Just stumbled upon this amazing board. Would be really interesting to use it for a quad project. What do you guys think??




  • Freescale iMX.233 processor running at 454 MHz
  • 64 MB onboard RAM
  • Comes with 512 MB uSD card with 100 MB Linux installation all ready to go
  • 3.3V I/O pins can talk to most sensors, motor drivers, etc. No struggling with 1.8V levels.
  • Low power, fanless ARM926 core draws only 200-300 mA
  • Onboard GL850G USB hub draws 100-200mA
  • Built-in Lithium Ion/Polymer battery charger and 5V boost converter for portable projects
  • Three USB port jacks!
  • 1.5W mono 4-16 ohm speaker amplifier (0.1" JST onboard connector)
  • Microphone input (0.05" JST onboard connector)
  • LCD controller with 2mm output port
  • 3.5mm A/V output jack with stereo audio and NTSC/PAL composite video
  • Back of board has GPIO outputs on 0.1" header spacing, plug in an Arduino proto shield (Beta version only, Final boards don't have this)
  • Quadrature encoder connections onboard
  • 5-way joystick on-board
  • MMA7455 3-axis +-2G to +-8G accelerometer on-board
  • 3.3V TTL serial port for easy shell access
  • Full GCC toolchain is ready for you to download and get crackin'!

Views: 1010

Comment by T.D. Gonzales on March 5, 2011 at 9:19am
Is that about 5"x3"? I wonder what weight looks like. I would also think that the power consumption might suck depending on coding. This looks like it could be a lot of fun. The system mem seems low compared to comprable systems. Wow the onboard charger is pretty impressive. This could be amazing for certain larger UASs.
Comment by geir on March 5, 2011 at 9:32am

Its about 10x6cm, cant find any thing about weight. Its got an accelerometer, supports wifi might eaven be able to mount a camera on it :)


Low power, fanless CPU draws only 200 mA at 5V


Comment by pixhawk on March 5, 2011 at 9:46am

If you want to do Linux onboard, I recommend the 20x58 mm Gumstix Overo with 720 MHz (and there is a version with 512 MB RAM). It weights 27g INCLUDING a machine vision camera (which is quite cheap for $75, usually cameras with the same sensor cost $200-$400).


Please note that most cameras out there sold with single board computers don't provide a global shutter, which results in tearing in the image. For more info, you might be interested in these pages:





Comment by MarcS on March 5, 2011 at 11:25am



not sure if this board is really ideal for flying objects. The connections availible are missing some important ones.. (AD, more serial, PWM..)  Just as the gumstix, only bigger...


Some time ago I met a guy who was building a quadrocopter based on a x86 Board (runnig WinXP...).


Similar size but optimized for ground based robots...

But now they are building a smaller one, should be there soon:


Thats a lot of power in a small package!



Comment by pixhawk on March 5, 2011 at 11:36am

Interesting board, however I think it will never be worth the overhead striving for a 1-board solution for an autopilot. Established systems such as APM provide a high level of testing and robustness (RC fallback, etc.), filters, controller code and a whole world of helpful features and all you need to do is to interface them via serial port (there is finished software for this, e.g. MAVCONN: https://github.com/pixhawk/mavconn). For the price of a specialized robotics board with a decent processor you get easily one of the industry-standard off-the-shelf Linux single board computers plus one of the standard/popular autopilots. Since we're doing heavy onboard computer vision at PIXHAWK we noticed its quite beneficial to not have autopilot and onboard computer coupled too closely - because we are switching back and forth between a 27g Gumstix Overo and a 220g Intel Core 2 DUO onboard computer, but keep the same autopilot hardware and controller code. This would be impossible with a specialized robotics board plus it would be way more expensive. And as the Intel i7 is now also available as industry PC, we can easily upgrade.

I'm not making a point against specialized robotics hardware, just consider what you get regarding software from an autopilot board and consider the costs for any low-volume robotics module.

Comment by Tim Michals on March 5, 2011 at 11:50am

I agree trying to keep the design moulder... here is another small board http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/Toradex-Xiilun-PC-and-Topaz...

One thing the E6xx has is HW encoders for video and two threading cores.  I asked about power and there is no specs yet I would image around 10W for a 1.6G board....  It would be nice to have SATA access for storing large video files...


Aslo the beagleboard is nice, there is a wireless board coming out soon that will support soft AP... so now a phone, or any client 802.11g/n device can talk to it...


Also, looking at making a connector board for the pixhawk camera for the beagle board...

Comment by pixhawk on March 5, 2011 at 11:59am

This might sound weird, but why would you prefer the BeagleBoard over the smaller alternatives like e.g. the Gumstix Overo (or similar OMAP3 credit-card sized PCs)? The processor is the same and the BeagleBoard is so much heavier and taller?


ATOM indeed draws about 9-12W, depending on the configuration. If power consumption and space is not super critical, I would however recommend an Intel Core 2 DUO: It draws 27W peak, but for image or signal processing our benchmarks (SIFT feature extraction, SURF feature extraction, KLT tracking) showed that the Intel Core 2 DUO at 1.86 GHz is about 6x-8x faster per core than an 1.6 GHz ATOM. And with a size of 95 x 95 mm, its less than twice as big (e.g. Kontron microETXExpress PC module).

Comment by Tim Michals on March 5, 2011 at 12:15pm

Beagleboard vs gumstix

1. Price, the mx board is $149

2. The wireless module supports soft AP, gumstix does not

Comment by Piotr Esden-Tempski on March 5, 2011 at 12:48pm
You can also take a look at paparazzi and Lisa/L.


You have an option of mounting a gumstix on it. But you can also run the full rotorcraft firmware on the stm32 on Lisa/L.
Comment by Ethan Ferrell on March 5, 2011 at 4:51pm
CHB is an excellent CHEAP choice of putting a separate Linux machine up in the air. I'm working on a project right now using one. It is a little large (100mx60mm) to put on a standard arducopter frame. I designed a slightly larger frame (main plate and carrier board) to fit a CHB a bit better (to be cut using Ponoko). I'll release those if anyone wants them. I believe I made the main square about 30mm larger and the carrier board to fit the main square. GumStix are nice, but they are expensive and even more expensive to add WiFi to them. Another thing is yes Gumstix has a faster processor, but a faster processor typically uses more power. The CHB pulls about 300 mA plus another 200 mA for wireless.


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