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 Rob_Lefebvre on November 10, 2015 at 1:20pm

Man, I'm tempted at the price for that Jetson.  But it would likely just become another SBC sitting on my desk collective dust. 

Comment by Gary McCray on November 10, 2015 at 2:06pm

Thank You for this post.

Working on a scanning laser rangefinder and this is perfect for it.

Probably not in a micro quadcopter however.

Got one on order.

Best Regards,


Comment by Jiro Hattori on November 10, 2015 at 3:31pm

I am aware of this campaign but only applies in the US, Canada, and so on :-(

Comment by Jiro Hattori on November 10, 2015 at 9:16pm

It is OK for me no discount.

TX1 development kit is coming !


Comment by Thomas Stone on November 10, 2015 at 10:42pm

Nice find Jiro. That announcement explains the recent discount on the TK1. :) 

NVIDIA is targeting drone development with the TX1. Here is a sample video they just released (below).

The TX1 developer kit will be $599. The stand-alone module will be $299. 

Comment by Thomas Stone on November 10, 2015 at 10:52pm

.... $299 is a 'bulk order' price. 

Comment by benbojangles on November 11, 2015 at 12:21am

tempted, but like Rob said, what's the point of power if there's no foundation?

Things I would like to see in embedded systems as of this time:

- HDMI-in or a HDMI-to-CSI adapter

- Some kind of Linux package manager or Github Library (for sudo apt getting) dedicated to useful drone-related code (my code collections are all over the place like a badly organised workdesk).

- A Linux Distro like TinyCore, with ssh setup & command.

- Android app controller (Like KORE for the Rpi but capable of typing ssh commands to install linux packages (saves using keyboard & mouse etc).

That's just where i'm at. Any helpful advice on my ideas would be good. ty

Comment by Jack Crossfire on November 11, 2015 at 4:58pm

The JTK1 is a traditional Silicon Valley product, with very large 1980's style connectors, very large board intended for a large company to use as a reference for designing their own layout with their own layout person.  The Odroid is a traditional Korean product, a miniaturized 21st century board & connectors intended for garage hobbyists to integrate directly into projects. 

Comment by Randy on November 11, 2015 at 6:10pm

Good post. I really think ardupilot needs an easy to install companion computer and we should also develop some scripts, image files and standards to make it easier for people to get those companion computers up and running.

I'd be very happy to help with defining these standards if others want to join me in this effort.

The little TX1 board looks good although the connectors aren't clear to me.

Comment by Thomas Stone on November 11, 2015 at 8:28pm


I am happy to help. Is the XU4 your top choice? Would the TX1 module be too pricey?

I am also confused about the TX1 connectors. I read that it has a 400-pin board-to-board connector, but I guess I am blind :) .... The carrier board for the TX1 module could be trimmed down ALOT, and I *think* it would be rather simple to design. 


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