New Volta companion computer for Pixhawk brings computer vision, more

This new companion computer from Volta costs just $299 but brings a huge amount of power to Pixhawk-based drones. It's designed to compete with the DJI Manifold at a lower price, and it's open source. OpenCV-based computer vision, streaming HD video, 4G wireless and a 30-second installation with Pixhawk.  Impressive! 

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Comment by Al B on April 16, 2016 at 10:41am

@Bill Bonney

I'm afraid that you are absolutely correct since that is exactly what I realized after the 4Gmetry III arrived.  Well, lesson learned.  We're evaluating performance of GPS-Free localization using LiDAR-based SLAM on sUAS so we can still use it as a companion computer. Thanks Bill.

Comment by Volta Robots on April 16, 2016 at 10:42am

4Gmetry is a turnkey companion computer, for LTE telemetry and vision tasks.  Included hardware components, OS, various software, price and functions are clearly specified and pictured on

Bill's is a great group for DIY. In a few word you buy a computer (Rasberry, Odroid, ecc..) and you turn it into your companion by yourself.

Alternatives are the maximum expression of freedom.

Comment by Al B on April 16, 2016 at 10:46am


Your last post doesn't answer my questions though. i.e.:

How does Volta suggest to handle roaming onto another network or if there is not sufficient network coverage?

Can you provide with a link to the online documentation for the 4Gmetry III? (e.g. Quick Start, How to setup/use WiFi instead of 4G, step-by-step on how to setup the 4Gmetry III companion computer with the Pixhawk, how to install the Volta RTOS image into the SD card, specially if one wants to use a bigger and faster SD card).

Comment by Bill Bonney on April 16, 2016 at 11:51am

@Al B you should also also also look at FlytOS

They have taken a Companion Computer and added a autopilot to it, and are providing platform to also configure it. It's really neat solution. It's still in beta, but you could sign up for the testing. I'm guessing the price might be much more favourable for what you will get in the end. A really turnkey solution.

They are adding ArduPilot support, would be nice to take the OSS software and create an image or instructions on how to add that to the RPi or ODROID base images.

Comment by Al B on April 16, 2016 at 12:05pm

@Bill Bonney

Wow Bill, thanks for that information.  FlytOS has a nice documentation. I agree, it's a neat solution.

I guess I'm gonna use the $300 ODROID that I got from Silvio with the FlytOS.  Thanks again Bill!

Comment by Fnoop on April 16, 2016 at 11:33pm

I think this is similar to the teensy/arduino frsky/mavlink commercial telemetry solutions being sold for $30-$50 - yes it's a lot more expensive than the raw ingredients which the skilled diy tinkerers can put together themselves for a lot less, but for people who have spent x,000 on a drone and just want to go and fly (and/or make money) then the cost of this solution is peanuts in the grand scheme of things.   For some people/companies, it's probably a lot cheaper just to buy this than pay someone salary or consulting fee to sit and set a raw odroid up from scratch.  Plus you get support from the company behind it.

I'm a tinkerer so wouldn't buy this myself, but I do appreciate it's an important product for others.

Comment by Fnoop on April 16, 2016 at 11:40pm

I do agree this should come with a power solution.  The xu4 is very power hungry when it's crunching at full whack and there's not really any other way of powering it on a drone than a BEC with barrel plug, so a ready-to-go matched low-EMI BEC would be a good thing for it to come with.  Very few existing 5v supplies on a drone will power this.

Comment by Paul Tegler on May 7, 2017 at 7:01pm

stumbeld on this older thread.... have both an Odroid XU4 and a Flytpod here

Odroid with ROS, openCV and etc installed on the Ubuntu is dirt simple. Flytpod is WAAAAYY wild and perhaps even over kill! Runs on Ubuntu comes pre-installed with openCV, ROS, etc 32G eMMC + other opt.    Basically as custom shaped Pixhawk board, a wifi router and odriod xu4 all in one package, The odriod uses it's ethernet port to connect to router ....serial port from pix to O.

I penned this quick comment because I never saw anyone mention that with a Volta you'll have to buy a phone plan to be able to use it! ...nothing stopping someone from doing the same on the odriod with s simple dongle
(and or the flytpod)


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