Flight controllers (FCs) are an integral part of most drones. Surprisingly, they are the brains that drive drones.
However, as much as most drones have flight controllers, few have inbuilt GPS capabilities.
If you’re planning on building your drone, you may be thinking about the best flight controllers with GPS for your project.
Well, there are many of them out there, but the following stand above the rest.
Table of Contents
- Best Flight Controllers with GPS
- Choosing The Best Flight Controller with GPS
- Why Use a Flight Controller?
Best Flight Controllers with GPS
(Quadrocopter drone in flight)
Here are the best flight controllers equipped with GPS capabilities.
DJI Naza-M Lite Multi-Rotor Flight Controller
The Naza-M light is an excellent flight controller that’s fairly easy to set up and control. It has amazing features, including Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) and low-voltage protection. Additionally, you can adjust your drone direction remotely and utilize its three control modes for intelligent switching.
Other features include 3-axis gyroscopes and damping controllers. If you need a flight controller with wonderful maneuverability, the Naza-M Lite suits you best.
Pixhawk PX4 Flight Controller
The Pixhawk PX4 Flight Controller has many amazing features: Firstly, a high-performance CortexM4 ARM processor powers it.
Secondly, the PX4 has a backup power controller and supply you can switch to in case the mains fail. Finally, you’ll enjoy the CAN, 12C, and UART bus interfaces, among other features.
F7 AIO Flight Controller
(Hands holding an opened drone)
If you need a compact flight controller that’s easy to set up and use, go for the F7 AIO Flight Controller. It has an integrated barometer and battery monitoring current sensors for better operation. Additionally, it has a built-in Bluetooth module and a TVS protective diode. With the diode, you don’t have to fear destroying your board in case of a crash.
Furthermore, the F7 AIO flight controller stands out for its SpeedyBee app. The app allows you to configure your drone’s motor direction remotely.
OMNINXT F7 Airbot Top Class Flight Controller
The OmniNXT F7 is Airbot’s top-of-the-line FC built on the new NXT platform. It uses an MPU6000 gyro mainly for sampling up to 8KHz. Also, it can run Betaflight’s most recent features without any issues.
Moreover, it has a second gyro, the ICM20608, which picks up the sampling to a maximum frequency of 32KHz. Other features include:
- A built-in hall sensor.
- Caps for noise reduction.
- Solder parts for Camera Control.
However, the lack of documentation makes it challenging for beginners to wire the flight controller.
Choosing The Best Flight Controller with GPS
(Man operating drone by the sea)
The world of drones is always evolving as researchers invest massive resources in developing more sophisticated flight controllers. Consequently, the market is full of flight controllers, some being dedicated while others are generic. If you need one, follow this guide on how to choose the best flight controllers with GPS.
Firmware: The firmware is the software that runs the flight controller. If you plan to modify certain aspects of your drone, going with one that supports firmware changes is important.
Communication protocols: Go for a flight controller with the right communication protocols to make your work easier. Some flight controllers lack communication protocols like the PMU and SBUS.
Power consumption: Drones rely on battery power to operate. Therefore, go for the most efficient drone while considering its input voltage and weight.
Ports: Make sure to buy a flight controller with enough ports for all your sensors and peripheral devices.
GPS accuracy: To improve navigation and stability, look for a flight controller with good GPS accuracy.
Price: The higher the price, the more sophisticated the flight controller is.
Community support: Buy flight controllers that have a wide user community, as it’s here that you’ll get the most help when stuck.
Why Use a Flight Controller?
(Drone flying in nature)
Drones are useful to humans as we use them for many daily functions. And within them are what we refer to as the flight controllers.
A flight controller is responsible for controlling a drone’s movement and stability. Without it, it would be so difficult and maybe even impractical to fly a drone.
Here are some uses of flight controllers in drones.
Flight stability: The flight controller receives signals from sensors, including gyroscopes and accelerometers. It’ll then process the signals and adjust the drone’s position to prevent it from crashing.
Navigation: Another important flight controller use is receiving and executing flight commands. When you direct a drone to change speed, altitude, or direction, the flight controller instructs it.
Aerial photography: Flight controllers control the drone’s actions when filming or taking photographs.
Avoiding obstacles: Flight controllers that have obstacle avoidance sensors will direct the drones to avoid colliding with obstacles.
Surveying and mapping: Flight controllers are often used to capture aerial images, which can later be used to develop maps. Additionally, you can use it to survey large areas such as national parks and reserves.
Do flight controllers have GPS?
Some flight controllers have GPS, while others do not. To be precise, drones with autopilot capabilities have GPS that enables them to follow preprogrammed flight paths.
These drones will usually retrace their way back to the station if lost.
Why is a drone flight controller important?
A flight controller is the drone’s brain. Without it, the drone won’t be able to execute some of its vital tasks.
Can you fly your drone without a flight controller?
Yes. However, you’ll need to be very skilled to do so.
Flight controllers compensate for deviations during flight; hence you’ll need to be very fast to fly a drone without one.
Is a flight controller affordable?
Most flight controllers cost $100 and upwards. Whether that’s affordable or not varies with individual budgets.
In conclusion, we’ve gone through the best flight controllers in the market. However, there are so many drone models all over the world that vary in size and purpose.
Luckily, we have highlighted the best flight controllers for you. But you may need specific ones for your project or require more guidance.
If so, feel free to contact us. We’ll reach out to you as soon as we can.