Raspberry PI

Are there any plans to build an autopilot based on Raspberry PI ? That would make sense IMHO. There are two major advantages: one could use 3G modems to control the plane and cheapo USB webcams

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  • You are rising the question of latency but, (I'm not a linux specialist) to my knowledge the linux kernel offers realtime capabilities. Isn't the ar.drone running on linux ?

  • You can program the raspberry pi bare bones like an avr (ie running your programs without having Linux in the background).

    I don't think the rpi has enough special purpose IO pins though (eg. PWM pins)... perhaps you can connect an avr via spi to send motor commands



  • Moderator

    Do you have a RPi? Plug in a webcam and tell me what you think of the framerate you get. (yeah, old thread...)

  • You could use a raspberry pi in combination with a custom board with all the low level sensors, running APM, and let it communicate with the pc. Oh wait, you could just use an apm 2.0 and connect it to the raspberry pi board via usb ;)

  • The problem with the Raspberry Pi (actually, with any embedded computing platform) is the latency, especially with Linux. Without any extensive software mods, the latency is just way too high to achieve any sort of effective stabilization. You might be able to use it for general autopilot uses and for controlling cameras and etc. With the 3G, you could also use it as a data link to the APM and possibly do a in-the-air change/programming or the autopilot flight route.

    But to only use the Raspberry Pi for controlling an entire UAV is not very reliable. It is a very decent piece of hardware though. There seems to be so many possibilities for it.

  • There's several autopilots running on STM32 processors already.  Paparazzi and another couple I haven't looked at very thoroughly.

    Sure it has many times the processing power of the doggy 8-bit Atmel processors used in the APM.... And they're also a lot cheaper... But nobody has figured out a good business model to make it work.  Obviously it would be a lot cheaper to use some sort of prefab dev board, but then how can you make people pay you for it?

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