At last, the long-awaited ArduIMU is available! You can buy the hardware here (the first batch sold out within minutes, but he's making more quickly). The software is in beta, and you can find it here. It is, as promised, $99, making it the first sub-$100 AHRS in the world!

Proper documentation is coming soon, but here are the highlights:

-3 Axis Accelerometer
-3 Axis Gyroscopes
-Arduino Compatible (Atmega328 onboard)
-Source Code included and Open Source!
-Power LED (Green)
-Status LEDs (Red, Blue, Yellow)
-SPI port available for more sensors.
-GPS port (uBlox ready!)
-Code based on Bill Premerlani's Direction Cosine Matrix

This is actually considered a full Attitude Heading Reference System, because it is IMU hardware plus the software to interpret the sensor readings and convert them into absolute attitude and heading information. The output is a serial ASCII string with raw sensor values and the DCM matrix values. You would use this with an autopilot board to convert those matrix values into commands for the your control surfaces.

The board works without the GPS module, but in that case the yaw readings are unreliable. If you add the GPS, the yaw is corrected. We will be releasing a magnetometer module to do the same thing indoors.

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Comment by NorthSweden on September 22, 2009 at 1:26pm

Can´t wait to get one and then throw away the IR sensors.
Comment by Chris Lane on September 22, 2009 at 1:42pm
Hi! I'm new looking into all this stuff for my senior project. Is this pretty much a shield kit+ XYZ sensors put in one? Whats the difference? and what does IMU and AHRS mean? Thanks a lot! :D

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 22, 2009 at 1:45pm
Well done

Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on September 22, 2009 at 2:01pm
IMU is a set of sensors: accelero and gyros, sometimes also magnetometers (Inertial Measurement Unit). AHRS Is Attitude/Heading Reference System, a set of IMU sensors capable of fusioning all sensor types and outputting the angles.
Aviation AHRS is an AHRS capable of maintaining its reference frame during flight, typically requiring external additional input data like airspeed.
IMU-capable autopilot is an autopilot with control loops adjusted for IMU operation, guaranteeing stabilisation that is not amplifying IMU artifacts in all possible flight phases.
Comment by dionh on September 22, 2009 at 2:20pm
How fast does the DCM run on the Arduino any specs

Comment by Jordi Muñoz on September 22, 2009 at 3:06pm
The internal refresh rate of the DCM is 50mhz, the output is configurable up to 50mhz too! But for that i will have to use a binary protocol.
Comment by Richard Green on September 22, 2009 at 3:07pm
This looks like a nice piece of kit. I have been looking at buying an reasonably priced autopilot far awhile now but the lack of z-sensors put me off. Will the board be distributed by any UK dealers like Cool Components (who supply the Ardupilot board?

I assume that the Ardupilot software will need to be re-written to take advantage of the new sensors

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on September 22, 2009 at 3:12pm

Essentially you could remove the GPS from the Shield board, plug it into the ArduIMU, take the serial output of the ArduIMU and input it into the Ardupilot Rx input where the GPS used to go and remove the XY and Z sensors from the Shield board. Rewite the Ardupilot code to use the ArduIMU input to stabilize and guide the aircraft instead of the XY and Z sensors. This sounds like a description of the Ardupilot Mega.

Just a thought.

Comment by Peter Meister on September 22, 2009 at 3:16pm
Looks great, but I will await the ArduMega. I have no desire to move platforms until that ones comes out. Its great that we have an IMU - but 2 boards in the aircraft is a little much for my platforms.

@Bill P & Jordi.

Will there be a guide on integrating this IMU into the current Ardupilot and changing the code as TCIII says to get it to use the IMU over the shield and the XYZ sensors ?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 22, 2009 at 3:19pm

Yes, that could be done, but we're focused on Ardupilot Mega, which will be designed from the ground up to use this. If the community wants to adapt the current Ardupilot code to use the IMU, that would be great, but it's not our priority at the moment.


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