NAVIO: Raspberry Pi autopilot


Hi guys!

Want to share what we have been working on lately, it is an autopilot shield for Raspberry PI. It is called Navio and has everything what you will usually find on an autopilot platform. A powerful platform like Raspberry gives many opportunities like streaming video, 3g,wi-fi, ethernet connectivity and possibility to run computation intensive algorithms like Kalman filtering or RTK GPS. RTK or real time kinematics is one of the main features of the board, it is equipped with a GPS capable of providing raw data output: carrier phase, pseudo-ranges and ephemeris. Processing this data against a stationary receiver increases GPS positioning accuracy to centimeters. A radio link between the two is required, but you anyway have it to GCS. If network RTK is available in your area, you can use corrections from the internet over 3G thus eliminating the need in second receiver.

Our plans include porting APM to Raspberry Pi + Navio.

MS5611 barometric pressure sensor
MPU9150 (MPU9250 on future models) 3-axis gyro, accelerometer and magnetometer.
ADS1115 16-bit ADC
PCA9685 PWM extender to control servos
u-blox NEO6T GPS module with raw data on SPI, we saved the only UART on raspberry for Xbee or different telemetry.
13 servo connectors
Pixhawk compatible UART, I2C and SPI connectors
RGB LED – just because we love them


What we wanted to know if there is any interest in platform like this, because we have everything ready for manufacturing and to keep the cost down we need to manufacture as many as possible. We have written tutorials how to use the board and are now preparing them for publishing, all code for the board will be released under open source license. Some more pictures and details are available on our website.

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  • One more thing, as NEO6 is pin to pin compatible with NEO7, I'd advice using NEO-7N or even NEO-M8 instead.

  • Developer
    I'm in too (SPI version). My Pi has been gathering dust of late, this will surely blow that away :-)

    PS: i was thinking that you will get a much better response from the GPS antenna if you put it on a 40mm to 50mm square ground plane. Check the data-sheet, but i'm positive thats the config they use for testing the best signal reception
  • Count me in as well, sounds a promising

    all the best and keep up the good work


  • @Tridge

    Thank you for your support. We highly appreciate your amazing work on pushing Linux autopilots forward.The issue with 9150 on I2C was on our mind, but when we started this project the supply of 9250 was limited, and we decided to go for 9150, for the final version we will use 9250 on SPI.

    @Dominik Daners

    Thanks! We've seen some drone projects that used Raspberry Pi where people had to struggle with lots of sensors hanging on wires and Navio makes it simple.

    The car is Himoto Mastadon, Raspberry with Navio fit under the body perfectly)

    @Chuck Durham

    Thank you! We will be posting updates on the project, and will try our best to deliver soon!

    Thank you! We are well familiar with Tridge's blog post and his speech, it gave us a lot of confidence to continue Navio project.

    @Carlos Orozco

    Our thoughts exactly! Thank you!

    @Luiz Miranda

    Thank you!

    @Tom Pittenger

    Thanks! We totally agree with you on the MPU topic, final version will be with SPI sensor. We wanted to make it easy to fit in most platforms, so the form of a shield came naturally. 

  • Developer

    I agree with you @Tridge, the first thing I thought of when I saw the 9150 number in the spec was "Why would they choose the I2C-only version!" I say 9250 or bust. Otherwise, nice board and great evolution of the platform. I like how it is a shield and not an add on like when using a Beagle or oDroid.

  • count me in too..sounds good to me..

  • This is amazing! 

  • Developer


         Looking good!  If you look at Tridge's "Peek into the future" blog post you'll see he discusses porting AC to Linux so your project is facing in the right direction.  best of luck.

  • I enjoy experimenting with various control boards and microprocessors  - I would love something like this, I have been messing around with the Pi mainly as a mini computer I would buy one of these Navio's figuring between the $100 - $250 range in price

  • Sounds interesting. I've made a system a bit like that but much less complicated, but it was not in shield form, a very clear upside to your solution. Good luck on your future development!

    Out of interest, what is the RC car you are using in the picture above?

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