Quadcopter


15 posts
by universalair » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:23 am
Hey guys, we're planning of putting a Raspberry Pi on our quadcopter UAVs to do any heavy number crunching.

The quadcopters are in kit form, and they're designed for academic and hobbyist use, and contain a variety of sensors including GPS for autonomous navigation. It already uses an ARM microcontroller (Cortex-M3 at 72MHz) for the stabilisation and sensor fusion code, so really the Raspberry Pi is there to deal with any high-level application stuff like machine vision. The microcontroller can talk to Raspberry Pi via USB HID. We haven't planned on using Raspberry Pi to run any of the actual flying code, although no reason why it shouldn't since all the sensors are on I2C and we only need 4 to 8 GPIOs for the motor controls

Does anyone know where I can find the dimension information for the mounting holes on the Raspberry Pi board? I've emailed the Raspberry Pi people about this, and I haven't gotten a response.

We're already altering the design for the quadcopter frames for the next batch of kits so that they're "Raspberry Pi ready" for anyone who wants install a Raspberry Pi on their quadcopter UAV. (We'll see if the great folks behind Raspberry Pi would be interested in letting us sell Raspberry Pi along with the quadcopter as part of the kit so people can pull it out of the box, assemble it and start flying)

This is the quadcopter kit that we'd like to design to be "Raspberry Pi Ready": http://www.universalair.co.uk/rofl
http://www.raspberrypi.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/156wu-floaty.jpg
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by kme » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:28 am
There are no mounting holes.
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by walney » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:41 am
If you are going to be using a Model A (without ethernet) you can use the two holes that would be used to fix the ethernet socket. Downside is that you will lose 128MB RAM, upside is that you'll save $10.
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by universalair » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:42 am
Those alpha boards pictures show four holes that look like they were designed for motherboard risers. Have they been removed?
http://www.raspberrypi.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/DSCF1808.jpg

I suppose we can clamp the edge of the PCBs.

Yes, we could use the ethernet holes, I don't expect anyone wants to trail an ethernet cable up to a quadcopter too often, though I don't think that's a wise choice given quadcopters have a tendency to crash sometimes when they fly into birds and stuff.
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by walney » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:44 am
Yes, and the board has been shrunk by 50% - see the pics on the home page. (The other benefit is that you will get a lower profile board.)
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by kme » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:45 am
Yes they are gone as the board is much smaller now - look at the pictures on the front page - click for oversize.
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by universalair » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:51 am
Wait, is that 26 pin 0.1" port in the top left the GPIO header? We can use that.
We'll make a mounting PCB to plug Raspberry Pi in faced down via that port, and use one of the ethernet port holes. Our quadcopters already use a mounting PCB for the existing electronics which clips into the specially designed frame. This would be perfect, thanks guys.
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by walney » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:53 am
You will have to solder your own headers on though.
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by universalair » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:54 am
even better, we can solder the header pointing downwards and mount the board right way up. And use locking headers to keep everything in place.
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by walney » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:55 am
...that was one of the reasons stated for not including it: to give people the choice
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by SlayingDragons » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:57 pm
Awesome, I hope you can sell it as a kit. I'm not going to speak for anyone here, but I believe they said they would be open to kits and such as long as they're credited for the board.
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by toxibunny » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:01 am
Better get your watchmaker's eyeglass and teeny-tiny soldering iron ready then ;)
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...
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by crundy » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:10 am
Strap some mini-rocket launchers onto that thing and I'm in!
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by universalair » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:50 am
Congratulations on the beta boards! Are those mounting holesI see there? Have they come back?
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by Hugh Reynolds » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:40 am
I think those holes are the plastic locating lugs from the connector on the other side of the board.
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