Category:Projects - robotics

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This webpage is provided so that users of the Gumstix OpenEmbedded build system can share their robotics knowledge, showcase their gumstix based robotics projects, and pass on links to other sources of information and materials. This information is entirely user generated and supported.

 Customer additions and edits are encouraged, but please read the help page before you make any major edits.
 Note:  you will need to create a new user account if you would like to contribute or edit content on this site.


Gumstix based UAV autopilot project

The UAV Open System project.


Gumstix-based Robotics Projects

Check out the many Gumstix-based robotics project here on Youtube.

Giger V2.0 Humanoid Robot

Giger is a WIP (work in progress) fully custom humanoid robot. He stands about 25" tall and weighs roughly 12lbs. All his brackets are made of 2/2.5mm 5052 aluminum, and uses a 400mhz Gumstix Verdex Pro COM as on-board smarts.

See videos here.


The Robosavvy project.

2009 & 2010

Lisa - Paparazzi

Lisa ( the Lost Illusions Serendipitous Autopilot) is a new STM32 based range of autopilots designed to run Paparazzi. The first two members of the family are Lisa/L, a design where the STM32 is associated to a gumstix Overo and Lisa/S, an all-in-one design focusing on space and weight constraints.

Using a STM32 instead of the luminarymicro, the main purpose of this board is to be an autopilot, although it has applications in other robotics fields. The board has on-board pressure sensors ( absolute and differential ) but the inertial ones are external to allow a choice of commercial IMUs ( xsense, cloudcap, vectornav) or the self-designed BoozIMU.

The board runs Paparazzi and the STM32 has enough processing power to run the autopilot on its own, leaving the Gumstix Overo COM available for payload processing. SPI used with DMA on both ends between the OMAP and the STM32, thus providing ample bandwith and flexibility in the repartition of tasks between processors.

The board has an onboard FT2232H USB chip. One of its channels is used for JTAG on the STM32 and the second one for the Overo's console. The board features two switching supply modules and all the connectors are Molex picoblades with locking mechanism.

This project information provide by Antoine Drouin <>

UPBOT Cyber Physical Systems Testbed at the University of Portland

Students and faculty at the University of Portland are working together to build a distributed system of collaborative, intelligent robots using a platform built from the iRobot Create and gumstix computing hardware. A small fleet of gumstix verdex pro + iRobot Create platforms are controlled wirelessly by an artificially intelligent supervisor. Their RoboDocs page provides the technical specifications and offers many resources for interfacing the gumstix connex and verdex pro to the iRobot Create.

Quanser UVS Lab for Education & Research

Recently, Quanser introduced a completely new platform for teaching and research - the Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS Lab). UVS Lab is the result of more than five years of Quanser’s internal research and development efforts.

Skybotix CoaX - The open source robotic helicopter platform from ETH Zürich

Skybotix AG has released recently the CoaX, the open-source coaxial helicopter, developed at ETH Zürich and equipped with the Gumstix Overo technology. The CoaX board includes a fast 3D IMU, a transparent Bluetooth module, a pressure sensor, a color camera, a down-looking sonar, 2.4GHz receiver+RC, etc. An open-source API for high level control is provided in addition to the built-in low-level controller. A bluetooth bootloader is provided as well as an ODE simulator and Simulink simulators.

The documentation & support portal provides all the technical specifications.

Pixhawk Computer Vision on Micro Air Vehicles - Award Winning

Pixhawk Award certificate

The PIXHAWK Micro Air Vehicle Team won the EMAV2009 Indoor Autonomy Competition. The EMAV air robotic competition and conference is a yearly event reflecting the advances in the micro air vehicle research field. They were able to show automatic image recognition in our entry on the smallest platform capable of onboard image processing. This also proved the feasibility of realtime image processing on a micro air vehicle on a system as small as the Texas Instruments OMAP3530-driven Gumstix Overo Fire COM.

