosted by the provided router.


  • The Otus Quadcopter kit is pre-configured and tuned for flight providing a hassle-free flight experience.
  • Robust frame design protects the propellers from collision damage.
  • Equipped with an LCD Screen to display real time status messages.
  • Provided Wifi router with private network ensures network strength and data integrity.
  • Frequently updated repository on GitLab ensuring constant improvement of the product.