This user group has been created to support the integration of the Pixhawk Fire Cape and the Beagle Bone Black 4gb Development Platform with software development for the various autonomous vehicles.

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  • RoboBill,

    That project looks fantastic! Congratulations. Agreeing with your son, I had a quick look at the LIDAR LITE specs and I don't think you can use such system for outdoor navigation. Instead i would probably use one of the ROS-capable LIDARs (e.g.: we had a set of SICK LIDARs at the OSRF and i quite liked them).

    The best to have your system interacting with the PXF and ROS is to build a ROS package for the range finder/LIDAR you are using. A great chance to learn ROS and make a nice system for indoor navigation.


    Sensors - ROS Wiki
  • Victor,

    My son the programmer is telling me he can create a map of a simple interior space like a hallway using our rotating LIDAR LITE or SF02.  But he thinks its not possible to map outdoors... its too "noisy"... so we're kinda stuck. 

    Would your engineers be willing to share their results here? How could our scanner (either the Lidar Lite or SF02) be connected to and recognized by your board?



  • I don't think at this time firmware wise there are any significant advantages over the Pixhawk.

    Software-wise the autopilot is still APM, Gary is right about that. Hardware-wise, we can run the software faster, the PXF includes more sensors and the connection possibilities are much greater.

    E.g.: with the PXF we could simultaneously create WiFi hotspots, and connect the drones to 3G/4G networks. We could even go one step further and create bridges between these two network interfaces (mobile routers?), etc.

    1) Could either of these boards take a map "drawn" by a rotating LIDAR mounted atop a rover and guide it from point to point?

    Some of our engineers have already accomplished that through ROS. It depends on the computational needs your particular application has. 

    2) Will these boards help accelerate rover software development?

    My personal opinion is that yes, indeed. We provide official support for ROS and have adopted it from the very beginning as our SDK. For someone developing robotic/autonomous applications ROS is the right way and many are starting to realize it.

    On a side note, together with Canonical, we've been pushing for several months  already an app store for behaviors based on Erle-Brain (PXF+BBB). If someone doesn't want to compile things themselves, there're binaries packaged for Plane, Rover and Copter in the store already.


  • Admin

    Hi Gary,

    No problem:-)


    Tom C AVD

  • Hi RoboBill,

    I don't think at this time firmware wise there are any significant advantages over the Pixhawk.

    However, the hardware CPU has more "headroom" and the intention is to use that and it's easier to program Linux compatibility to provide enhanced features.

    Getting Linux to behave for a RTOS real time operating system was a very significant challenge in adapting the APM code to run on it, but at this point they appear to have achieved 100% functionality.

    The future should provide ROS (Robot Operating System) integration with APM as well as a more reasonable ability to interface with additional co processors, Odroid or Tegra for instance perhaps for serious vision based capabilities.

    At least that is how I see things, now, please, all involved make your thoughts known as well.

    Great to hear you got it working Thomas and Linus!

    Can't wait to hear your experiences here.

    Best regards,


    PS Thomas, I'm sorry, but by misscopying the very first post (which I made) on your discussion group I may have screwed a few things up it doesn't seem to be counting posts and it won't let me erase that first post.

    I didn't mean to sabotage your discussion and if you can delete my initial post, please feel free to do so,

    I learned when copying do not accidentally select the "Comment By" line as well.

  • Is there a link to show what advantages these two new boards have over the Pixhawk?

    For instance:

    1) Could either of these boards take a map "drawn" by a rotating LIDAR mounted atop a rover and guide it from point to point?

    2) Will these boards help accelerate rover software development?



  • Admin

    Hi All,

    We have successfully compiled ArdRover2 using Debian.


    Tom C AVD

  • Developer


    we ran out of time yesterday and banging our heads harder on to the keyboard indeed fixed the problem.

    Its well documented here as well if you struggle to update your bbb's gcc to 4.9

    now im keen what benefit the ubuntu will have :)


  • Admin

    Hi Victor,

    Thanks for the recommendations, much appreciated.

    Tom C AVD

  • I would recommend using Ubuntu, yes. Furthermore, for development I personally  cross-compile the binaries and/or create a chroot out of the images we use with Erle-Brain. There're instructions here on how to do this.

    Here you have the images for the eMMC and for a microSD we use.

This reply was deleted.

Setting up Debian for ArduPlane on Erle brain (BBB+PXF)

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Getting your BBB up and running

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