A student team supported by the Computer Vision and Geometry Lab at the Computer Science Department of ETH Zurich is developing an autonomous micro helicopter named PIXHAWK. The PIXHAWK Gumstix Computer Vision system is leveraging the DSP of the OMAP3530 Gumstix Overo Water computer-on-module. This led to the first DSP code running ever on a Gumstix single board computer.

The team will offer all hard- and software as open-source to the community after the 2009 MAV competitions, which hopefully encourages others to contribute to computer vision on Gumstix. The project website offers a in-depth series of tutorials on OpenEmbedded, Gumstix and MAV related topics.

The project's main website can be found here.

nControl^2 - General Purpose Computing

Ncontrol initial design

Clearbox Systems is developing its next generation nControl product which will be called nControl^2 (or nControl Squared). It is a small general purpose computer based on the Gumstix Overo module and will be officially released in Q4 2009. The development of this product can be followed at Clearbox Systems Development Blog and we would appreciate any feedback or suggestions over the next month or so during the prototyping phase.

This product will feature a compact size, robust wide input power supply, and 8 USB host ports for easy expansion. It is aimed to be used in Remote Monitoring & Control, Automation, CarPC, UAV and Robotics applications, however it should be suitable for many other purposes and industries.

Adrian and Tonica's gumstix car-like robot

Adrian and Tony built a car-like robot for their diploma project. They are students in their last year at the University of Politehnics Timisoara (Romania) , Automation and Applied Informatics department. The robot's name is MV1204BC. You can visit MV1204BC's website at .

Hagetaka in Mech Warfare Competition at RoboGames 2009

"Meet Hagetaka; a 7DOF per leg biped built around the powerful RX-64 servo from Robotis. This robot boasts 14 RX-64s, 2 RX-28s, a custom aluminum chassis machined by sponsor Big Blue Saw, an on-board Linux based Gumstix computer with a PS3 Sixaxis controller, a WiFi video server using a Headplay Personal Cinema System for remote piloting, and of course dual automatic airsoft guns".

Youtube video of Hagetaka here.

RoboGames runs June 12-14, 2009 in San Francisco. Check here for Mech Warfare!

SFU Autonomy lab's Chatterbox robots

Ever since 2005, the Autonomy Lab at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada has been designing a fleet of small "Chatterbox robots" around Gumstix boards. They have ported Player to Gumstix, and are developing controller code and matching Player drivers for the Robostix interface board.

  • Here is an interview, conducted in 2005, with SFU Professor Vaughan about his "swarm of chatterboxes" - his gumstix-driven robots.
  • A profile of Masters Student Ash Charles has been posted here.


River current research

A team of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley trying to learn more about the river currents in the delta.

The researchers are working with propelled 4-foot-long submarines and floating drifters equipped with GPS-receivers for positioning, GSM-modules for communication, and sensors inside for recording temperature, salinity, and currents.

More here.

Sailing Robots

Aberystwyth University Department of Computer Science is using gumstix in several sailing robots. These are being used to autonomously perform oceanography and to compete in the Microtransat Challenge a transatlantic autonomous boat race.

Currently 3 boats are using the gumstix:

  • "The ARC" - A 1.5m long plywood boat. Uses stepper motors to drive two sails and the rudder. Originally a robostix was used to do this, with a wifi enabled gumstix (connex 200 with CF wifi card) being used to reflash the robostix over i2c. This has now been replaced with a single gumstix controlling a series of GPIO14 chips to drive the steppers as well as some DS1621 temperature sensors.
  • "Beagle B" - A 3.5m long fibre glass boat based on an off the shelf dinghy. This uses two linear actuators to drive the sail and rudder, these are controlled by MD22 motor controllers over I2C from the gumstix and a GPIO14 is used to read the feedback potentiometers on each actuator. A rowind ultrasonic windsensor, GPS and PG-500 compass are all connected to serial ports on the gumstix, GPIO lines on a breakout-gs are used to switch transistors which control the power to each of these. Communications is provided by an 802.11b compact flash card configured to behave as an access point as this was found to reconnect with greater ease than using ad-hoc mode. This boat is currently being fitted out to perform oceanographic monitoring and the control system is being redesigned to incorporate two gumstix, one for robot control and another to control the scientific instruments.
  • unamed boat - A 2.75m long dinghy intended to cross the atlantic in the Microtransat Challenge. An off the shelf tiller pilot controls steering and is connected to the gumstix via a serial interface. Another motor controls the sail using an MD-03 i2c controller. Comms are to be provided with an Iridium satellite phone.

