APM-powered Raspberry Pi Zero flight controller from Erle

The team from Erle is at it again, with an APM-compatible board for the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero.  From Hackaday:

Flight controllers for quadcopters and other drones are incredible pieces of engineering. Not only do these boards keep an aircraft level, they do so while keeping the drone in one place, or reading a GPS sensor and flying it from waypoint to waypoint. The latest of these flight controllers is built on everyone’s favorite $5 computer, the Raspberry Pi Zero.

The PXFmini controller and autopilot shield is the latest project from Erle Robotics that puts eight servo outputs on the Pi, barometer and IMU sensors, a power supply, and all the adapters to turn the Raspberry Pi Zero into a capable flight controller. Since the Pi Zero will have some computational horsepower left over after keeping a quadcopter level, there’s a possibility of some very cool peripherals. Erle Robotics has been working with depth cameras and Lidar on more than a few drones. This makes for some interesting applications we can only imagine now.

The schematics for the PXFmini are open source in the best traditions of the RC and drone community and will be available soon

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Developer
Comment by Ryan Beall on February 17, 2016 at 12:48am

Does it come with a raspberry pi zero, because otherwise... good luck getting your hands on one...  Great idea!

Comment by JB on February 17, 2016 at 2:16am

Lol yeah...just need to get a Pi Zero from somewhere.

Otherwise cool design and I can't wait to see this used on Odroid's new C0 instead. At least you can order that one!

Comment by Francisco J. Belchi on February 17, 2016 at 3:01am

Great work :)

Comment by Iñigo Muguruza on February 17, 2016 at 3:52am

@Ryan: No, it's just the cape

Comment by Iñigo Muguruza on February 17, 2016 at 3:54am

But even that, you can use it with other boards: RPi2 and is pin-to-pin compatible with Odroid

Comment by Thomas Stone on February 17, 2016 at 7:05am

Wow. Great work. :)

What will cost more in 2020: a drone, or a loaf of bread?

Comment by Alex Wright on February 17, 2016 at 7:20am

the c1 didnt work with the navio+ and as this doesnt seem to be using any kind of coprocessor I doubt it will work with the c0. There is a video of a c0 concept of it flying of course odroid isnt giving any information on the board etc. Also with this board using pca9865 it will have the limitations of all outputs being at the same frequency, which is why navio2, erlebrain2 both use a stm co processor. Funny that raspilot started this trend and then the dev dropped of the face of the earth only to leave me with two paper weight boards. I wish the price was less on this. With shipping etc its not worth it to me. Should have my navio2 by next month hopefully. 

Comment by Víctor Mayoral on February 17, 2016 at 8:04am

@Thomas, that's quite the idea ;).


@Alex, AFAIK the trend of including a coprocessor can be tracked to much before. The PX4 team started that and all the software layer is their doing. Have a look at their FCU designs and you'll see it yourself.

I'm happy that the Raspilot guys brought this up to the Linux world and I like the idea behind it. It'll eventually make it into more of our designs.

Comment by Thomas Stone on February 17, 2016 at 8:34am

@Victor

I would like to add IR-LOCK to this quad, but it could double the cost! :) And if I add the SF-series range-finder, the cost might be tripled. Ha

Comment by Jerry Giant on February 17, 2016 at 11:58am

Victor is kindly enough to make the schematic of PXFmini public here:
http://erlerobotics.com/docs/Artificial_Brains_and_Autopilots/Autop...

if you want a more pixhawk like cape for full sized rapberry pi (A or B factor), you can refer to:

https://github.com/raspilot/Hardware

I joined this project last year, and now code has been deleted from where it was cloned. home it will someday fix that 9250 driver onbard and pass the pull request.

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