Jetson TK1 Promo Offer


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:

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  • Silvio moved the discussion over here (link) for whoever is interested. 

  • @c j g

    Those are good points. After successfully flying with the TK1, I am 99% sure I will ultimately switch to the TX1. The most important feature for me is the physical design. The modular design of the TX1 is very cool. 

  • ... some nodes for the TK1. I'm not happy to write this, but maybe that's not relevant. I think it would be better to start witth the TX1 because

    a) TK1 is only a 32bit platform
    b) TK1 only supports Cuda 6.x

    so in the long run, it could be a dead end, especially because cuda 7.x get so much more love ...
    ... don't kill the messanger

  • @Randy

    I 100% agree with you. Some non-technical reasoning: I believe in strong decouplig of the autopilot and the companion (this doesn't mean they can't live within the same box). However plug&play is a great plus, as this means that I (final user) can buy an Iris / Pixhawk / whatever and in a second moment I can add the companion as a second layer of computation, while all the underlying settings remain the same. This mantains a very attractive learning curve. In a third moment I can even switch to a more powerful companion as new needs / new supercomputers arrives. 

    I also have some suggestion for the Companion Repo  @Randy what do you think?

  • Ok, I just ordered the TK1 dev kit. What did I just do!!!! :) :) :)

  • @Randy

    Sounds like a plan!

    My next step is to get the Jetson TK1 in the air running MAVProxy/Dronekit. 

  • Developer


    I think it would be good if many of the Linux autopilot's had their setup scripts in this companion repo but whether it happens will depend upon whether the manufacturers want to move their existing scripts over (if they have them) or if other contributors provide alternative scripts.  Basically I'm saying, I can't do it all on my own!

    Re the cubes listed above, if we've got some places to buy companion computers we should add them to the wiki.  So for example we should probably add the 4Gmetry to our companion computer wiki page.

    Volta 4Gmetry | Companion Computer
  • .... Wow. Did they make a module based on the Tegra X1 before NVIDIA did?

  • @Patrick

    That is pretty neat! So they shrunk the TK1 Jetson down to a 3"x3"x3" cube (including PSU unit).... By they way, their prices start at $618:

    Yeah, it would be great if they could make a miniaturized carrier board for the TX1. Maybe I should reach out to them to see if they have any plans for that. This will be ALOT less complicated than re-designing an entire Jetson Kit. 

    Colorado Engineering's TK1 SOM



    Products - Colorado Engineering Inc.
    iScan Phantom is a new generation, automotive radar development kit based on Infineon's latest radar MMIC. It contains the radar front-end antenna mo…
  • Thanks Randy
    Does it mean that Erlebrain , navio, BBB Mini, and other wiil be there?
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