Clarinet-playing robot

Australian research group NICTA and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have developed a clarinet-playing robot that runs Linux. The "Robo-Clarinet" won first prize at the Artemis Music Orchestra competition for autonomous, embedded musical instrument performances.

More here.

Beam powered climber

MIT Space Elevator Team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is using GumStix hardware in their beam powered climber. The climber will be competing in the NASA Centennial Space Elevator Challenge.

Please contribute an article about your project

Pegasus High Altitude Balloon Project

By James Coxon - Project Website

The Pegasus High Altitude Balloon project is a UK based amateur student run project that involves launching payloads to "Near Space" (between an altitude of 60,000ft (20km) and 325,000ft (99km). This is achieved through the use of helium weather balloons which are designed to burst at a certain height and then the payload returns to earth via parachute.

The Pegasus missions utilise the Gumstix as the main flight computer which gathers GPS data, triggers the onboard camera and also transmits data. The most recent launch of Pegasus VI included a data downlink and also SSTV transmission of 'real time' images.

Features of gumstixs used:

  • GPS (serial, compact flash and onboard)
  • Interfacing with mobile phones/gm862 module (gnokii)
  • Interfacing with radio (Aerocomm 868mhz radio modems + 434mhz beacons)
  • Using GPIOs to trigger camera shutters + cutdown circuits
  • Batteries

2007 and earlier

Acroname Robotics

Acroname set up their Garcia robots using a Gumstix verdex configuration.

Flockbot robots

FlockBots Open Robotics Specification Wiki at George Mason University: Washington, DC, USA

The goal of the FlockBots project is to produce a small (7-inch), differential-drive mobile robot crammed with functionality for about $800. The robot includes a Gumstix 200bt, servoed camera, gripper, encoded wheels, five range finders, touch sensors, and I2C. The robots are intended to be a major step up in capability from "hobby"-type robot kits running off of PIC controllers, etc., while being inexpensive enough to construct a swarm on a budget.

We have published the specification, software, vendor information, and extensive construction details in the hope that others will be able to build similar bots without having to reinvent the wheel. Almost all the robot parts are COTS and provided software is free open source. We invite you to contribute to the website: suggest design changes, revised software, or include a link to your own swarm robotics page.

Mapping & video via radio controlles helicopter

During the 06-07 academic year, students in the AIT Dept. at George Mason University in Manassas, VA built a Gumstix based payload flown on a radio controlled helicopter to do mapping, video and networking. This is a project for a class on Information Defense Technologies. More on the mission can be found on Dr. Marchant's website and on the class wiki. During the Fall 07 term, students will integrate a Gumstix with an iRobot Create to produce a surveillance UGV. (Can it be a coincidence that GUM is an anagram of GMU?)

Rotary wing UAV

Our group is working on Rotary-Wing UAV. Recently we use gumstix 200-bt and robostix instead of early used PC/104 system. the new gumstix system is much smaller and highly integrated, which is ideal for aerospace special demand in weight. the platform is still under development and by now everything looks pretty good. latest news will be reported on our project page.


The North Carolina State University [ Aerial Robotics Club is developing a UAV autopilot module for the GumStix, called FlightStix. The FlightStix may be used by ARC to compete in the AUVSI international aerial robotics competition. The system is intended for use in medium-sized fixed-wing (15-50 lb) and rotor wing (5-15 lb) unmanned aerial vehicles. The system's sensors and outputs include:

  • 10-channel independant servo-type PWM input and output
  • 3-axis gyroscope
  • 3-axis accelerometer
  • 3-axis magnetometer
  • Ultrasonic altimeter
  • 2 differential-pressure transducers (for pitot/static and barametric altitude)
  • GPS

The hardware used to develop FlightStix consists almost entirely of donations from various electronics manufacturers, including GumStix, Inc.

