Does anyone know what processor is being used in the PixHawk? Is it the Parallax Propeller by some chance. I have looked at using their HoverFly controller, which is very impressive for the price. It uses the propeller and has open architecture and can be programmed in C. Perhaps it would be a good alternative to the Pixhawk for a more basic entry into stabilized ROV control.
I have used the Parallax Propeller and I can tell you that it is a custom Parallax design that is antiquated and hard to use.
It looks like Parallax is discontinuing the HoverFly controller as they are blowing them out for $24.87, a $125.12 markdown. There must be some reason that it is being discontinued?
This web page will tell you all about the Pixhawk.
There is a Pixhawk2 being produced and shipped now that is far superior to anything that Parallax can design and produce.
The Pixhawk uses an ARM microcontroller (the STM32F4xx series). It’s a little difficult to get started with from scratch because there aren’t as many good libraries available. The ArduSub firmware is built on top of the environment that the ArduPilot community has put a lot of effort into. It’s really capable and very customizable once you get over the learning curve.
The Parallax Propeller chip is a really cool platform. It’s unique in that is has 8 cores and you can basically run a different program on each one with shared memory. To use that easily I think you have to use Parallax’s “Spin” language but I’m not too familiar with that. I’m sure you can do it through C as well.
I think an Arduino Mega would also make a good platform for basic stabilized control. It has all of the necessary peripherals and features and good libraries for most sensors that you’d need.