Open source autopilot project,OpenPilot has almost been in existance for 12 months and is moving fast.
Following their success on Floss weekly the team decided to start a podcast of their own. In the first episode the team talk about Python on a Chip integration to the code base and the upcoming CopterControl board.
OpenPilot flight hardware is designed to be extremely flexible and to have the highest standard. There has been a massive amount of attention put into its details. Nothing in OpenPilot has been created in a vacuum – a great deal of research has been done so that the platform is both cost-effective and future proof.
Whilst having the sensors on a separate AHRS board is a standard in commercial autopilots and also many hobby grade autopilots, this approach might be new to people who have used multi-rotor craft products utilizing a single board for flight control. These platforms use the approach of a bunch of add-on boards to provide UAV features because the platform started off as just stability assistants and the UAV features were bolted on later. The OpenPilot hardware architecture is designed from ground up to be a UAV platform.
A seperate INS also enables upgrades to the part without affecting the rest of the platform. The OpenPilot can be used as a test platform for other AHRS or INS solutions.
The Main Board is designed to support any NMEA GPS unit.
OpenPilot is designed from the ground up to be a UAV platform and the OpenPilot approach is far more superior. The hardware architecture enables us to use the 32-bit 180 MIPS of processing power each of the two microprocessors provide very effectively.
The processor on the AHRS is dedicated to handling the processing complex algorithms required to provide a very stable platform, while the processor on the OpenPilot Main Board handles the servicing of input and outputs of the system as well navigation and low speed filtering.
Find out more at http://www.openpilot.org