Binocular vision Gumstix

I used a gumstix to give my FIRST robot binocular vision, and over the summer I'll be using a robostix and the CMUcams to write an easy-to-customize binocular vision implementation with the CMUcams for gumstix robotics projects.

RoombaNet at MIT

The newly-released Roomba Serial Command Interface (SCI) allows the user to drive a Roomba around and read out sensor data. My application has been to control the Roomba using a neural network, but the system is basically a tiny Linux box, so the possibilities are only limited by what will fit in the flash space. This will let you hack your Roomba with complete freedom.

More here.


London, England.

Professor Hu at the University of Essex, London has designed a robotic fish swimming in the London Aquarium. Next up, a whole school of fish.

Cheap Robotic Microhelicopter

A tutorial on building a robotic helicopter experimentation platform from off-the-shelf components.

ZeeRO mobile robot

The Robotics Research Group, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, Romania has created a sub-1000 Euro mobile robot, which can be used as a standard research platform in their labs. ZeeRO (Zee RObot - see Snatch, the movie) is a differential drive, low cost mobile robot, using a Gumstix 400bt, 2 "clustered" Acroname Brainstem boards (although one of them is just for expansion purposes right now), 4 x SONAR, 2 x IR, 1 x pyroelectric sensors, together with a CMUcam2 servoed.

We ported the Player platform to Gumstix, and use Javaclient to control our robot's complex algorithms. We're experimenting a lot with neural networks, intelligent agents, and D*-like dynamic navigation algorithms.

In order to control ZeeRO from Player, we wrote a new driver (zeero) and modified some existing ones (such as the cmucam2 driver). The zeero driver is providing the following interfaces to the client library: ^- position2d (for the servos)^ ^- sonar (for the ultrasonic sensors)^ ^- ir (for the infrared detectors)^ ^ - aio (for the pyroelectric sensor)^ The cmucam2 driver (thanks to Richard Vaughan for the original driver) provides a blobfinder, a ptz and a camera interface to the robot. Schemes, pictures, ideas, explanations, and most importantly, source codes are provided on the ZeeRO web site.

The High Altitude Slug Project

This is a UK based project to send a high altitude glider powered by a Gumstix to the edge of space, around 100,000 feet.

Nomad Autonomous Buggy

Side project to produce an autonomous vehicle based on a Tamiya RCO Attack Vehicle (R/C Car) and a Gumstix connex with STUART Waysmall. Uses radio modems, GPS and PWM.


Montevideo, Uruguay.

This project belongs to three students of electrical engineering and to the Institute of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de la Republica.

Its our degree project and consists in designing, constructing and validating an autonomous flying vehicle. The main purpose was to develop a platform for further investigation in the area so it needed to be scalable. Due to limited budget, the construction was done entirely by the group which held to time problems.

The system includes:

  • 1x Gumstix connex 400xm
  • 1x Robostix
  • 1x Tweener
  • 3-axis accelerometer (2x ADXL320)
  • 3-axis gyroscope (3x ADXRS300)
  • GPS (1x GPSstix)

The system is deployed and landed manually and switched in auto-mode using a free channel from the R/C radio. It's supposed to follow a determined path (pre flight configured). Right now we are in the final stages, only resting the interface for tuning the PID loops. All the software is open source based, and very special thanks goes to all the contributors on the gumstix mailing list. You can visit a blog of the project (Spanish) to see some of the work and news, an english version and more complete webpage will be available when time permits it.

Jordan’s Gumstix Robot Project

Jordan is building a robotuse the Gumstix verdex XL6P as its controller. Check out his Project page for all the details.

Previous robotics projects in the docwiki

Many customer projects in robotics have been posted here in the old wiki.

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