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Autopilot.png Autopilots


Autopilot.png Paparazzi Autopilots

Hardware support for Autopilot versions currently in use.

Tiny 1.1 autopilots on the "assembly line"

One of the great advantages of Paparazzi is support for multiple hardware designs. The old Paparazzi board where based around ATMega MCUs. The current autopilots are designed around two primary processors:

  • STM32 series microcontrollers
  • LPC21xx series microcontrollers

There are active and current autopilots designs using both architectures. Not all autopilots have the same capabilities, peripherals or features, but each has advantages in different applications.

Currently, boards are designed around the STM32 microcontollers. Some of the autopilots use the STM32F1 and others the STM32F4 microcontrollers. This provides a wide range of choices resulting in a large variety of peripherals and speeds. Architecture-dependent firmware code is supported in part by libopencm3, as well as Chibi OS through the Paparazzi RT branch.

The LPC21xx based boards use the LPC2148 and have been flying fixed wing and multi-rotors for many years. This architecture is more mature but at the expense of speed and extra ports available on the newer STM32 series processors. The Tiny series, Booz, TWOG, YAPA, Umarim and NavGo autopilots all use the LPC2148.

Newer autopilots use either the STM32F1 or STM32F4 microcontrollers. You can choose from Lisa/M(X), Elle0, Krooz or Apogee autopilots, depending on your processing and IO needs.

Some autopilots have also been designed for close integration with small single-board computers, particularly those based on OMAP processors such as the Gumstix Overo series. The Lisa/L and Classix boards are designed with this in mind, though other autopilots can be easily interfaced. Further information can be found here. This also resulted in the ports of Paparazzi UAV to the Parrot AR Drone 2, Bebop and Rolling Spider airframes, that come with built in embedded Linux computers as their autopilot hardware.

A basic feature comparison table is presented to help in the autopilot hardware selection process.

For information regarding architecture and firmware compatibility of various subsystems and modules, please see the appropriate Subsystems overview and Modules List pages.

Schematics, CAD files, Gerber files, BOM release strategy

About the hardware development and release process.

Files needed to create the hardware can be found here. It is always good to remind oneself of the email Antoine once wrote in the mailing list before you want to start producing your own PCB's.

8 June 2011 13:25:47 Antoine Drouin wrote on the mailing list:

I've started this project together with Pascal 8 years ago and since then I have dedicated my time to try and make it successful. I'm utterly convinced of the benefits of open source, but observing how Paparazzi grew over time, I came to the conclusion that hardware is a bit different than software... "gcc tiny.brd" is not going to make a board magically appear on your desktop.

I'll list here some of my arguments in favor of releasing CAD files after the board is mature.

  1. Unlike software, where an unskilled user can type make and get a piece of complex software to successfully build, assembling hardware requires tools and skills. Providing gerbers and BOM have lured a bunch of new users into believing otherwise and has created tons of frustration. I've myself fixed a number of badly assembled boards and I even recall that while helping debugging a board (so after assembly), discovering that the person had manufactured two layers PCBs instead of four layers. As the technology of the autopilot increases, this problem becomes more and more important.
  2. The success of the project depends on the availability of affordable hardware. The price of hardware is directly and exponentially dependent on the number of manufactured units. If ten persons manufacture 10 boards each, the cost will be much higher than if one person manufactures 100.
  3. Last and not least, the quality of assembly also depends very much on the number of manufactured units. Good quality can only be achieved through the use of automated placing and soldering, and those processes can only be used if the number of units reach a certain amount.

For the autopilot comparison table see below.

NOTE: This list contains only mature and fully supported autopilots designed specifically for the Paparazzi UAV project.

