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The difference between regular Tello and Tello EDU (with Photos)


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Dec 11, 2018
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Today my Tello EDU arrived and after a really short test if it flies (take off and immediate landing) I went to disassemble both for two reasons. I wanted to know if I could improve the cooling so that the Tello doesn't overheat that quickly and on the other hand to give you the information if the Tello EDU firmware would work on the regular Tello.
The Movidius chip you can see in the first picture is the "Intel" chip. Wikipedia says "Movidius is a company based in San Mateo, California that designs specialised low-power processor chips for computer vision. The company was acquired by Intel in September 2016." That chip is the "Video Processing Unit". It's product brief is available here (PDF).

The ACTIVE chip you see in the second picture is a Power Management Unit (PMU). It's datasheet is available here (PDF).

The M chip in the third picture is a Marvell Wi-Fi System-on-(a)-Chip (SoC). It does all the WiFi :). More information can be found here (URL).

The chip in the fourth picture is on the other side of the PCB, below the plastic sheet you see in the fifth picture. Above that plastic sheet you have your battery compartment. I couldn't find information about it (yet) but I assume that's a DJI chip since it's right next to the barometer and on the other side of the down-facing IR sensors and camera.
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To my eyes, they are identical. What is the difference?
To my eyes, they are identical. What is the difference?

Without further disassembly I'd say "the plastic top cover". There is one chip which had a sticker on it that I haven't looked at, maybe this one chip is different between both but I highly doubt that. I mean, why would you put all those expensive chips (Movidius, Marvell) on the PCB that do the important stuff but then put a cheaper chip for non-critical functions in the Tello?

I think that the hardware of both, the regular Tello and the Tello EDU are 100% identical and it's just a software thing that tells the app if you have the regular Tello or the Tello EDU.
So in theory, you should be able to convert the Tello into EDU and viseversa.
So in theory, you should be able to convert the Tello into EDU and viseversa.

I'd say so, yes.

Because I have no internet on my phone when I'm connected to a Tello the firmware update is a bit "weird". First you connect to the drone and start the update, then you connect to your normal WiFi to download the firmware, then you connect to your Tello to actually update it.

I haven't tested it but maybe it's possible to connect the Tello EDU, start the update, connect to your normal WiFi so the app downloads the Tello EDU firmware, then connect the regular Tello and actually flash the firmware. With some luck the app just checks for the firmware version at that point and not if the firmware is made for the connected Tello edition.

I use the regular Tello with the Tello Edu App. Do you think that I could have problems?
I didn't know Tello EDU.

No problems at all. You won't be able to use all features of the app but that's it. I don't know for the Tello EDU app but the regular Tello app does check what edition (regular Tello or Tello EDU) you have before it downloads a firmware.
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Wasn't there a significant (few grams) mass difference between plain and Edu versions? I vaguely remember it from first articles about Edu...
Just measured. My Tello EDU weights 60,0 g. My regular Tello weights 59,5g. However my digital scale has a tolerance of 0,5 g between 50 g and 100 g so it may be that.
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I've succesfully flashed the tello edu firmware on my standard tello and the tello stopped working(it goes in to a recovery mode, red led blink twice and then stops) i've flashed back to standard firmware
my guess is that the myriad SoC have the model in ROM or the model is stored in a flash partition(but by the flash dumps doesn't seems)
when the drone was in recovery mode two new devices shows up:
2-Guava serial port
But no drivers are availables
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this morning i've checked the md5 hash of the firmware that the app uploaded to the tello and the tello edu firmware downloaded from MAVProxy github and they are the same, so my fear of a corrupted firmware is gone.
About the "Recovery mode", is more of a SoftLock in the sense that the tello enable the AP and exposes the ports but doesn't send any video or recive any command and the led is off

if someone want to share a tello edu firmware so i can do some more test you can find it in the App folder /Android/data/com.ryzerobotics.tello/files/firmware
Thank your very much for your testing! I downloaded the firmware using the Tello app for both of my Tellos and I noticed that the app downloads the firmware for both editions (regular Tello and Tello EDU) and not just the one for the connected Tello.

Attached are the directories from the app. The xml files are somewhat interesting! The firmware for each edition differs in size and md5 hash.

EDIT: Attachment is too large, Google Drive link instead (RyzeTelloFirmware.7z, 14 MB).

Merry Christmas! :)
I've come to the conclusion that the Tello standard edition will softLock if flashed with the Tello edu firmware at least with my method of tricking the app in to flashing the edu firmware, but i think that flashing the flash directly (via soldering wires to the flash chip)
will lead to the same behavior and i think we need to mod the firmware so it will not check the drone model(my hypothesis, the problem can be something else).

By the way the chip support Secure Boot so this can put an hard stop to any further modding :(

Another obstace is that the SDK for this movidius SoC seems like to be super confidential

thanks to an3k for the firmware
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Nope, the one you found is the sdk that provide the API for the intel neural compute stick
the one that we need is called movidus development kit (only the software part, not the development board)
Wouldn't the edu have a different network chip, the fact it can connect to a network either means they're nerfing the firmware on the regular tello or there is something different with the hardware in that aspect?

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