The world is getting smarter and more connected, which means more computing power is being placed into smaller devices. What used to be confined to large desktop computers is now available in your back pocket thanks to system-on-module platforms. If you want to use one of these modules in embedded systems design, you’ll need to design or buy a custom carrier board to support your module. Going this route with a system-on-module provides many benefits and lets you leverage proven hardware in a small footprint.

Designing robotics and drones is much easier with the best electronics design software.

With the pace at which technology moves, it can be alarming to think how far robotics has come over the past 10 years. Today’s robots and drones are smarter and include more features than ever before. If you have a great idea for a new robot or drone, you’ll need a high-quality circuit board to run your new product.

If you’re ready to start developing electronics for a new drone or robot, you can leverage proven hardware platforms to create prototypes and quickly move your design into production. The best design tools can give you access to the best hardware modules you need for robotics and drones, and you can create circuit boards to support your new system.

Developing Modern Robotics and Drones

Robots and drones represent the intersection between embedded software and high-quality electronics. Any robot includes multiple sensors and hardware modules, including electromechanical components, high processing power, cameras, environmental sensors, and much more. They can be complex systems to build and program, but there are many resources designers can use to develop, prototype, and deploy new robots and drones.

Robots can provide many useful functions in a range of applications, ranging from industrial automation to security, data collection, and much more.

Some upcoming applications for autonomous robots and drones include:

Environmental quality monitoring

Sensor data collection and fusion

Images and video processing

Home automation and security

You can be successful in these areas with high-quality autonomous systems when you have access to the right carrier boards and embedded development tools.

Carrier Boards for Robotics and Drones

Drones and robots are complex systems that require multiple components with tight integration. If you want to get started with development or move your system into production, Gumstix offers multiple options to help you design and build robots and drones for any application.

Gumstix CM4 + Pixhawk FMUv6 for Drones

The Gumstix CM4 + Pixhawk FMUv6 carrier board lets you take advantage of the new Raspberry Pi CM4 to build your new drone. You can also use the high speed/high resolution camera connectors and a Coral TPU for advanced computer vision applications. This board is a great option for developing machine learning models for image identification, segmentation, tracking, and other tasks in ML-driven computer vision.

The CM4 + Pixhawk FMUv6 carrier board supports development, prototyping, or production-grade hardware for new drones based on PX4 drone firmware and standard hardware.

The Gumstix CM4 + Pixhawk FMUv6 carrier board.

Gumstix Raspberry Pi CM Robo

The Raspberry Pi CM Robo carrier board from Gumstix is ideal for general-purpose robotics and rovers. This board integrates multiple high resolution cameras with a Raspberry Pi CM module via an edge connector. If you want to use the new CM4 module with this board, simply use an Uprev or UprevAI board to provide an interface with the new CM4. This compact board is an excellent choice for development, prototyping, and production.

The Gumstix CM Robo carrier board.

Design a Custom Carrier Board for Robots and Drones

Robotics and drone systems need embedded software alongside a powerful hardware platform, but you don’t have to be a PCB design expert to develop electronics for these systems. If you’re an embedded developer or you just want to test out your ideas for a new hardware platform, you can use the browser-based design tools in Upverter to start building a board for your new drone or robot.

If you want to redesign one of the boards shown above, you don’t need to build it from scratch. Instead, you can open these boards in Upverter and start building a custom board for your system. Upverter's drag-and-drop interface is extremely easy to use and gives you access to a range of hardware modules for drones and robots:

GPS/GNSS modules

LCD/OLED displays

Camera modules

SD Expansion cards

To add these modules to your system, simply drag them into your board layout in Upverter. If you make an error, Upverter will flag it for you and tell you how to fix the problem. With Upverter, you can build powerful, fully-customized autonomous systems in a matter of minutes.


If you’re ready to start designing electronics for robotics and drones, try using the modular design tools in Upverter. You’ll have access to a range of industry-standard COMs and popular modules to create a new board for your next IoT project.

Take a look at some Gumstix customer success stories or contact us today to learn more about our products, design tools, and services.