I am not an employee of NVIDIA or Make. :) But I am using this promo as an opportunity to see if anyone has made progress on getting the Jetson TK1 airborne. 


The Jetson was released over a year ago. The community support has developed nicely since then. A custom kernel provided by users, and 'JetPack' (by NVIDIA) help to accelerate the setup process. I was able to get Jetson and Pixhawk talking via MAVLink by following the "Communicating with ODroid via MAVLink" wiki entry, without too many issues. 


I have not yet flown with the Jetson. This development board is a bit bulky: approximately twice as big and heavy as the Odroid XU4 (XU3 and Jetson pictured). However, it offers top-notch performance for computational intensive tasks such as vision processing. 

Jetson/XU4 Weight:  120g / 60g

Jetson/XU4 Dimensions:  127x127mm  /  82x58mm

*Percepto's Indiegogo campaign proposed TK1-based hardware that is more down-to-size.

It is worth mentioning that DJI has recently released a companion computer based on the Jetson for their development copter. 'Manifold' is approximately the same size/weight as the Jetson development board, but with different I/O. 


(image source: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/11/dji-tempts-de...)

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Comment by Glenn Gregory on November 12, 2015 at 1:38pm

@Thomas Thanks for the TK1 promo link. I have one on the way.

I also would be interested in collaborating on a TX1 carrier board for UAV applications.

Comment by Thomas Stone on November 12, 2015 at 1:58pm

@Glenn @Patrick

This sounds great. Unfortunately, I am not an expert PCB designer. So we will need to find somebody with that sort of experience in order to produce a quality design..... I would be happy to handle small-batch assembly/reflow and distribution (from the US) if we had the right design. 

Comment by c j g on November 12, 2015 at 3:28pm

Just for the records, a picture of the thermal transfer plate


Comment by Thomas Stone on November 12, 2015 at 7:02pm

... Minor Update: the 1-off TX1 module price is confirmed to be $299 (in early 2016). 

Comment by Randy on November 12, 2015 at 7:56pm

Ok, I've created a repo under diydrones.com called "companion".  It's empty but I'm happy to accept any PRs to start adding value.  I think we should structure it so that the top level is OS / board.  i.e. Ubuntu / TK1.

Probably one of the first things we need are setup scripts to install all the packages that are commonly needed (MAVProxy, dronekit, etc).

If people have images for common platforms we can put those into the wiki downloads area.

Comment by Patrick Poirier on November 12, 2015 at 8:29pm
Looking at NVIDIA Developper's site , I found on this partner

These guys have the expertise to build what were are looking for
Comment by Patrick Poirier on November 12, 2015 at 8:37pm
Thanks Randy
Does it mean that Erlebrain , navio, BBB Mini, and other wiil be there?
Comment by Thomas Stone on November 12, 2015 at 9:04pm


That is pretty neat! So they shrunk the TK1 Jetson down to a 3"x3"x3" cube (including PSU unit).... By they way, their prices start at $618: http://bit.ly/1HFkXZU

Yeah, it would be great if they could make a miniaturized carrier board for the TX1. Maybe I should reach out to them to see if they have any plans for that. This will be ALOT less complicated than re-designing an entire Jetson Kit. 

Colorado Engineering's TK1 SOM


Comment by Thomas Stone on November 12, 2015 at 9:06pm

.... Wow. Did they make a module based on the Tegra X1 before NVIDIA did?


Comment by Randy on November 12, 2015 at 9:17pm


I think it would be good if many of the Linux autopilot's had their setup scripts in this companion repo but whether it happens will depend upon whether the manufacturers want to move their existing scripts over (if they have them) or if other contributors provide alternative scripts.  Basically I'm saying, I can't do it all on my own!

Re the cubes listed above, if we've got some places to buy companion computers we should add them to the wiki.  So for example we should probably add the 4Gmetry to our companion computer wiki page.


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