BeagleBone Blue released, Linux-enabled autopilot for $80

Beagleboard.org has released the BeagleBone Blue some days ago, a Linux-enabled computer for robotic applications.

The BeagleBone Blue is an open hardware platform that include a large array of sensors and IO; IMU, Baro, PPM for RC input, 8 channels PWM output to Servos, DC motor driver, analog input, PRU, GPIO, LEDs, buttons, serial, CAN, I2C, SPI, USB, WiFi, Bluethooth, 2-cell LiPo charger and wide input voltage range.

Jason Kridner has designed the BeagleBone Blue and he contacted me to implement the ArduPilot Flight Controller Software on BeagleBone Blue and make it a full blown Linux-enabled autopilot. Based on my previous experience with a similar project called the BBBmini, a BeagleBone Black or Green coupled with a sensor cape of my own, that has been successfully built and flown by numerous DIYers around the world, the BeagleBone Blue is natural extension of my design with the benefit of having a single board solution.

Experimenters can now have their copter, plane, rover, submarine being controlled with ArduPilot software powered by a versatile Linux platform with enough power to add cameras, additional sensors and use a large array of available robotic language like ROS, dronekit-python and Mission Control suites for just 80$.

https://github.com/mirkix/ardupilotblue

https://beagleboard.org/blue

I am not related to TI or beagleboard.org. BBBmini and BeagleBone Blue ArduPilot support are both pure hobby projects.

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Comment by Mirko Denecke on March 27, 2017 at 12:07pm

@tridge

There is already a link in the wiki http://ardupilot.org/plane/docs/common-beagle-bone-blue.html I will try to complete the docs soon. Then we can but them in the ardupilot wiki direct.

We may should merge:

http://ardupilot.org/plane/docs/common-autopilots.html

and 

http://ardupilot.org/dev/docs/supported-autopilot-controller-boards...

Comment by Patrick Poirier on March 27, 2017 at 5:32pm

Yeah JB ,

I can see your QuadPlane gently moving on its balancing  wheels and slowly getting closer to Joe so he can safely drop its blood sample and earn your team some extra points on the next OutBack Challenge ;-)

Comment by JB on March 27, 2017 at 7:23pm

lol I think he'll be giving us a blood sample if we turn up with that thing, if he wants to or not! :-) 

But I do fancy seeing a two wheeled balancing quad. The BBBlue would be the ideal candidate for a small version of it. The idea would be to have two larger wheels next to eachother and then the four quad motors placed at axle height at each corner, so it wouldn't matter which way up it landed, and it could use minimal thrust to self right before heading off on it's wheels.

Comment by hamadivo on March 28, 2017 at 5:07am

Hi,

I think BBCore is best than BBBlue, BBCore is samall and it can be optimized. (http://beaglecore.com/)

Adding sensors (like IMU) to the main board is not good, we should have hardward layer (Sensors, RF, ...)

The good thing is the OSD335x which contains AM335x, Power managment, SDRAM and regulators

I hope that BBCore team will release another one based on OSD335x

Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Patrick Poirier on March 28, 2017 at 5:40am

Hello hamadivo,

In order to build a Flight Controler with the BBcore you would need:

- BBCore + Baseboard :  165$

- Sensor Cape (Like Mirko's  BBBMini Cape):  50$

- Wifi : 10$

Total Price:  225 $ 

I am just trying to follow your logic here...

Comment by hamadivo on March 28, 2017 at 5:53am

Hello Patrick,

I have BBCore + My own Baseboard (built for 9€) + sensors (sonar+pressure+imu+optical flow) + 2.4GhzModule (with RSSI) for only 120€. I will share some pictures later.

BBCore should be used with customized Baseboard.

Thanks.

Comment by Patrick Poirier on March 28, 2017 at 6:13am

Hello hamavido,

That sounds very  interesting :-) , keep us updated.

And this is showing  the neccessity of having an affordable , entry level Linux based polyvalent board that can be transformed in a full fledge FC for beginners. If we can lower the entry level for this kind of experimental field, we augment the chance of having more  participants and we will all benefit from this larger community.

Comment by S1CAR1US on March 30, 2017 at 2:36am

Mirko & Patrick,

Thank you for your time to answer the questions that I had.  Patrick, your last paragraph really tied it all together for me.  Makes a lot of sense after that, because that of course is a huge advantage in itself to not be buying flight controller per se, but rather a single board computer which includes all of the sensors needed to be able to function as a FC.  And Mirko, also very informative, I am understanding the wide level of diversity this platform offers with so many possible configurations.  Especially in situations where numerous servos (or I/O channels in general)  are necessary.  Thank you both for your time.

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