All Posts (2)

Sort by


This last update  about VBRAIN add ON. In the picture you can see the first prototype of VR Neuron (Down) near the VR Brain (UP) . As you can see te board have the same mechanical design of VR Brain . The board is very compact 6x4 cm VR Brain 7x4 VR Neuron. You can put VR Neuron above and VR Brain up , connect the board by serial port and the use VR Neuron to connect the World :)


Above the board there is PAD for connect by an Header a breadboard or directly thw wire for add yor specific applciation. On the PAD there are available a lot of input output port 27 GPIO , SPI , I2C , Serial port .




In the next days will be more update until official presentation 9 November 2012 at Makers Italy .

In the last six month i decide to implement a new revolutionary design that could be usefull for add a lot on new functionality to our drones.

In the past we only work on micro controller : AVR , SAM3X, STM32 , great platform the last STM32f4 is best micro controller for manage our drone : acro and stable flight , loiter , waypoint navigation ecc ecc. But if i want to put on it a o.s. i start to have a lot of problem : small memory footprint available , not enough ram slow speed processor. So a lot of proposal .... ChibiOS , Nuttx . But what is better and opensource of the worlds ? No doubt It's Linux :)

In my professional work i used a lot of micro controller and micro processor , but all ,too complex to be hackable as a STM32. Until i start to play with a great Italian product , the first that put an Android on a wearable PC .

I like a lot the micro inside it and decide to use that microprocessor for my next opensource design.

I'm happy to present the first design of VR Neuron . It will be official present the 10 November 2012 at the Makers Italy exibithion so who would see our great new design are welcome to meet us at Makers Italy in Milan.

These are preliminary technical info about VR Neuron :

  • Freescale Imx Arm9 microprocessor.
  • 64 Megabyte Ram
  • Flash until 32 Gbyte Flash on SDIO bus
  • 456 mhz clock
  • DUAL BEC 5V Input
  • 1 for CPU
  • 1 for USB channel
  • 1 Pal Video Output
  • 2 Audio Channel Output
  • 1 Input audio channel
  • 26 GPIO (LCD BUS)
  • 2 i2c bus
  • 2 serial Port
  • 1 USB Host 2.0 channel
  • Only 6x5 cm half of Raspberry PI

The operating system that i choose for my development is ArchLinuxArm , the powerfull of this design is incredible , i play a lot with the kernel and add a lot of usb device : wifi dongle , 3G dongle , webcam and install a lot of application and test it : apache2 , mysql , mjp-streamer .

So on this platform is possible to do anything of application , it's available python , gcc , i ply with mavlink_proxy and it work fine ... i connect the VBRAIN serial port to VNeuron and by wifi connect mission planner to VBRAIN and see live the telemetry of my quadcopter online.

With the PAL output could be possibile to develop a great OSD application or with oudio you can implement a tele presence systems ... the limit will be only fantasy :)

So i'm very exited about this project and i hope that you like it and join us in development.

Follow the evolution of project here :


Roberto Navoni







Read more…


This is Vbrain RTF with new enclosure the .stl file is available on thinkverse:
This last revision of VBrain will be official presented to Makers Italy in Milan 9 November 2012 join us at the event :

Emile and Roberto are progressing on the port and test of the VRBrain with the Arducopter

code now we are working on rev 2.7.3-4.

In this video is possible to see the test of Emile Hexa . It's the first flight and we testing the stability , loiter and alt hold and return to land with approach activated.

We have succesfully flown and tested latest features and came up with some benchmarks to compare the different architectures using Arducopter firmwarre.

Results are pretty impressive and although all the glory goes to the Dev team for the latest firmware a special note goes to Roberto with his new VRBrain design.
Our goal was to have an already "ready platform" where actual developers could start coding on a 32bit platform without loosing the actual code simplicity.
We started with the STM32F1 CPU, running at 72MHz with no FPU and then jumped onto the STM32F4 168MHz CPU which supports hardware FPU on the chip.
Our latest improvements were on the CPU side and we were able to activate soft FPU calculation without the need to modify actual code.
Basically the STM32F4 supports three types of FPU:
no-fpu: uses standard libraries and emulates floating point calculation
soft-fpu: uses hardware floating point instructions but floating point function parameters/return values will be passed in core registers and not FPU registers
hard-fp: all function parameters/return values are passed to the FPU core registers bypassing the core register
These are basic results for the main loops in the Arducopter code:
Arduino 2560 on APM1-2:
Main loop time taken (microseconds):
Min:  4380 us
Max:  6592 us
STM32F1 on Multipilot32F1 V1 and V3 (72MHz no FPU):
Main loop time taken (microseconds):
min:  656 us
max:  1104 us
STM32F4 No FPU on VBRAIN and MP32F4V3 and VBRAIN (168MHz FPU available but not used):
min:  315 us
max:  492 us
STM32F4 soft FPU on VBRAIN and MP32F4V3 and VBRAIN (168MHz with soft FPU enabled):
min:  210 us
max:  315 us
Basically we are at least 20 times faster than current Arduino Hardware although we share 90% of original application code.
Also with the same CPU (F4) we can go 2 times faster without changing one single line of code (almost). 
Better performances (at cost of re-writing the code) could be with hard FPU .
So this performances is impressive :) We have a lot of power for start to try more complex algorith as EKF or UFK inside standard Arducopter32 library architecture. If there are some hardcoder that want try to work on this task are welcome . Will be all support from FOXTEAM :)
We yet try the OpenPilot EKF on VBRain and it is very smooth ... but not so differernt of last DCM implementation. Thanks Tridge :)
In this video is possible to see a vbrain installed on a custom frame that use great component : SmartDrone motors and propeller the time of flight is around 27 min.
This is the video of first flight of special revision of firmware for VBRAIN that use the FPU acceleration the benchmark is about this revision of code.

Roberto and Emile a FoxTeam Member .

Read more…

Blog Topics by Tags

Monthly Archives