The ED1 Extremdron project set out to create a drone that is designed for UAV professionals, industrial sensing and inspection applications, university and corporate R&D projects, and video/imaging equipment weighing up to 1.5kg. The ED1 utilizes an inhouse developed drone operating system to detect and configure peripherals automatically using an USB bus and comes equipped with a companion computer (Ubuntu) for high level sensor processing. The Ubuntu companion computer operates on UNIX running a Robot Operating System (ROS) to configure, control, and log/transmit data from the payloads and sensors to a custom mission planning software. The companion computer combines the data from the sensors/payload to the autopilot telemetry and sends it to the ground control station through Mavlink protocols.
A custom 4 layer PCB chassis was designed and manufactured to supply the sensors and payloads with regulated 5V and 12V power at six plug locations distributed across the board to power the user sensors and payloads. The wiring channels for the autopilot, radio control, camera gimbal, and the telemetry modem was embedded in the PCB to eliminate the messy external wiring bundles and the risk of potential failure points to create a clean Plug & Play solution.
Users can mount payloads and sensors on the top or the bottom of the ED1 chasssis. The software is completely Open Source and users can create their own custom API as needed for their payloads or experiements.