Hi all, I'm about to embark on a new build to try something with a companion computer.

I'll use a Pixhawk with PX4-Pro, telemetry link and RC.
I'd like to do some object avoidance or tracking maybe.

I haven't made the final decision on the companion computer yet, but was thinking about either an ODROID XU4, or Intel Edison.

Is there a recognised leader in companion computer platforms? I know of 2, FLYTOS and Drone Kit. Are there others?
Are there communities or stores where people share their apps that they create for that particular platform?
Which would be easiest to get up and running, considering I'm terrible at writing code.

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Hi Nicholas,

I'm a developer from FlytBase team.

I would suggest going for odroid, rather than Edisson, especially if you want to use computer vision onboard.

Dronekit python is a good project if you want to write python scripts to control the drone. Join this gitter channel for discussions on dronekit python.

If you are interested in using FlytOS then you can take a look at some of the sample scripts. This tutorial should help you replicate the demo script. We have just started a facebook group to share such demo applications. For any help you can post on flytbase forums. And yes, FlytOS comes with object tracking APIs and a built in web app for visual following. I'll post a tutorial on using this app in a day or two.  

Ardupilot with APSync

Hello Nicholas,

I wanted to provide you another option to check out. I am with Dronesmith Technologies and we develop our Luci Flight Controller. The board has an Intel Edison on board. We also have developed software that runs on board to manage custom applications and the API we have developed. Using our platform, you are able to quickly develop applications for your drone projects using cloud-enabled APIs. This is especially great if you aren't a pro coder because the API's cut out all the heavy software engineering.

Luci is currently on back order, but you are to reserve one at the link above. Our APIs are also in open beta, and you can sign up for access by going to www.dronesmith.io. Please feel free to contact me directly or get on our Dronesmith Community Slack. We have a bunch of people there that you can engage with that are developing applications.

Again, feel free to hit me up with any questions!



Westin Conahan said:

Hello Nicholas,

I wanted to provide you another option to check out. I am with Dronesmith Technologies and we develop our Luci Flight Controller. The board has an Intel Edison on board. We also have developed software that runs on board to manage custom applications and the API we have developed. Using our platform, you are able to quickly develop applications for your drone projects using cloud-enabled APIs. This is especially great if you aren't a pro coder because the API's cut out all the heavy software engineering.

Luci is currently on back order, but you are to reserve one at the link above. Our APIs are also in open beta, and you can sign up for access by going to www.dronesmith.io. Please feel free to contact me directly or get on our Dronesmith Community Slack. We have a bunch of people there that you can engage with that are developing applications.

Again, feel free to hit me up with any questions!

Thanks for the info, looks like a great board. Whats the price?

$299 preoder and $349 retail. You can currently reserve one if you'd like here.

We wish we had them already on hand, but are working to get the next batch pressed soon!



Westin Conahan said:

$299 preoder and $349 retail. You can currently reserve one if you'd like here.

We wish we had them already on hand, but are working to get the next batch pressed soon!

Thanks.

Does the Luci with the Edison do video processing? I've heard the odroid XU4 would be better if I wanted to do things like object avoidance and follow the "thing".

Luci with the Edison does support the ability to do object avoidance and video processing. Object following is possible even without having to utilize the Edison depending on the capacity in which you want to do object tracking. For simple object tracking and following, that can be done with just the PX4 firmware, but for more complex solutions, the power of the Edison will be needed to run more advanced custom applications.

Hi Nicholas

Which way to go?

Here is my views and the reasons why.

Computer language- Python is well documented and relatively easy to learn, there are many tutorials online.

Computer Vision - The future of UAV's, Python is very well supported especially OpenCV.

MavLink API - Well if you get into Python you could write your own, but DroneKit is a good start and very well documented.

SBC - The Raspberry Pi is very well documented, cheap, and now has a great Camera interface and API.

GCS- MAVProxy , though not a pretty as the others, it is the workhorse, and can connect the others as required. Well worth getting getting to  know.

All of the above can be simulated on a PC, 90 percent of the development can be done with out breaking matter.

The caveat here is that people become bias with what they become comfortable with, I may well be guilty here.

But for whats is worth, its not a bad place to start. 

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