Can I use the ardupilot mega board like a regular microcontroller board?

I am trying to build an autonomously soaring sailplane - to accomplish this I am experimenting with reinforcement learning. The APM has all the I/O that I need along with the onboard IMU and GPS.

So my question is - can I write custom code that only has access to raw sensor data and can send custom signals to actuators?

Essentially I do not want to build the hardware myself if everything that I need is already present on the board. I just want to know if my own code will work on the APM without having to upload the ardupilot firmware on the board.

Please help. :slight_smile:

You can, but you can also try to re-invent the wheel.

If you are trying to prove yourself, it may be wise to work on more up to date hardware. APM is 10 years old 8 bit processor.

This is a typical use for a companion computer, I suggest you read about it on the wiki