I'd like to create a platform to be able to test various visual based VTOL UAV control techniques for indoor environments. I've got some theoretical background in this field already and would like to move on to building a real flying platform. Yet I'd like to ask you guys to take a critical look at what I'm planning to do in terms of interface compatibility and feasibility in general.
I was planing to buy an ArduCopter Kit, a BeagleBoard-xM, a simple USB web camera to work with the BeagleBoard and an Optical Flow sensor board (either CYE8, ArPrMi or ADNS2620). I'm not planning to use a GPS or magnetometer in the first place, but if possible I wouldn't like to deny the possibility of doing so in the future. I need telemetry, so XBee is essential, as I'd like to use the ArduCopter's Ground Station.
All of the above OF sensors have an I2C interface (so they could go with the APM instead of magnetometer I suppose, but if there is another way I'd like to keep the magneto), those from Embedded Eye have SPI as well. There is an SPI interface on the BeagleBoard along with USB, UART and Ethernet. I'm not sure however how to interchange data between the BeagleBoard and the APM - would it be possible? I'd like to use the APM as the autopilot.
Any suggestions welcome.
and what about editing the flight control SW on ardupilot to receive the USART command from BB ? what to edit ??
it is better to use gumstix board small and light
Looks nice. What is an orientation cost of a PixHawk with all sensors, frame ...? Can all the hardware be bought soldered, I mean like the ArduCopter kits at jdrones.com (http://store.jdrones.com/category_s/40.htm)?
For comparison ArduCopter hardware (599$ at jdrones.com), batteries, RC (Turnigy 9X), BB-xM (150$), cameras and maybe some more could be obtained for around 1200-1500$ at the moment (depending on customs duties, shipping costs etc.).