The Navigator: a Raspberry Pi 4 based flight controller

Our team at Blue Robotics first posted on DIYDrones in 2014 with our Kickstarter campaign for an underwater thruster. A lot has happened since then and we have a lot of components and system for marine robotics in our store now. 


Today we're proud to announce something relevant to this community: the new Navigator Flight Controller. The Navigator is an ArduPilot-compatible flight controller based on the Raspberry Pi 4 computer. 

The Navigator is a Raspberry Pi 4 based flight controller with the following features:

  • 6-axis IMU with accelerometers and gyroscopes for orientation
  • Dual three-axis magnetometers for compass heading
  • Barometer for altitude in air
  • 16 servo PWM channel outputs
  • Current and voltage ADC inputs
  • Built-in leak detection for 2 probes
  • 4 serial ports
  • 2 I2C ports
  • 2 16-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) ports
  • RC receiver input (SBUS)
  • RGB status LED
  • External LED port compatible with Neopixel RGB LEDs

We designed the Navigator primarily for the ArduSub (remotely operated underwater vehicle) application and included some specific features for that, like a leak detection circuit, but also designed it for general applications. It is compatible with all ArduPilot firmwares and has the core sensors needed for those vehicle types.

One of the biggest difference with the Navigator compared to most flight controllers is that the ArduPilot firmware runs directly in Linux rather than on a separate microcontroller. We’ve built a new operating environment for that, called BlueOS, that manages that autopilot, services, processes, networking, and updates. It has a browser-based user interface with access to all of these features:


There’s a lot more details about BlueOS on our forum post here.

The schematic design for the Navigator is open source and available here. You can find a lot more information on the product page and documentation. We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions here.


E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones