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There are already some questions of this type around the ROSanswers, however they are either pretty outdated or lack information.

Since I'm going to develop an UAV I'm searching for a development board that's small and light, as some GPIO ports with PWM (since I will need to control rotors on my aerial vehicle), some USB ports (I would need at least 3, but if the board has less than that I can probably work around that with an usb hub), good enough performance to handle GPS, IMU and camera data and that runs Ubuntu (12.04?) and ROS.

From what I saw till now boards like beaglebone black and raspberry pi seem to work with ROS, however I couldn't actually find projects that use this boards in order to prove how well they behave.

Can you help me?


Originally posted by nvoltex on ROS Answers with karma: 131 on 2014-04-28

Post score: 2

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3 Answers 3

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I know a number of projects have had good luck with the BeagleBone Black and the Odroid U3. The beaglebone will have more I/O, and the Odroid U3 will have significantly more processing power. I've seen a few unpublished projects now that are running an Asus Xtion device off a Odroid U3 using ROS, and doing some pretty cool work.

I also know at least one group that is successfully running ROS on the Radxa Rock board, and it seems like a pretty solid board.

The new Nvidia Jetson TK1 board looks interesting, but they haven't started shipping yet, so there haven't been any projects using them. It it runs Ubuntu, you should be able to install ROS on it.

I would stay away from the Raspberry Pi. They tend to be underpowered and overhyped, and it's more difficult to install ROS on them.


Originally posted by ahendrix with karma: 47576 on 2014-04-28

This answer was ACCEPTED on the original site

Post score: 3


Original comments

Comment by nvoltex on 2014-04-29:
The beaglebone black seems like a great board and it was the one I prefered to begin with. Is the Ubuntu and ROS installation smooth? I have never worked with that board (in fact I have never worked with any non-pc board besides arduino). Do you have any links to ROS projects on beaglebone? Thanks

Comment by nvoltex on 2014-04-29:
Oh! Besides that, using an usb hub (with external power) won't be a problem with such a board, right? Cause the board only has 1 usb port.

Comment by ahendrix on 2014-04-29:
I got my beablebone black up and running with Ubuntu and ROS in a few hours; the installation was quite smooth. I've seen a couple of projects using them in person, but I don't think any are published online.

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I have a similar project to use on-board computer vision for obstacle avoidance. I did a little research on what development platforms where suitable for that and I finally bought a Cubieboard 2. It is powerful and cheap, but if you need connectivity you may preffer the cubieboard 3 (named truck).


Originally posted by alejandrodanielnoel with karma: 21 on 2014-04-28

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Original comments

Comment by nvoltex on 2014-04-29:
What's the main difference bettwen cubieboard 3 and 2 that make you say that? And how's the ubuntu and ROS installation on a cubieboard?

Comment by alejandrodanielnoel on 2014-04-29:
I haven't yet managed to install Ubuntu nor ROS. I chose it because it was 1Ghz dual core and under 100$. Nonetheless, I'll use an ardupilot for low-level computation like stabilization and driving the motors, and I'm not sure how this could be accomplished using the cubieboard.

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Note that for quadrotor/UAV use, commonly a microcontroller system is used to perform low level control/stabilization (sending out PWM/motor commands under hard real-time constraints), while a board like the ODROID might additionally be used for additional higher level computation (image processing etc.). It is possible in principle to do it all on the computer board, but that will likely require using a hard real-time Linux variant and significant effort both in terms of hard- and software development. If you search for "odroid autopilot" you´ll find mostly examples of the above mentioned separation of microcontroller-based dedicated autopilot and the ODROID used additionally.


Originally posted by Stefan Kohlbrecher with karma: 24361 on 2014-04-28

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Post score: 1


Original comments

Comment by nvoltex on 2014-04-28:
It's a blimp system that will fly slowly and in favorable weather conditions so stabilization won't be a problem. ODROID is a great platform however since I don't really want to use another board for the motor control (weight problems). Good suggestion anyway!

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