BeagleBone Black / Green (BBB / BBG) Linux ArduPilot DIY Cape
- Have fun to build your own BeagleBone ArduPilot Cape
- Easy start to ArduPilot Linux development
- No SMD soldering required
- DIY friendly connector
BBBmini is an autopilot / flightcontroller Cape for the BeagleBone. BBBmini + BeagleBone can be used as a state of the art Linux autopilot / flightcontroller for Copter, Planes or Rovers. BBBmini can be used with ArduPilot (open source unmanned aerial vehicle flight stack. BBBmini is a DIY project using widely available IMU and barometer breakout sensor boards, there is no SMD soldering necessary. The design is made that everybody can build a BBBmini by himself. In flight internet connection is done via WiFi link.
What does BBBmini offer:
- DIY state of the art UAV autopilot / flightcontroller
- Easy to build, no SMD soldering necessary
- Free hardware, free software
- Autopilot / flightcontroller software is running on Real-Time Linux
- DIY friendly connectors 0.1” pin header
- 12 x PWM out with individual frequency for each channel
- RC in connector for PPM, S.BUS or spektrum satellite input
- MPU-9250 IMU 9 x DOF
- MS5611 barometer
- HC-SR04 ultrasonic rangefinder
- GPS for full autonomous flights
- Voltage and current sensing
- I2C connector for Status display and additional sensors
- SPI connector for second redundant IMU
- UART connector for GPS
- UART connector for telemetry
- CAN connector with on board CAN bus transceiver
- USB connector used for WiFi, Laser rangefinder or cameras
- Excellent cost-performance ratio
The BBBmini project development includes:
- BBBmini documentation / how to
- BBBmini PCB design done with Kicad all sources free available on Github
- Device tree file for BBBmini hardware
- PRU firmware: 12 x PWM OUT with better than 1us accuracy, separate frequency for each channel. RC input capture with 5ns accuracy, can be used to capture PPM, S.BUS or spektrum satellite
- PRU firmware: HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Rangefinder device driver
- Commits to ArduPilot project to get BBBmini supported by ArduPilot
- Development of status display device driver for ArduPilot
- Add redundancy sensors via SPI / I2C or UART
- Lots of test flights and fine tuning in hardware and software to get a stable and reliable BeagleBone Green flightcontroller
Once I had the idea to develop an flightcontroller, I have examined on the market available computer for their suitability. The following criteria should be met by the computer being used.
First, the computer should be very well supported by the community. As a result, a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone could be used. In addition, the flightcontroller should be set up with as little as possible external components.
The decision was made for the BeagleBone. With the Programmable Real-Time Units of the BeagleBone, it is possible to create the BBBmini with only a few sensor breakout boards. In addition the BeagleBone offers many interfaces such as UART, SPI, I2C, CAN, USB and ADC. All these interfaces are used by the BBBmini.
BeagleBone parts used for BBBmini
- Main CPU running Linux
- PRU0 device driver for HC-SR04 ultrasonic rangefinder
- PRU1 to generate 12 PWM signals and receive PPM, S.BUS or spektrum satellite input
- Grove / I2C for communication to the status display, external compass or Laser rangefinder
- GROVE / serial 2 for sensors like Laser Rangefinder
- Serial 4 for telemetry radio
- Serial 5 for GPS
- ADC for voltage and current sensing
- SPI1 for high speed data transfer from IMU and Baro sensor
- SPI0 for high speed data transfer from second redundant IMU or other hardware
- CAN for communication with ESCs and additional hardware
- USB for WiFi and camera connection for life HD video transmission
- Ethernet for communication on ground
- BeagleBone Black or BeagleBone Green
- BBBMINI-PCB (recommended) or BeagleBone Proto Cape with IMU MPU-9250 breakout board and Baro MS5611 breakout board (try to get a GY-9250 and GY-63 breakout board)
- RC receiver (S.BUS, PPM-Sum, Spektrum Satellit SPM 9645)
- optional GPS receiver
- optional HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Module
Click here for further instruction how to assemble the board.
For instructions how to get, build, test and run the software click here.
BBBmini by Mirko Denecke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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