Muhammad Waqas

Using Raspberry Pi as Flight Controller Board

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Hello everyone! I'm Muhammad Waqas, student of Mechatronics Engineering from Islamabad, Pakistan. We're doing a project on UAVs and we need to make a flight controller board.

So my question is pretty simple, can Raspberry Pi be used as a Flight Controller? How complex it is to code a flight controller? And is there an easy method to develop a flight controller of our own?

 

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1 hour ago, Muhammad Waqas said:

So my question is pretty simple, can Raspberry Pi be used as a Flight Controller?

The answer is yes but you will need to add sensors like the PXFMini from Erie Robotics 

http://erlerobotics.com/blog/product/pxfmini/

1 hour ago, Muhammad Waqas said:

How complex it is to code a flight controller?

Its complex but fortunately there is an open source software called Ardupilot. 

http://ardupilot.org

Originally it ran on the Arduino hardware hence the name but now  requires more powerful processors. It will run on the Pi + PXFMini.

Personally I use a Pixhawk flight controller on my Hex build running Arducopter. Its a clone of the original 3DR hardware.

1 hour ago, Muhammad Waqas said:

And is there an easy method to develop a flight controller of our own?

Why reinvent the wheel ?. Since Ardupilot is open source you can make changes if you have some specific requirements.

http://ardupilot.org/dev/

This is another open source flight controller software.

http://px4.io

and this site should also help as it covers both versions.

https://diydrones.com

Edited by Spitfire76

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Thanks for the quick reply Spitfire76! :)

Couple of things I forgot to ask. If I don't use the PXFMini, can I still use ardupilot's open source software? The reason I am asking this is because I have bought the BerryGPS-IMU from Ozzmaker. So now I have all the data from IMU and GPS.

And now I'm stuck with trying to get RC Reciever's output to RPi Zero W. I know it should be possible because the reciever I am using outputs PWM signals.

Is my approach to this project right? Or should I start-over?

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13 hours ago, Muhammad Waqas said:

Couple of things I forgot to ask. If I don't use the PXFMini, can I still use ardupilot's open source software? The reason I am asking this is because I have bought the BerryGPS-IMU from Ozzmaker. So now I have all the data from IMU and GPS.

You might want to post this question on the ardupilot and diydrones forums but I doubt it will run with the current code without modification. I did a quick search of those forums for "BerryGPS-IMU" but nothing showed up.

 

13 hours ago, Muhammad Waqas said:

And now I'm stuck with trying to get RC Reciever's output to RPi Zero W. I know it should be possible because the reciever I am using outputs PWM signals.

 

If you are using PWM then the Pi would need to handle multiple inputs, throttle, pitch, yaw, roll etc. Usually its best to use PPM or sBUS if that's supported on your receiver as it only requires 1 connection.

13 hours ago, Muhammad Waqas said:

Is my approach to this project right? Or should I start-over?

It depends on what you are trying to achieve and the time frame that you have.

Edited by Spitfire76

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