New IMU board for Paparazzi--but is it open source?

The Paparazzi team have released a new IMU board called Asprin. It's just the accelerometers, gyros and magnetometer sensors (no processor) and is available for $110 at Joby Robotics.

Strangely, I can't find any mention of it being open source. Is it actually possible that Paparazzi is no longer supporting open source hardware? That would be sad if true. They seem to have deleted the Hardware folder from their repository. [Correction: the hardware repository is here. It only has the schematic of Lisa (no board file) and no files at all for Asprin]. I've asked for clarification, but haven't heard back yet.

Remember that Paparazzi's tagline is "Bringing freedom to UAV since 2003". Maybe it should be "Bringing freedom to UAVs, 2003-2010" ;-)


[UPDATE: The official statement: "For the time being the Eagle files for Aspirin are not released in a OSHW definition compatible way. We at Joby Robotics would love to be able to release the files. But we don’t feel comfortable with that at the moment. It is a continuing discussion here at Joby Robotics, so let’s hope for the best! :)

P.S. Aspirin is not a “Paparazzi” design as such, it was developed at Joby Robotics with close collaboration with Paparazzi community. It may have not been reflected by the article properly for some readers."]


[UPDATE2: On March 3rd, the Joby team did decide to release the files and open source the boards. Lisa is here and Asprin is here. Good news!]





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Comment by Roman Krashanitsa on February 25, 2011 at 3:08pm

Chris, I don't think there is a reason to panic. Probably this board has not been yet "released" since proper build files are not there yet. The repository is undergoing some changes and files are being moved. The svn repository is still there is you need hardware right now.

Comment by Michael Shiel on February 25, 2011 at 3:24pm

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 25, 2011 at 3:29pm

Roman, I hope you're right. But starting with Lisa, they stopped releasing the Eagle .brd files, so that board is apparently no longer open source. And although they're already selling Asprin (surely that counts as "released"), there's no sign of any Eagle files at all that I can find. As Michael notes, they're just posted a picture of the schematics, which does not comply with the definition of open source hardware, and suggests they're backpeddling from their previous commitments to open source. Previous versions of the Paparazzi hardware were posted with both Eagle .brd and .sch files, as is expected for OSH. 


I've asked them again for clarification. Again, I hope I'm wrong, but this doesn't look good.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on February 25, 2011 at 11:22pm
I head a rumour that it was going closed source
Comment by Eric Parsonage on February 26, 2011 at 7:18am
I hear a rumour that it was just a by product from a  a Google Lunar X Prize craft that uses Paparazzi for control. I wonder if Garys source is the same cat I talked to ?
Comment by OpenUAS on February 26, 2011 at 7:33am

Of  course it will be opensource, you silly ;) It just takes a lot of work to get it right. And I wonder WHO Chris might have contacted and "I've asked for clarification," certainly not the mailinglist ;) BTW the repository is wrong correct is and when the Git migration is fully ready for... indeed the hardware... But anyone willing to help out, plz join the Paparazzi project and submit your patches and improvments. But OK, we all loooove gossip don't we :-) ?


BTW I heard a rumour it will contain alien biochemical elements... LOL

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 26, 2011 at 8:36am

OpenUAS: I left a comment on the official announcement post. They responded but would not confirm that it will be open source hardware. Asprin is already finished and for sale, so what do you mean it "takes a lot of work to get it right?" The Eagle files obviously exist and the repository is there; how hard is to put the files in the repository? The fastest way to put this issue to rest is to simply post the .sch and .brd files. Until they're up, people are right to worry.


Given that Lisa has been out for a year, can you point me to the Eagle board file (.brd) for it? 

Comment by MarcS on February 26, 2011 at 9:10am

Hi Chris,

I got no info about the new hardware, but as OpenUAS pointed out, the mailing list and the wiki are still the main communication platforms of the community. The blog is just starting and probably not the fastest way to get in contact.

Regarding Lisa I´m looking forward on getting my hands on  Lisa/M... High performance in a receiver-sized package. But first going to test my ArduIMU. Let´s work together!

Comment by OpenUAS on February 26, 2011 at 4:14pm

First of all, please do not confuse the Opensource Paparazzi GPL software with 3rd party hardware, regardless open or closed.

Anyhow, understand is that the Lisa/X design is still in flux (and the software is in heavy  flux). The philosophy behind Lisa/L is to have a full options board to testdrive the Paparazzi software on the stm32 and improve the software. When we feel it works as it should, it can be run on another smaller e.g. Lisa/M (Which is also still in development stage), it is just lots of work...


For Esden's IMU full PCB design to have it now, I think your options are to stuff the board schematics into e.g. Altium, position the components see , do the autoroute and adjust at will then you can make the board if you need. Should work with the same software, or you are free to improve an submit changes.

You already asked esden as I understood from your post here but my impression is you want it now, and are unhappy you can not have it. Keep in mind the original third party hardware developer does not needs to provide brd files if the developer does not want to provide this, or feels like he is ready for it yet. Just like uBlox does not need to provide their brd or whatever files to the Paparazzi project or you, I think someone else also does not need to at the moment when you want them. I feel sorry for you but that is how I see it.

About the "takes a lot of work to get it right?" is about using third party hardware and integrate code so it can be used into a Paparazzi based autopilot. The Paparazzi team just does it best to get as much 3rd party sensors working we deem could help out users.

I understand that you are enthusiastic about that board, I would advise you to test one first, then see if it really fits your needs anyway.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 26, 2011 at 4:26pm

OpenUAS: thanks for your response, which is helpful. It's not that I want it now, it's just that I want to know whether Paparazzi is still committed to open source hardware or not. Once a product is for sale it is by definition no longer under development and OSH guidelines call for the release of the design files (both board and schematic).


It's perfectly okay of companies (such as uBlox, as you mention) to choose not to do that, but then they aren't open source. 


If you're telling me that the Paparazzi team is still fully committed to open source and the full Eagle design files for both Lisa/X and Asprin will be made available shortly, I would be very glad to hear that and will monitor that closely.


Can you in fact confirm that?


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