Firstly I would like to thank Mirko Denecke (vielen Dank Mirko!) for his work doing ardupilot compatible with beaglebone Blue. This post is based on his instructions. For the most up-to-date information see the last link.

 

Preparing the Beaglebone Blue

Before running ardupilot on our board it’s necessary, among other steps, to install some utilities, to set clock to 1 GHz and to install RT Kernel. Let’s start with.

  • Check for updates and install them:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y
  • Install utilities:
sudo apt install -y bb-cape-overlays cpufrequtils
  • Now we are going to set clock to 1 GHz and update scripts, which are necessary for RT Kernel installation:
sudo sed -i 's/GOVERNOR="ondemand"/GOVERNOR="performance"/g' /etc/init.d/cpufrequtils
cd /opt/scripts && sudo git pull
  • Install RT Kernel 4.4 and reboot:
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/update_kernel.sh --ti-rt-channel --lts-4_4
sudo reboot
  • Finally download arducopter from Mirko's page and copy it on your BeagleBone Blue:
scp /path/to/arducopter-#_#_# debian@beaglebone:/home/debian

Please note that you have to change #_#_# with the current version number.

 

Running Ardupilot

Probably you have to add execution permission with chmod. After that we are ready to run Ardupilot! and all we have to do is:

sudo /home/debian/arducopter-#_#_#

You will note that a red LED starts to blinking.

alt text

If you wish arducopter to start automatically after boot click here.

 

Connecting with a ground station

There are a lot of ground station software, some for PC (Linux, Mac OS X and Windows) and other ones for phones. All these possibilities use MAVLink to connect to an UAV. You can choose the better one for you reading this article of Ardupilot website. I found interesting the app Tower for android.

On your phone side, you have to configure which Server IP and Server Port are used and on beaglebone you can run arducopter like below:

sudo ~/arducopter-#_#_# -C tcp:###.###.###.###:9761:wait

Please replace ###.###.###.### for your board’s IP.

For more information about connectivity you can use the option help:

~/arducopter-#_#_# --help

You can also change the name of arducopter-#_#_#:

mv ~/arducopter-#_#_# ~/arducopter

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