Autopilot1 Feature Matrix
Feature Lisa/L v1.1 Lisa/M Lisa/S Elle0 KroozSD Apogee v1.00 Umarim v1.0 Umarim Lite v2 NavGo v3 Tiny v2.11 TWOG v1.0 YAPA v2.0 HBmini/v2.0
Active No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No
Buy Now - Buy Buy Pre-Order Buy Buy - Buy - Buy - - -
Part STM32F103RE STM32F105RCT6 STM32F103REY6 STM32F415RCT6 STM32F405RGT6 STM32F405RGT6 LPC2148 LPC2148 LPC2148 LPC2148 LPC2148 LPC2148 LPC2148
Clock 72MHz 72MHz 72MHz 168MHz 168MHz 168MHz 60MHz 60MHz 60MHz 60MHz 60MHz 60MHz 60MHz
Flash 512kB 256kB 512kB 1024kB 1024kB 1024kB 512kB 512kB 512kB 512kB 512kB 512kB 512kB
RAM2 64kB 64kB 64kB 192kB 128 & 64kB 128 & 64kB 32kB & 8kB 32kB & 8kB 32kB & 8kB 32kB & 8kB 32kB & 8kB 32kB & 8kB 32kB & 8kB
Onboard Sensors3
MEMS IMU no aspirin yes yes krooz/ext yes yes yes yes no no no yes
Magnetometer no aspirin yes yes yes yes no no yes no no no yes
Barometer yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes no no no yes
Diff Pressure yes no no no no no no no no no no no no
GPS no no yes no no no no no no yes no no no
Input/Output4 & Communication Interfaces
UART 3 & 1RX 2 & 2RX 1 & 1RX 2 & 2RX/TX 3 3 & 1Rx 2 2 2 1 2 2 2
I2C 2 1 + 15 18 1 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 2
SPI 2 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
ADC 3 (12bit) 3 + 2 (12bit)5 0 2 4 + 1 (12bit)5 0 + 3 (12bit) 0 + 4 (10bit) 86 0 + 4 (10bit)6 0 + 1 (10bit)6 8 (10bit) 6 (10bit) 8 (10bit)(16bit)
PWM 6 6 + 25 6 8 10 + 15 6 + 1 6 6 0 + 15 8 8 10 10
PPM Output no no no no no no no no no 1 1 no
PPM Capture 1 0 + 15 1 1-8 1 1 + 15 1 + 15 1 + 15 1 1 1 1
R/C serial 2 1 2 1 (standard & S.BUS)
GPIO7 ? 1 0 ? 2 + 15 0 + 4 0 + 46 0 + 46 0 + 26 2 2 1 11
Onboard LEDs 8 5 4 4 3 4 2 2 4 3 3 3 2
USB Peripheral Onboard USB JTAG + UART bootloader no DFU bootloader bootloader DFU bootloader + USB storage bootloader bootloader bootloader bootloader bootloader bootloader bootlader
CAN 1 1 1 110 no no no no no no no no
MODEM connector no no no no Xbee no no no no no no Xbee
Onboard Peripherals
SD card/interface no no no no yes/SPI yes/SDIO + USB storage no no no no no
RTC no no no no no yes + backup cap. no no no no no
Others Overo w/ I/O incl. USB Host Aspirin footprint, JTAG header On-board micro-USB B header On-board mini-USB B header On-board mini-USB B header RS232 options Buzzer
Program & Debug Interface
USB (luftboot)+ JTAG + UART USB (luftboot)+ JTAG + UART SWD + UART USB DFU bootloader + JTAG USB(DFU) + SWD USB (pprz bootloader) USB (pprz bootloader) USB (pprz bootloader) USB (pprz bootloader) USB (pprz bootloader) USB (pprz bootloader) JTAG
Power Management
Supply Input 6.1V - 18V 5V - 16V 2.3V - 5.5V 5V 7V - 32V 5.5V - 17V 5.5V - 17V 5.5V - 17V 5.5V - 16V 6.1V - 18V 6.1V - 18V 6.1V - 18V 6.1-18V
Supply Output 2.25@5V, 2.25A@3.3V, Other 500mA@3.3V, 250mA@5V 1A@3.3V 2x299mA@3.3V 1.5A@3.3V, 5A@5V 1A@3.3V, 1.5A@5V 1A@3.3V, 1.5A@5V 1A@3.3V, 1.5A@5V 1A@3.3V, 1.5A@5V 1A@3.3V, 2.25A@5V 1A@3.3V, 2.25A@5V 2x 1A@3.3V, 2.25A@5V 1A@3.3V, 2.25A@5V
Software Switch 2 no 1 1 no 1 (5V) no no no 1 1 1 4
Size ~100mm x ~50mm 34mm x 60mm x 10mm 20mm x 20mm x 5mm 36mm x 36mm 50mm x 60mm x 10mm 53 x 25 x 9mm (shares the same external dimensions as UmarimLite) 56mm x 25mm 53mm x 25mm 35mm x 35mm 70.8mm x 40mm 40.2mm x 30.5mm 80.0mm x 40.0mm? 57x30mm
Weight ? 9.9g - 10.8g 2g ? 20g - 40g 10g 9g 8g ? 24g 8g 23g w/ XBee? 30
