Pixhawk2/Edison Interconnections

What are the connections between the Pixhawk2 and the Edison?

How can the Edison receive sensor data?

How can the Edison connect to external devices?

How can the Edison control the Pixhawk2?

Here, this is probably what you are looking for


That’s a start, but all that really does is tell me how to set up the Edison.

If the Edison was on it’s own break-out board, with a serial port wired to the standard Pixhawk2 (like this), then all of the Edison’s I/O ports would be available for other functions. They could be used as inputs or outputs for any sort of external device that I might want to experiment with.

However, with the Pixhawk2.1 with Edison carrier board, once I seal the Edison inside it’s little coffin, how do I speak with it? As far as I can tell, the only I/O it can do is serial to Pixhawk for MavLink, and it’s built-in radio (BLE and WiFi). How do I wire it to an external gadget? (e.g. cellular modem, miniature display, custom widget washer)

Maybe the Pixhawk2.1 with Edison carrier board is not a good idea for people who want to use the Edison for more than just MavLink and wireless.




I believe the 2 usb ports on the side are used by intel edison and on the page I sent they say that the otg port is used for connecting accessories.
You may also try to list all available ports and connected devices. It would be just plain dumb to use it just for dronekit without the ability to use Edison’s gpio pins.
Try with a usb otg cable and something like a usb stick and see if you can detect anything.
I also planned on doing something with the edison but I couldn’t get my hands on a pixhawk 2. Perhaps it is best to get something like a lattepanda or a rpi3

Best of luck

I’d try it, if I had one, but I’m not going to buy one just to try it out.

I could hang anything on the outside (RPi, ODroid, Edison), but the convenience of the physical and electrical connections offered by the Pixhawk’s Edison carrier board is too good to pass up if I can still get full use from the Edison.

This is the sort of documentation that makes the difference between buying a product and passing it up.


Hi Don
The Edison pinnout is available all over the place, and there is no restriction from adding additional layers of boards underneath if you would like them.

The Edison it there to do things like smart-shots, controlling a QX1 camera, or a go-pro, or for processing external Lidar data from an SF40 to form a map of an indoor location for example.

the Edison can use any of the IO on the Pixhawk if you program it as such, so it has access to the real world.

the access to the world that it offers, are as follows.

  1. connection via builtin level shifting to serial 2 on the Pixhawk 2 for mavlink communications
  2. Wifi / Bluetooth connection for control, telemetry, camera connectivity etc.
  3. USB OTG for connection to external devices, LTE Modem, Webcam, Lidar, M8T (for PPK GPS)

and of course, the mezzanine method of mounting on the Edison means you could add additional I/O if you so desired.

What I have given you here is a starting point, if you see a use for it, great! but if you don’t… that’s OK, there are many development boards and other compute modules that will interface just as well as the Edison, some even better, like the Joule, and the TX1

If you have a look at the history of Ardupilot, and the hardware, you will see that hardware is built, people test, the then contribute to the Wiki, and make great stuff from the raw ingredients that we provide.

If you wish to get started with the Edison on Pixhawk 2, go to the wiki… there is a guide their for getting an image working on it.

it really is a blank canvas for you to do with it what you want. run python scripts, or write your own path planning method… lots of opportunity!

You can also use Edison as part of a multi node ros setup. Use the usb otg as a network connection and run tcpip over it to the other nodes. Thinking about going this way for my drone. Using a nvidia TK1 to process Zed stereo images and the Edison to act as the executive. To use a usb stick you need to create a cable that has 5v for power since the usb-otg port is 3.3v. The Debian image is a little large but easily rebuilt with fewer packages so it can be made smaller. Or you can use the ubi linux older but smaller and ROS functions on both. So you have your choice of dronekit or ROS on the Edison as well as c or python scripts.

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Hi proficnc,
I am interested in more details on the comment you made: “the Edison can use any of the IO on the Pixhawk if you program it as such, so it has access to the real world.”. Does this mean that the Edison has hardware access to the various I/O ports on the Pixhawk and can use them directly (assuming that the Pixhawk is not trying to use them at the same time)? I’m working on an application in which I need a GPS to be directly available to the Edison, and I would like this to be through the GPS serial connection on the Pixhawk.
If this access is available, are there drivers already available for Linux on Edison to communicate with these ports?
Thank you

It means that using dronekit, you can control the Autopilot, and you can do what you wish.

The cube is able to have whatever code you want on it

Okay, thanks for the clarification. That’s likely too limited for the data I want to pass through to the Edison, since I would have to cut down the data coming from the GPS to fit it through the UART connection to the Edison (along with the data that I already have the Edison and cube sharing). Is the UART connection between the Edison and cube limited to standard baud rates (i.e. 115200 is the highest available)? I’ve read that Arduinos can run significantly higher custom baud rates between themselves. If this UART connection can handle faster custom baud rates, then it would be able to pass a lot more data than the individual I/Os on the cube, enabling that data to be shared through to the Edison.

Thank you

You could also use the OTG to connect to a GPS via a FTDI. Linux will / should see this as a USB to Serial device and load the drivers. For example I have a HEAR+ RTK from profcnc connected this way. Just have to be sure the USB connection is good and does not vibrate loose (hot glue).

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Thank you. I’ll likely use this path. I’m trying to see where I can keep hardware to a minimum (size and weight constraints), but it may not be worth it on this one.

The uart connection is at ~900K, so heaps faster.

Hello All,

I think I remember reading somewhere that if you install the Intel Edison into the Pixhawk2, you will not be able to use 1 of the 2 Telemetry ports? Is this true?

Which Telemetry port is in-use by the Intel Edison when the Edison is installed with the Pixhawk2?

Thanks, :grinning:


P.S. Just so everyone reading this knows. The Intel Edison is being discontinued.