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Autonomous Tello - Strapping a computer+GPS to a Tello?

nodecaf

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So, I've been messing around with my tello edu for a few months, and found it fun, both the hand pilot part, as well as being able to program instructions against it. But, it does come with a couple of limitations, which are reasonable for the price:

- Can only stay within wifi range (which can be alleviated a bit with a wifi extender)
- no internal storage
- no GPS.

I probably could get a spark, but I do like the size of the tello, that makes it fit under the 100 grams rule here in Australia, as well as it is very quiet and don't bother people as much as a larger drone does.

So, more as a hobby project, I was thinking, what if I just strapped a computer to the tello? It could fly with it and control it autonomously and act as storage? No wifi interference, etc.
I've gone and ordered an Onion Omega2 Plus computer:
3843
The computer part itself is only 16 grams, runs Linux, and I picked this one over other similar devices (arduino) , aside from the size and weight it has inbuilt WIFI, and should be able to be powered by an USB OTG cable from the tello itself and talk fairly lossless to the tello. In addition it can be expanded with a small GPS unit. The best part? this cost just like $20!

Has anyone attempted something similar?

Fly safe - nodecaf
 

threqtrporter

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So, I've been messing around with my tello edu for a few months, and found it fun, both the hand pilot part, as well as being able to program instructions against it. But, it does come with a couple of limitations, which are reasonable for the price:

- Can only stay within wifi range (which can be alleviated a bit with a wifi extender)
- no internal storage
- no GPS.

I probably could get a spark, but I do like the size of the tello, that makes it fit under the 100 grams rule here in Australia, as well as it is very quiet and don't bother people as much as a larger drone does.

So, more as a hobby project, I was thinking, what if I just strapped a computer to the tello? It could fly with it and control it autonomously and act as storage? No wifi interference, etc.
I've gone and ordered an Onion Omega2 Plus computer:
View attachment 3843
The computer part itself is only 16 grams, runs Linux, and I picked this one over other similar devices (arduino) , aside from the size and weight it has inbuilt WIFI, and should be able to be powered by an USB OTG cable from the tello itself and talk fairly lossless to the tello. In addition it can be expanded with a small GPS unit. The best part? this cost just like $20!

Has anyone attempted something similar?

Fly safe - nodecaf
Intriguing:)
 
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ihf

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Unless I am mistaken, this alone does not go very far in solving the "no internal storage" limitation. (I assume the 128MB Memory, 32MB Onboard Storage is mostly consumed by the OS).
 
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briest

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Has anyone attempted something similar?
I try to make a "pilot" from SD card with wifi (PQI AirCard), which is the smallest ready to buy Linux computer I have ever seen (no GPS though). Unfortunately, the card is extremely picky about USB card readers *), so all mass gains were gone with the one and only reader the card wants to work with. Maybe I'll try to reduce weight of the reader, but so far I have to do a working PoC. As I have nearly null time until July at least, there is nothing to write about yet.

*) does not even start in most readers I have tested, though works reliably in camera and laptop builtin reader. No, OTG cable with external power does not help :/
 
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nodecaf

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That is a very similar and interesting project. And there seems to be a couple of other ones in there as well. Thanks!

Unless I am mistaken, this alone does not go very far in solving the "no internal storage" limitation. (I assume the 128MB Memory, 32MB Onboard Storage is mostly consumed by the OS).
There's an micro sd card slot on the backside that allows for expansion! Should have mentioned it, one of the reasons I went with this card!

I try to make a "pilot" from SD card with wifi (PQI AirCard), which is the smallest ready to buy Linux computer I have ever seen (no GPS though). Unfortunately, the card is extremely picky about USB card readers *), so all mass gains were gone with the one and only reader the card wants to work with. Maybe I'll try to reduce weight of the reader, but so far I have to do a working PoC. As I have nearly null time until July at least, there is nothing to write about yet.

*) does not even start in most readers I have tested, though works reliably in camera and laptop builtin reader. No, OTG cable with external power does not help :/
Thanks for the insights. My fear is that I'll too stumble on a roadblock or something too that will push the weight out too much!
 

ihf

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I see that thre is a GPS expansion for the Onion2+ but it in turn requires the USB dock. It may start to get a bit heavy and power hungry but even if it could only solve the storage issue, that would be a big step forward. Of course there is the matter of the firmware on the Tello, no?
 
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nodecaf

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I see that thre is a GPS expansion for the Onion2+ but it in turn requires the USB dock. It may start to get a bit heavy and power hungry but even if it could only solve the storage issue, that would be a big step forward. Of course there is the matter of the firmware on the Tello, no?
The dock, GPS module and the omega2plus chip should add up to 35 grams. And a power cable. That is in the upper what the tello can do. I may have to see of i can get rid of the dock and use another GPS module. I'm using the tello EDU and was hoping to draw on the more advanced API over wifi, so FW should not be a factor.
 

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