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Introducing Copter

Copter is an advanced open-source autopilot system for multicopters, helicopters, and other rotor vehicles. It offers a :ref:`wide variety of flight modes <flight-modes>` from fully manual to fully autonomous.

../images/copter-introduction-diagram.jpg

As part of the wider ArduPilot software platform it works seamlessly with a variety of :ref:`Ground Control Station programs <common-choosing-a-ground-station>` that are used to setup the vehicle, monitor the vehicle's flight in real-time and perform powerful mission planning activities. It also benefits from other parts of the Ardupilot ecosystem, including simulators, log analysis tools, and higher level APIs for vehicle control.

ArduPilot is already a preferred platform for numerous commercially available autopilot systems but you can also use it to enhance the abilities of your own DIY multirotor.

Key features

Key features include:

Getting started

The first thing that you will need is a multicopter with an :ref:`ArduPilot compatible flight controller <common-autopilots>`. Here is a list of :ref:`ready-to-fly vehicles <common-rtf>` to get started with quickly or you may choose to build your own.

If you're using Copter on a :ref:`ready-to-fly vehicle <common-rtf>` then it should come pre-configured and tuned, ready for your first flight. We recommend you read the manufacturer's instructions before flying especially the sections concerning safety. Then after :ref:`installing the ground station <common-install-gcs>` you can likely jump forward to the :ref:`First Flight <flying-arducopter>` instructions.

Tip

Whether using an RTF or DIY vehicle, autonomous vehicles are potentially dangerous! Always follow :ref:`best safety practices <safety-multicopter>` and pay close attention to all safety warnings.

If you plan on building your own multicopter, the following pages will get your started. Please start by reading this section in order to understand what a multicopter can do, and how to select a frame, flight controller board, and other essential components. Then proceed to :ref:`First Time Setup <initial-setup>` to learn how to assemble your Copter and then :ref:`First Flight <flying-arducopter>` to learn how to configure and tune it.

Learn more about Copter

To find out more about Copter and your main configuration decisions, please see the topics below:

.. toctree::
    :maxdepth: 1

    How Multicopters Work <what-is-a-multicopter-and-how-does-it-work>
    Choosing a MultiCopter Frame <choosing-a-frame>
    Choosing a Flight Controller <common-choosing-a-flight-controller>
    Choosing a Ground Station <common-choosing-a-ground-station>
    Building Your Own Frame <what-you-need>
    MultiCopter Safety <safety-multicopter>
    Ready to Fly vehicles <common-rtf>
    Supported vehicle types <common-all-vehicle-types>
    Use-Case Overview <copter-use-case-overview>