Using a non-ESP32 OAK-D camera without companion computer

Is it possible to physically connect an OAK-D camera that does not have an ESP32 module on board to a flight controller?

I have read @rishabsingh3003’s excellent post and guide for the ESP32-enabled OAK-D-IOT-75, but was wondering if the OAK-D-Lite or S2 could connect to an FCU without a companion computer.

In his post, Rishab mentions negating the need to use the USB-C port on OAK-D’s because of EM noise is one reason that the IOT-75 is better. But is it possible, for example, to use a FTDI USB-C to serial adapter like this one with some light wiring work to connect to one of my FCU’s serial ports?

Thanks in advance!

#hardware-discussion:companion-computers #vision

That is a good question. Unfortunately, there is no way to just connect the camera to a flight controller - like a pixhawk running ardupilot. The issue is not the usb3 or ftdi cable. The issue is the data and communication protocol used between the two devices. The camera is outputting object data and coordinates and the flight controller expecting command data using the mavlink protocol. The main reason for using the oak-d-iot-75 is because it has the esp32 computer built in. That computer is reprogrammed to take the object data directly from the camera and convert it to mavlink packets. Its serial port is then connected to the flight controller. Arducopter then takes the now properly formatted mavlink position commands and uses them along with the precision land function to control the drone :nerd_face:

1 Like

Communication protocol makes sense. Thanks for clarifying!