Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Board

Sub forum for Parallella daughter cards and accessories

Moderator: Folknology

Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Board

Postby Veqtor » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:27 pm

A lot of people seem interested in using the parallella as a flight controller for drones/multirotor platforms for doing various forms of enviromental analysis. A daughterboard specifically made for this would thus be very interesting...

Personally I would like to see:

* Flexible I/O that can connect to receivers typically used in drones, now I'm uncertain if it's possible to interface w. 5v logic in both directions... can we?
Typically the connections are three pin headers w. 5v, gnd and a pwm signal. This goes for input AND output.

* some new ESCs (electronic speed controllers) that are being developed will have I2C and CANBUS so this is also important.

* Barometer, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyro... these should be of very high quality of course

* One high res ADC for battery sensor, ultrasonic etc

* Maybe additional High speed USB? 2.0 or 3.0? for connection to kinect or other depth sensors for 3D mapping?

* HDMI input for image recognition and processing?

* Composite video output for transferring video via typical analog video tx?

* 3G/4G module? Xbee connector? Something else?

* Onboard regulator and voltage sensor for connection to 1S up to 6S lipo?

What are your thoughts? What does your application need? I think parallella is the ideal robotics brain so I think it's in everyones best interest to create a base platform that has enough features and flexibility for all our robotics needs. To make sure everyone is happy with the result I think we should pool our resources and ideas to make the ultimate daughter board for this.

Personally I wish to help launch an open, crowd-sourced and free 3d-wiki-earth map, where drone users and next-gen smartphone (w. 3d cam) users can help map our earth in high resolution point cloud data that can be freely used in non-profit research, entertainment, games? I realized there was a need for this when I wanted to build procedural sci-fi game where the game world is based on a real model of the earth in a worst case global warming scenario 500 years from now. Finding free data proved to be nearly impossible, only very low resolution data was available. Imagine how an open system could change this, not only could we map height in high res, but also weather, spectral information for geological and plant life analysis etc etc.

These are exciting times!

Here are some current offerings:

Multiwii Mega
Image

Ardupilot Mega 2.0
Image

PX4FMU
Image
Veqtor
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:24 am

Re: Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Boar

Postby theover » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:24 pm

You mean like a model chopper mixer circuit and servo adjustment ? Usually that doesn't require so much computationpower, but maybe with cameras connected and all kinds of sensors, that might become interesting.
theover
 
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:50 pm

Re: Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Boar

Postby Veqtor » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:36 pm

I think this uses quite a bit of computational power:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvRTALJp8DM

Also, kalman filtering, neural networks, etc... But most important, to perform autonomous 3D scanning!
Veqtor
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:24 am

Re: Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Boar

Postby theover » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:01 pm

Cool video !

I've done remote controlled ~ 1meter helium balloons with about 30W motors that was fun, but local flight control is a new dimension.

I still think it depends on how you control the motors and what type of sensor you use to get flight feedback data. Of course those loopings are fast motions, but how many variables does the (I presume) onboard controller measure and control ? :) For sure a camera and optics based flight control cost more than any contemporary MC!

T.V.
theover
 
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:50 pm

Re: Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Boar

Postby aolofsson » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:36 pm

Veqtor,
Yes, that group has done some incredible work (and videos)! Not sure how the Parallella could help though. Seems like they are doing pretty well without us. :D
Andreas
User avatar
aolofsson
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:59 pm
Location: Lexington, Massachusetts,USA

Re: Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Boar

Postby Veqtor » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:16 am

aolofsson wrote:Veqtor,
Yes, that group has done some incredible work (and videos)! Not sure how the Parallella could help though. Seems like they are doing pretty well without us. :D
Andreas


Yes, their work is extremely impressive, but to bring it out into the outside world it needs to get rid of several dependecies and this is where I think parallella could come in:

They rely on heavy computing running alongside (no processing is done on the quads)
- Parallella gives you a lot of computing for very little power consumption which is key to flight-times

They use a high precision indoor positioning system
- Parallella along with the dual core arm and fpga fabric could perform multiple sensor fusion, image recognition and point cloud processing to perform better than current flight controllers.

I want to access point cloud datasets using gps coordinates, and correlate that data with a kinect, or similar depth sensor, to try and acheive centimeter postion accuracy, even with low precision satellite information... :D

Comparing the weight/processing/power consumption ratios of parallella versus currently available single board computers for computer vision then parallella will kind of kick the competitions ass...


And now for some daydreaming of the possibilities:
A swarm of parallella drones perform high-res 3D mapping using micro-cloud computing on an ad-hoc network, uploading the data to a centralized server using open wifi networks the drones come across, the data is then fed into a crowd-sourced cluster (á la folding@home) that renders out high res meshes. This 3D map could be so detailed that one could travel virtually to any place on the earth and walk around as if one was really there. Because this data would be open and free to all, indie game developers could use it to create maps based on the real world, academic students could use it for research and enviromental scientists could use it to monitor changes in the enviroment.
Veqtor
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:24 am

Re: Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Boar

Postby LamsonNguyen » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:05 am

And then we make a holodeck! I like this daydreaming of yours, Veqtor. ;)
LamsonNguyen
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:09 pm

Re: Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Boar

Postby Veqtor » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:35 pm

Image

Too bad it seems to only work in very dark rooms with a lot of dust in the air...
Veqtor
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:24 am

Re: Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Boar

Postby timpart » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:37 pm

timpart
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:25 am
Location: UK

Re: Parallella Flight Controller / Robot / UAV Daughter Boar

Postby marcoschwartz » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:04 pm

Hello,

I think the Parallela platform is a great opportunity to finally see some easy-to-use robots that are controlled by neural networks. Indeed, there are a few neural-networks controlled robots out there, but there are usually used by universities only and the code is not available to everybody. Also, the networks are usually running on a computer because the tiny microcontrollers can't simulate large neural-networks ... which causes communication problems between the robot and the computer, and the robots are never truly autonomous.

So with the several cores embedded in the Parallela board, I see great applications in running neural networks to control mobile robots. So I would love to see a daughter board where you can plug many sensors (like ultrasound sensors) to exploit the high degree of parallelism that neural networks can offer, and end up with a platform where everybody can experiment with their own neural networks running on the robots. Anyone else would be interested by this kind of idea ?
marcoschwartz
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:22 am

Next

Return to Daughter Cards & Accessories

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron