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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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?

well that's not a problem - just sell software and a shield with a GPS module, gyro etc.

But the problem is that people would buy a $25 GPS module and a $35 IMU, like the nice one STmicro makes, and they'd end up with a complete autopilot that's way more powerful than what we have now, and the whole thing would be under $100.

You can't just have everyone with a C-note flying drones, especially if no corporation is making money from it.

A little birdie told me that is one of the issues holding up the switch to 32-bit processors.  Some people may be worried that users may start loading APM code on all sorts of very low cost dev boards.

Don't know if that's true, but it seems at least possible.

Doesn't count until it's in English.

ohh come on - it's not that one can't earn money selling a shield with sensors - most people know next to nothing when it comes to electronics - so you migh as well price it at 100$ or so

I'd buy an ardupilot but I realize  that it isn't powerful enough... it certainly could be a lot more powerful and versatile with raspberry PI

why can't I use cheap components like webcams and memory sticks to hold data, or 3G modems to stream video and control the plane?

I've used arduino but I don't think I am good enough to design an autopilot, add on shield and integrate everything toghether

Funny you guys are having this conversation. I'm currently working on a stm 32bit arduino compatible autopilot . It should retail for under $200.00 I call it the maplepilot .based on leaflabs
Maple system

funny or not.. I want to be able to plug in cheapo components into it - like a webcam, memory stick or a 3G modem

ohh and I do know that someone is going to build one sooner or later... but I want it now :-D

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.

thx for your input but keeping the aircraft stabel is not more demanding than running MS paint or minesweeper to be honest

so I do get your point - ie it's not a microcontroller.... but it's powerful enough to do that and lots of other shait too

Haha. The Pi definitely has more than enough power to control a whole UAV, but the lag is a big factor that prevents it from doing so. But as I had said, you can definitely try to use it as a data processing system for maybe the cameras or telemetry and etc. I was thinking about building a quadrotor with a Raspberry Pi, but my knowledge is too limited to venture into this new unknown.

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