Previous Autopilots

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AVR Lite & 1.2.1 Control Board

These boards were used in the original development of the paparazzi project and were made obsolete in 2006 with the release of the ARM7-based Tiny and Classix

AVR-based Paparazzi 1.2.1 with 5V switching regulator and servo drivers on the lower board
AVR-based Paparazzi Lite with 5V switching regulator on the bottom, 3V GPS supply, and molex servo headers


  • 1 Atmel MEGA8 (fly by wire operations)
  • 1 Atmel MEGA128 (autonomous operations)
  • hardware segregation of critical operations (r/c, servos) for safety
  • 5V/2A switching power supply
  • Built-in 4800 baud modem for telemetry downlink thru the audio channel of a video TX

Atmel AVR microcontrollers are low power 8 bit microcontrollers that were well equipped for handling early development code but as navigation and stability algorithyms became more advanced in 2006 the change was made to Phillips ARM7 processors for their superior processing power and I/O features.

Plans and BOM lists are still available on the CVS. As of December 2006, all current autopilot code is still backward compatible but some advanced functions such as real-time wind-corrected payload deployment calculations may overload the processor.


Hw overview.png


The Robostix is an expansion board from Gumstix. This board provides a cheap solution for those looking to get a plane in the air. Similar in design to the Paparazzi Lite, modifications were made to the airborne software in 2005 to support this board but airborne testing was never performed as the focus shifted to the new ARM7 hardware.


  • 1 Atmel MEGA128 MCU
  • 6 ADC channels
  • 6 PWM outputs
  • 1 SPI
  • 1 I^2^C
  • 2 UARTs
  • Connector to dock with a Gumstix board
  • 15 grams
  • 80 x 36mm

This board provides a very inexpensive (~$40 USD) solution. While slow compared to the newer ARM7, it is fully capable of handling the paparazzi code using IR sensors.