Connector Style Picoblade Picoblade & 0.1" Servo 0.05" header 0.1" pin header + JST9 Picoblade & 0.1" Servo Picoblade Picoblade Picoblade Picoblade Picoblade Picoblade 0.1" Headers Picoblade & 0.1" Servo
PCB Style 4-layer 4-layer 6-layer 4-layer 2-layer 4-layer 4-layer 4-layer 4-layer 2-layer 2-layer 2-layer 4-layer
Mounting Holes 4x M3 4xM2/M3 4xM2 4xM3 4x M3 4x 2mm (shares the same mounting points as UmarimLite) 4x 2mm 4x 2mm 4x 2mm no no 4x M3 4xM2
Comments IMU and Overo Mount Location, Many Features High speed Cortex™-M4 168MHz processor with FPU unit, IMU, microSD card slot, OSD, onboard XBee connector Cortex-M4 MCU, 9DOF IMU + Baro, Hi-speed microSD logging + USB storage mode, S.BUS compatible, small and lightweight Small Dimensions, narrow fuselage form factor, IMU Smallest Dimensions, IMU, basic version of Umarim Small Dimensions, IMU, magnetometer & high sensitivity Barometer; designed for small rotorcraft Onboard u-blox GPS, designed for easy DIY assembly (same as TWOG) Basic, no onboard sensors (all external for expandability) Specially designed to work with rs232 sensors such as XSens Mit-G/Crossbow NAV420/ig500/3DM-GX3/DMS-SGP02/MGL-sp-5. Onboard XBee connector can use mpu6050 or mpu6000
Typical Usage Advanced payload and controls development using Gumstix; fixed-wing or rotorcraft Small, general purpose w/ IMU; fixed-wing or rotorcraft High integrated, high productivity board w/ IMU, microSD card, OSD and XBee; rotorcraft or fixed-wing Small and powerful general purpose ;fixed-wing Small, general purpose w/ IMU; fixed-wing Small, general purpose w/ IMU; fixed-wing Small, general purpose w/ IMU; rotorcraft Small, general purpose w/ GPS; fixed-wing with external IR or IMU Small, general purpose; fixed wing with all external sensors 0.1" headers means easier wiring, at the cost of weight For all kind of aircraft
Date Introduced Summer 2010 Winter 2012 Summer 2013 Winter 2015 Spring 2013 Summer 2013 Fall 2011 Summer 2012 Summer 2012 Fall 2007 Spring 2008 Spring 2011 Winter 2012
Previous Versions Lisa/L v1.0 Lisa/M v1.0 Krooz Tiny v1.1, Tiny v0.99 YAPA v1.0


1. Only the newest revisions of the more commonly used autopilots are listed

2. The extra 8kB of RAM on the LPC2148 shared with the USB DMA

3. The onboard sensors are almost always supplemented with external sensors. For example, TWOG can use an external IMU or IR sensors, and also needs an external GPS.

4. Input/Outputs listed are generally those easily accessible on regular autopilot connectors, customization/hacks can modify available I/O, for example free an extra I2C on Tiny and TWOG

5., 6. Some features use shared resources - denoted by X + Y where Y is shared - and cannot be used simultaneously

5. Lisa/M v2.0 shared resources include: one I2C is shared with 2 PWM outputs, two ADCs are shared with LEDs, one RX only UART is shared with the PPM capture

6. Umarim v1.0 shared resources include: 4 ADCs are shared with 4 GPIOs

7. Usually other unused pins can be used for additional GPIO with some code modifications

8. Many of the pins have multiple purposes. Servo 5&6 can be used for i2c even though there is no dedicated connector.

9. The two JST connectors, provide a combined RX and TX connection. The RX & TX lines are combined through a 100Ohm resistor. The GPS and Telemetry connectors are full TTL UARTs.

10. Only the CAN RX&TX lines are exposed, no transceiver included on board.


This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.