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Elixir for UAV Avionics

YOW! Lambda Jam 2021

Fault tolerant, concurrent, distributed and functional with superior binary wrangling capabilities and network/device connectivity - the Erlang platform designed to run the world's telephony systems also turns out to be a perfect fit for autonomous aerial vehicle control software.

In this presentation Robin will give a brief introduction to  the world of autonomous aircraft, autopilots, onboard companion computers, ground stations and communication links. He will demonstrate the use of his open source Elixir MAVLink library to communicate with an Ardupilot autopilot from Elixir code, which in turn will control an  accurate X-Plane simulation of a large UAV he has been working with since 2014.

Robin Hilliard

Founder and CTO



Robin is the Founder & Chief Technology Officer of RocketBoots, a company providing hybrid SaaS-Edge computer vision products for major banks and retailers in Australia and New Zealand. With a life long interest in aviation and aeronautical engineering Robin is a private pilot and has been dabbling with UAV software and hardware development since 2014, including multiple attempts to qualify for the UAV Outback Challenge competition. Along the way he has created open source Elixir libraries to perform aeronautical calculations, interface with the X-Plane flight simulator, and communicate using the Micro Air Vehicle communication protocol (MAVLink) supported by several leading autopilot projects. His current project is writing an Elixir driver for the engine monitor hardware on his 8.5hp 3.5m wing span drone which is frankly a bit large for his home office.