We're currently building the second quadrotor, which is an improved, more lightweight version of the PIXHAWK Cheetah presented in the last post. We will use this one to compete in the upcoming International Micro Air Vehicle Competition 2010 (IMAV 2010). The system is however designed for a more long-term goal of the PIXHAWK Project. It's two Intel Core 2 DUO 1.86 GHz cores run only at 10% CPU usage with our competition software. The system has been mainly designed for future Computer Vision on Micro Air Vehicles research in PIXHAWK at the Institute of Visual Computing of ETH Zurich. We will use it to localize the MAV with pure onboard processing based on natural features. The current working state uses artificial features to localize.
Regarding our competition entry, we now reached a state where our PIXHAWK Cheetah ALPHA system not only hovers autonomously with no wireless video transmission using ARTK / computer vision, but also starts, lands and follows waypoints while detecting objects along the path. We're now optimizing the system to make sure it works fine in the competition itself. Part of these efforts is to build BRAVO, which has an optimized frame and electronics design and thus reduces the all-up weight from 1200g to about 900g.
The board on the picture is the second revision of the pxCOMex processing board, which accomodates the pxIMU right on top of it (in the white outlined area), shown on the second picture.