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UAV conference call tomorrow


A few of us and potentially GHI staff are having a rather informal conference about UAVs tomorrow at 1PM EST (12P CST).

Anyone who is interested please post ITT.


I will be in. What medium we are using though?


DimDim. Details will be email to you. Basically, you will call into a phone number which will put you into a conf-call bridge.


I’m interested in participating. Please post here if you don’t have my contact details for call info.


I’ll tell Gus to get the details out to everyone ITT.

EDIT: He can look at your account for your email.


Let us keep it simple, whoever is interested can jump to this link at 1PM EST

No meeting is automatically scheduled but I will start it manually at 1PM


2AM my time, wont be able to make it…


I’ll take an attempt of summarizing and count on the other people that were on to correct/complete.

In no particular order:
Several people in the tinyclr are in some stage of a UAV, quadrocopter, autonomous vehicle, robot project; up to this point everyone is building their own hardware configuration

We see an opportunity to make a hardware standard incorporating USBizi and additional components that are most common for these devices; it may end up as a finished board, schematic or something in-between (most people on the call wanted something closer to a finished product)

Aside the netmf processor, other capabilities including IMU (intertial measurement unit), servo interfaces, gps interface (uart), higher-capacity power supply, OSD (on-screen display) overlay, coprocessor (for real-time tasks and data processing, if/as needed), microSD storage

We’d like to do as much as we can with .NET, and Gus suggested that GHI can help with native components where managed code makes something too slow to run on the USBizi

We talked about the overhead of parsing data like GPS streams with strings in managed code. There’s a separate thread in the suggestion forum where we’re mocking up a native library to make this fast and GC-friendly.

A key design pricinple of this board should be flexibility: if done correctly, the decision where to do a specific type of processing can be decided in software by flashing the appropriate firmware on the USBizi and coprocessor. Also, some components could/should be developed as a daughter card (e.g. IMU) where technology changes rapidly or not all potential users need these components. Also, the user could simply not place some components on the circuit board if they won’t be needed (e.g. OSD)

There was discussion of the Parallax Propeller board and its compementary strengths to managed code–it’s great at real-time highly-parallel timing-sensitive data crunching tasks. It coudl drive OSD and offload data parsing. It is extremely flexible so it can be adapted in software instead of hardware variations.

We also talked about other coprocessor options including ARM, PIC, etc. (all 32-bit of course :wink: )

Chris is interested in developing an advanced IMU a tier above the Sparkfun 9DOF. This may end up as part of this project or possibly a daughterboard. (he’s been talking to MarkH about this)


Exciting stuff. Please fill in what I missed.

Should we start a clean thread to discuss this project?


Don’t ever go to PIC32. It’s horrible in this stage… I have a PIC32 Ethernet Starter Kit at work and developing a custom firmware for it sucks…


Early experimentation and testing (mostly me learning by making every mistake in order. :slight_smile: )


My quadcopter project is getting started very rapidly. I found a friend who is just as enthused about the project as I am and between us, stuff is getting done extremely rapidly.

I am working on the electrical/software engineering, my friend is working on CNC’ing the frame and managing the mechanical engineering aspects of the project.

I completed the first draft of my BOM today, going over to my friend’s house tomorrow to visit the local hobby shops TX shopping.


I’m working on having the Panda bootstrap the Propeller (no EEPROM connected to Propeller)… about 90% done. Unless I hit snags I’ll have the code in Fezzer tomorrow.