I have been working my next-generation UAV processor board. My V1 served me well: GPS signal processing, video overlay, power monitoring… and I learned a lot.
Now I’m working on a new design using an IMU to first support gyro-stabilization and eventually autopilot capability. I’m using a two-board design for now (which can be integrated into a single board in the future):
Cerebrum is the high-level control board based on Fez/Usbizi (Panda in this iteration). It will handle power management, communications, routing, UI, navigation.
Cerebellum handles low-level tasks: sensor processing/integration, GPS parsing, PID, PWM in/out.
I finished the v1 design of Cerebellum board incorporating compass, gyro and accelerometer on an arduino shield format. I should have the first PCBs in a week or two. Features:
- Parallax Propeller 8-core processor connected to all sensors and shield TX/RX pins
- 3 sensors, 3 axes each (gyro, accel, mag compass)
- connected via I2C
- I2C breakout for direct access to IMU sensors and adding external sensors
- video overlay circuit using Propeller’s video generation capability
- RC 4x Radio in/ 4x servo out (connected to Propeller); can be reconfigured to 1x PPM in/7x servo out
- 5 voltage dividers connected to shield analog-in
- GPS port
- LEDs: power, GPS Fix, Video In sync
- extra IO for debugging
It is also designed so it can be used in various stand-alone configurations by cutting off parts of the board. Cut off the edges where the headers are and it can be programmed to be a simple on-screen display. Then you can cut off the video section and use it as a gyro stabilization system. Cut off the RX/Servo connections and you can use it as a UART-connected IMU.
I’m looking forward to building this out. I’m also going to start a separate thread on a gyro order–an opportunity to buy in bulk and save money.