A new version of 4Gmetry is now available on store: 4Gmetry II (504 € 439€) This is the second version of the original KIT proposed on diydrones blog just five months ago. I want to say a big "thank you" to all our 4Gmetry group members, and to the precious feedbacks of our happy customers. Thank you! 

The new 4Gmetry II includes all the necessary components to connect your drone (or fleet) to the internet via 4G/LTE. But it's not only the ready-to-fly solution for lazies developers who don't want to buy components separately! 4Gmetry II is more than the sum of the parts, it's a powerful companion computer for developers and professionals.

FEATURES:

  • 4Gmetry II features a Samsung Exynos5422 Cortex™-A15 2Ghz and Cortex™-A7 Octa core CPUs which makes it a very interesting solution for inflight image analysis applications or computer vision, for a very interesting flying weight. 

  • 4Gmetry II is built on top of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and comes with ready to connect it to your favourite VPN (it's literally a flying server!). In this way you don't need expensive M2M SIMs or dynamic IP (but every possibility remains up to you).

  • 4Gmetry II naturally interfaces with H.264 cameras - including the famous C920 - so you can easily stream video to your target server/laptop. The quality will be a compromise of framerate / resolution accordingly to your 4G/LTE carrier performance and quality (in US, Italy, Australia, Germany, France, Canada, UK the 4G quality reported by our customers is mostly good).

  • 4Gmetry II is optimized for and tested on APM 3.2.1 over Pixhawk. However 4Gmetry accepts MAVLink messages from virtually any source.

  • Note for beginners: you CAN install custom software on 4Gmetry, the user is not "locked-out"in any way. Simply connect 4Gmetry to an HDMI monitor with an HDMI cable (not included) to get the Ubuntu GUI at your service.

With 4Gmetry you can control your drone/fleet in real time from an unlimited distance over 4G/LTE Internet; use this at your risk and in respect of the law in your country.

UPDATE: We're extensively testing Coriandola - the Cloud Control Station - to remotely manage and orchestrate a fleet of vehicles giving only high level commands in your browser. The goal is to integrate it in the next version of 4Gmetry  ;)

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Comment by Gary McCray on September 3, 2015 at 5:48pm

Some great capabilities,

The Odroid XU4 seems to be a great micro with its parallel dual quad core architecture.

I will be interested to see the practical possibility/methods of connecting to our local cell providers.

I am also a bit concerned at the potential for misuse of this capability, but the possibility to stream HD video at an affordable cost is a huge plus.

The XU4 should also have sufficient remaining headroom for a reasonable degree of SLAM navigation with appropriate sensors.

Best Regards,

Gary


Moderator
Comment by MarioSpeedwagon on September 3, 2015 at 6:38pm

I finally got a FLIR installed on one of the fixed wing planes....now this is the next project/wishlist. Trying to set up a live stream to our dispatch center and fire station. 

Comment by Thomas Stone on September 3, 2015 at 6:46pm

Great work, Silvio!


Developer
Comment by Randy on September 3, 2015 at 7:00pm

Yeah, really great to see a ready-to-fly companion computer.  A bit pricey but it's also got some pretty fast CPUs on there.


MR60
Comment by Hugues on September 3, 2015 at 11:30pm

Where is the 4G modem hardware on the picture? I only see the odroid XU4 (which costs 74$, so what justifies a 500$ repackaging of the thing?)

Comment by Volta Robots on September 4, 2015 at 1:36am

1.Thank you Randy, your appreciation worths a lot. FYI: your balloon finder was the original trigger of this project! ;)

2.Thank you Thomas! Your IR-Lock is a precious resource; sells well in combination with 4Gmetry and I always suggest it to my customers.

3. Thank you Gary; yes XU4 is very powerful


4.Thank you Mario! Write me privately, we could have a solution to stream infrared with FLIR.

5.Thank you Hugues for the feedback on pricing. I totally agree with you about price logic. The reason is that we can't offer an industry price, simply because we're not an industry (we're just artisans), so the approach is radically different here on the backend. However 4Gmetry sells well-> larger volumes will push down prices.

S.

Comment by JB on September 4, 2015 at 2:44am

From what I can tell it's really a ready to fly software image for the Odroid XU4.

The hardware is easy to assemble and connect and should only cost around $120 plus freight for everything including Odroid XU4/USB modem/FTDI/SD Card/BEC. You could also do the same with the Odroid C1 for $40 less if a quad core CPU is good enough for your application. In their shop it doesn't list what hardware you actually get (from what I could find, I'm assuming it's just the XU4 and a mSD card?) so essentially you're paying some $300 for the software, which similar code is available open source, if you have the ability to put it together it yourself.

Using Navio+ on a Rasperry Pi works as well and took a couple of hours to setup, with HD streaming from RaspiCam, 3G+4G, Wifi AP, with OpenVPN and FTP etc as required, Mavproxy for comms distribution etc. Tunneling through a mobile NAT is an issue on some mobile networks, but typically any service that supports VPN should be compatible. Alternatively a corporate account will get you a static IP.

I'm wondering what proportion of code is "open source" and what is proprietary that it can justify the cost. Not to be negative on the effort to put it together, but I can't see the value for money here through extra functionality or performance.

Comment by Martin Rüedi on September 4, 2015 at 3:03am

I wonder whether a smartphone would not be better as a companion computer? I think there are smartphones with the same CPU, right?

What are real advantages of the odroid?

- weight? IMO not really, because this solution requires additional periphery+cables, and the phone could also be used without case&battery

- price? IMO not really, if compared with the price of a second hand smartphone

- connectivity? IMO not in a way where a smartphone would not offer alternatives

Advantages of the phone would be IMO:

- Any kind of wireless connectivity out of the box (4G, Bluetooth, NFC)

- Unlimited UI capabilities

- Redundant power supply (if you like)

- You can buy the hardware just around the corner

Comment by Volta Robots on September 4, 2015 at 3:12am

@JB you're not negative. You're just an "expert" and you passed a certain point where it's more convenient for you to DIY than buying 4Gmetry!  ;) The market, however, is not made of JBs with multiple skills in Linux programming, Mavlink, access to corporate IPs and have the willing to spend time put together all the pieces of the puzzle. You probaly enjoy this, our customers simply wants an affordable and tested mix of components, ready-to-fly and ready to build on top of it! When you buy 4Gmetry you get the warranty that it does work!

Our effort is however to increase volumes and reduce prices in the very next future!




Comment by JB on September 4, 2015 at 3:21am

@ Martin 

Exactly. Ubuntu phone anyone? Have been using Android for this for years now. Downside with Android is that development is not as good as Linux.

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