I’d like to repurpose a mini cheetah clone (more info here) sold on Aliexpress to using ArduPilot.
At it’s core, the robot consists of:
12x motors with encoders and drivers
A 24V 5000 mAh battery
A 9 DoF IMU
An UpBoard Z8350
The SPIne (a custom PCB featuring two STM32 to create two independent CAN networks) and a ZigBee for the RC command
A power supply and distribution board
The companion computer (UP board) runs ROS and takes care of basic motion tasks by pushing CAN messages to the SPIne, that dispatches them to the motors.
Since ArduPilot supports CAN and battery monitoring, I was wondering if the SPIne could be replaced with a PixHawk. Doing so it would enable the whole ArduPilot software suite and it could be possible to start tinkering with the robot, although the companion computer would be giving directions mainly.
Diving deeper into the Mini Cheetah docs it seems the choice of having two STMs is due to the limited CAN bandwidth a single microprocessor can support.