Companion computers

Some non-technical reasoning I believe in strong decouplig of the autopilot and the companion (this doesn't mean they can't live within the same box). However plug&play is a great plus, as this means that I (final user) can buy an Iris / Pixhawk / whatever and in a second moment I can add the companion as a second layer of computation, while all the underlying settings remain the same. This mantains a very attractive learning curve. In a third moment I can even switch to a more powerful companion as new needs / new supercomputers arrives. 

In this group we've been dealing with companions fore a long time. Now @Randy opened a repo called "Companion" A very big thank you  for this! I invite everyone to contribute.


  • COMMON  (this is a directory with common scripts. @Randy maybe also a simplified version of balloon fineder could fit here: ). I'll put also VPN scripts, gstreamer (@Bernt please contribute!!) I can also contribute with 4Gmetry .py scripts.
  • UBUNTU / ODROID XU4 this is what we're doing here at 4Gmetry until now.
  • UBUNTU / JETSON TK1 this is the supercomputer. As the main usage will be computer vision, I think that we should give a look at as suggested by @Bill_Bonney
  • n OS / BOARD combinations
  • PERFORMANCE this includes performance tests across the above combinations.

What do you think?

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    • Cool
      Yes i have a couple of questions, but first, how can we get all the information related to TX1 on a single forum?
      This project is already spread on 3 differents forums and i is getting a little confusing ... Should we start a a new thread under companion computer and try to rally everyone interested?

      So my questions are:
      Why is their TX1 module is advertised at over 900?
      Are they envision a modular approch with multi mezzanine -sandwich -type ?
      Do they have acces to the NVIDIA Drive FX board schematic so they can develop an affordable stripped down (6 channels max) multicamera mezzanine that conform to the Drive FX architecture and with the same kernel drivers?
      If not, would they consider adding an expansion connector so we could interconnect with something like the Maxim ADAS camera board (see nvidia tx1 soc forum, i put the info there)

    • I agree. It may be appropriate to make a "Jetson TX1 Users Group". I will let you know when/if I start it... A new group is probably the best way to go about it. This "Companion Computer" thread is actually a discussion within the "Volta" group. 

      I can answer one of your questions. The Tegra X1 chip has been available for a while (e.g., in the Drive PX), so Colorado Engineering used it to develop their own module prior to the Jetson TX1 release.... It looks like NVIDIA copied their module idea!

      I will try to get some responses from Colorado Engineering. 

    • Hello Thomas
      Did you get a chance to talk to Colorado Engineering?
    • Sorry. I didn't get on the phone with them today. But I have been corresponding via e-mail. Hopefully, the conversation will continue tomorrow.  

      If you are still interested in a more specialized carrier board (i.e., multi-synchronized camera), I would encourage you to give them a call as well. 

    • Just to get all info: here

      Maxim camera board:
      IMI Camera:

      Texas Instrument ADAS design for an equivalent system:
      This is the board used by LOGBRICK ADAS solution based on Xilinx FPGA
  • What about JETSON TX1 ? It should be available soon.

  • Also, how about a COMMON_PERIPHERALS directory for basic hardware peripherals: USB Wifi dongle etc? For example, I hear the TK1 has a version of Ubuntu installed which does not have driver handling included. There's a decent wifi adapter wiki for Rpi devices here which is useful

    • @benbojangles 

      Great idea. 

      When I was getting started, I went ahead and used "The Grinch" Custom Kernel to move things along. It is helpful for anybody who is coming from Windows/Mac. My Wifi adapter started working auto-magically, and I was happy. :)…
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