Upcoming revision, new flight controller

The recent update on the BlueROV page notes a new flight controller, and other upgraded items.

We had a failed IMU on one of our Pixhawks (3DRsolo version), and have received a quote to replace it. At this stage, we are examining choices (Pixhawk 4/5) so the news of a new flight controller is welcome.

Is there any further information on the new controller?

Hi @Dale_A,

The new flight controller is going to be announced in May and will be part of the default BlueROV2 at that time. We can’t share all of the details yet, but here’s a little sneak peak:

  • We’re upgrading to a Raspberry Pi 4 and the new controller is a Pi “hat” that plugs into the expansion header and provides sensors, inputs, and outputs for everything needed on the ROV.
  • It will still run ArduSub, but running directly on the Raspberry Pi in Linux
  • It has the standard flight controller sensors like IMU, compass, barometer, analog, as well as a built in leak sensor circuit
  • It has a lot of expansion connectors for serial and I2C, all following the connector standard here, which is compatible with most flight controllers.

There will be a lot more info once it’s released! Are there any particular specs or features you’re looking for?

-Rusty

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Now it make sense! I saw it on Oceanology and was wondering it purpose!

I won´t post any picture or even the name here :wink: but it looks very promising.

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good news

Thanks Rusty,
no further info at this stage.

Our choices are replace the faulty Pixhawk with a Blue Robotics supplied Pixhawk 1, replace with a Pixhawk 4, or wait till the Pi hat is released.

Having had a IMU failure and loss of control in front of VIPs wasn’t the best time to discover the fault, so we want to make sure our replacement decision is sound, and give us the reliability we require for our ROV fleet.

It should be releasing next week :slight_smile:

Do you guys have any information about it released? Board specs etc?

This post is the extent of what has been shared publicly so far. You’re welcome to respond to Rusty’s question if there are specifics you’re curious about, but the full technical details and specifications will be available on the product page when it’s released :slight_smile:

Any deals for those of us who just purchased a BlueROV?

I’m waiting on the release to make the same decision. There’s no details yet about interchangeability. Might be whole new architecture of the main board. Obviously with the new thrusters, and tube sizes, there are enhancements coming that require systems upgrades to cope with scale.

The Navigator Flight Controller has been released, if that’s what you’re talking about, and we’ve also made our remaining stock of Pixhawks available for purchase :slight_smile:

From an interfacing perspective, the primary differences between Pixhawk and Navigator are as Rusty described:

  • Navigator requires Raspberry Pi 4B (all BlueROV2s to date have had 3Bs)
    • Can be bought as part of the Navigator kit
  • Navigator uses JST-GH connectors for the sensors and power module (per our connector standard), whereas Pixhawk uses DF13
    • Our adapter board or I2C Bus Splitter can be used for interfacing with existing sensors that have a DF13 connector
    • The Navigator kit comes with 3 6-pin JST-GH cables that can be used for the power module and/or serial connections

I believe we’re making an upgrade guide that walks through the process, but that may not be finalised until the upcoming BlueROV2 revision is released.

If you’re wanting to compare specs the main ones are presented in the Flight Controller Boards section of our Technical Reference :slight_smile:

The upcoming BlueROV2 revision will use a locking enclosure, but won’t be changing its tube size or thruster sizes. As has been mentioned elsewhere the T500s wouldn’t fit in a BlueROV2 (and neither would a larger tube) :slight_smile:

Cool! Missed the release.

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