shackspace-hacker Corvus reported a first break-through building his very own UAV based on OpenPilot.

After attending the SMD Soldering Workshop at shackspace a while ago he decided to aim high and began designing a SMD PCB of his own right away.  Thanks to the PCB-printing equipment we have at shackspace, the layout was soon transferred to a board, etched into copper and had components soldered to it.

Once the hardware was ready, Corvus designed and implemented the entire guidance code which is handling everything related to the auto-pilot and navigation (keeping altitude, speed and bearing in check).  With his custom flight controller PCB, the STM32 Freescale i.MX353 processor board and his test plane all combined, it was time for a maiden flight.  We dare say: a very successful one!

Next steps in the project will be SLAM applications, optical path-finding as well as obstacle detection and avoidance.
The system is based around an ARM11 core running an embedded Linux from internal Flash-ROM. A user-space program is talking to the flight-controller via UAVTalk over USB.

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