Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 2, 2013.

Update #7

Slooow but steady...

Comment
1 like

Hello everyone,

It's been a long time since an update! A LOT of work has been done on both the board hardware and the flight software since the last update.

First, the hardware. We're tantalizingly close to pulling the trigger with our manufacturer on production of the finished-product board. We have three systems to fully test before the production starts: the EEPROM, the SD card reader, and the sound channel. An upgrade on the board is the addition of the MS5611 pressure sensor alongside the existing BMP085 sensor. The dual sensor capability increases flexibility of the board for a wider range of flight controller applications.

Second, the flight software. A lot of changes have been made to our version of the AQ32plus code (some of it is already available at github.com/ashima/AQ32Plus ). We've completed major upgrades to the flight stabilization, added much improved state estimation from the pressure sensor and from an external GPS, and added height and GPS holds. We've added WiFi control to the code, and additional telemetry for debugging and flight logging. These components are still undergoing testing, but will be open-sourced as with our prior "Ashima" versions of the AQ32Plus flight software.

Thanks for hanging in there with us as we are now way past our original target date. Much of that schedule slip has been due to a making sure you have the best flying experience, which meant software changes that need to be tested. We originally conceived the project as primarily hardware development - but as we moved forward, we increasingly realized we wanted the flight software to do more and do it better. We believe we're now looking at a shipping date early in the new year, but we will be able to firm this up better as we check off the deliverable milestones with our manufacturer.

Thanks again for your support and ultimately we think you guys are going to be very happy with the resulting flight system!


Update #6

Production Prototype Board Flying

1 comment

In the last two updates we showed you the production prototype board when it arrived and after it was populated and bolted to a Talon flyer frame. Now here's some video of it flying! The video was taken last week and was part of a set of flight experiments using our new height hold system. The new system uses a standard pressure sensor to measure altitude but smooths out the noisy measurements using a Kalman filter and also "fuses" the pressure sensor data along with measurements from the accelerometer, which gives us excellent vertical stability. We've also gone through another iteration of the board to make a small component change on the power distribution side; next up is the testing of the SD card port. Enjoy the video:

  • Video-284513-h264_high
    Play
    00:00
    00:00


Update #5

Kickstarter Pieces Coming Together

Comment

This is a post that we put up over on ashimadevices.com at the end of last month.

The pieces for the Kickstarter order are coming together. We’ve had the final prototype board back for a couple of weeks now. The board has been populated and tested for functionality. We’ve even had the board flying / controlling the talon quadcopter. The first of the attached photos shows the final prototype on the frame, mounted using the new 45x45mm wings, and with the control and power cables connected. The cables should be a little neater in the production board (once we switch to port 2 in the AQ32+ software). In fact, we may swap to low profile horizontal connectors for frames without much vertical space. We’ve also received all of the parts for the quadcopter orders. The frames are being assembled (the second photo shows a stack of the talon frames fresh in from HobbyKing). We’ve also got the ST-LINK debuggers in stock and ready to ship.

  • Image-316767-full
  • Image-316768-full

Update #4

Production Prototype Arrives!

1 comment

It's been a busy month since the Kickstarter campaign concluded!

We got a lot of feedback during the campaign and much of this has made it into an improved board design. Some of the features include:
* 3.3v power and USB-data connection on the main board, reducing the number of applications that need the power / programming board;
* Re-positioned the XBee mount by 9mm, to reduce the need for mag calibration;
* Addition of the common 45x45mm mounting holes for flight frames, which can easily be removed in case you want the original, more compact AshimaCore shape.

The production PCB prototypes are back. We are hand assembling prototypes now.

We've also fed a lot of code back to the AQ32PLUS flight software code base. Check out the wikipage.

  • Image-288681-full

Update #3

We're Funded!

Comment

Hi Kickstarters!

We've reached our funding goal! I'm now prepping the production board layouts to go out for their first test run.

We also got the flyer control working over Wifi from a PS3 game controller (see the video!) I've pushed the code that converts the PS3 stick movements to the same format that Spektrum 'satellite' receivers send. AQ32Plus was already set up to read from Spektrum satellite receivers, so we just connected it to our WiFi XBee instead. The code is in our fork of the AQ32Plus repo. We've tested it on Debian with the Raspberry Pi and and on a Mac Laptop.

We've also added a couple of stretch goals:

We've had a lot of comments about the power board, so our first stretch goal at $7k is to use the same components and basic design as our current AshimaCore power board but to package them into a tiny single channel power board that we'll completely open source (board layout, schematic and BOM).

We continue to use the AQ32Plus code to obvious great effect! Our second stretch goal at $10k will be to dedicate time to use our experience with Kalman filters to assimilate and model spacecraft data to build an effective height hold for the AQ32Plus code.

Ian

  • Video-247405-h264_high
    Play
    00:00
    00:00


32
Backers
$7,444
pledged of $5,000 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    You get one of the first batch of unpopulated AshimaCore PCB's.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $30 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    AshimaCore power board only. You get the switch-mode power board capable of 1.25Amps at 3.3V and 5V, with a micro USB socket but no headers or cables.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $99 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    You get the AshimaCore main board only - no power / daughter board and no headers. This means you provide cables, programming connection, and power.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $129 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    You get one complete and tested AshimaCore consisting of one main and one power / programming board.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $159 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    You get the $129-level AshimaCore plus a micro-SD card, micro-USB cable and ST-LINK debugger.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $179 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    You get the $129-level AshimaCore plus an XBee WiFi module of your choice (SMA, U.FL, PCB, or wire), micro-SD card and micro-USB cable.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $199 or more
    You selected

    6 backers

    You get the $179-level AshimaCore plus a ST-LINK debugger.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $399 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    You get an "almost ready to fly" micro-quad including the $179 level AshimaCore flight controller. Comes with frame, ESCs, motors, battery, RC receiver and blades. Does NOT include transmitter or battery charger.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $60 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $499 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    You get an "almost ready to fly" mid-sized quad including the $179 level AshimaCore flight controller, a carbon fiber frame, ESCs, motors, battery, RC receiver, and blades. Does NOT include transmitter or battery charger.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $60 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $899 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Join our Quadcopter development! - you get the same hardware we use for flight software development. We will send you one of our first batch of prototype AshimaCore boards along with an ST-LINK debugger (equivalent to a "VIP-early access" version of the $159-level reward). When the production boards are ready, you get a $179-level AshimaCore, plus a full off-the-shelf Quadcopter kit (including the same commercial frame, ESCs, motors, controller, that we use).

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $70 USD to ship outside the US
Funding period

- (33 days)