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Platform Releases

Table of contents

  1. Overview
  2. Platform Names: APQ8096 & QRB5165
    1. 1st generation: APQ8096
    2. 2nd generation: QRB5165
  3. Install
    1. 1 Where To Download
    2. 2 Install ADB on Host Computer
    3. 3 Power up VOXL and Connect via USB
    4. 4 Run Install Script
    5. 5 Configure Software
      1. Factory Production Configuration
  4. Post Tweaks
    1. Overview
    2. Example


Software for VOXL compute platforms is distributed in bundles called Platform Releases which consist of a system image, VOXL Suite, and an installer.

The system image contains the basic operating system, kernel and various system partitions to make VOXL boot. VOXL Suite is the collection of core ModalAI tools and services that run on VOXL. These two are often interdependent and as such are tested and released together as a platform release and should be used together.

Platform Names: APQ8096 & QRB5165

Software Packages are often unique to the Qualcomm chipset used on a paritcular board as opposed to particular VOXL PCB design.

1st generation: APQ8096

VOXL and VOXL-Flight both use the APQ8096 chipset and share software and Platform Releases.

2nd generation: QRB5165

The second generation VOXL 2 and VOXL 2 Mini autopilot and compute platform is based on the QRB5165 chipset. This is the same chipset as the Qualcomm Flight RB5 and so it shares VOXL Suite packages but has a slightly different system image to VOXL2 due to hardware differences.


1 Where To Download

Platform releases can be found on our Protected Downloads Page

2 Install ADB on Host Computer

Follow the instructions on the Setup ADB page.

3 Power up VOXL and Connect via USB

It is recommended to use a USBC to USBA cable.

We have seen issues with USBC to USBC cables on some host machines.

4 Run Install Script

NOTE: The following commands are all ran on the host computer, not on VOXL.

  • Unzip the download, in this example we’ll assume the download name was voxl2_platform_M.m.b.tar.gz where M.m.b is the version of the SDK.
tar -xzvf voxl2_platform_M.m.b.tar.gz
  • Get ready to run the script by going into the directory you just unzipped
cd voxl2_platform_M.m.b
  • Run the following:
  • Depending on release version, you may be prompted to preserve or wipe the /data/ parition. When in doubt, preserve (DO NOT WIPE) the data partition if you don’t explicitly intend to. It contains calibration and factory configuration data that should be preserved between platform release upgrades.

  • If everything flashed successfully, you should see a message at the end showing how to configure the drone:

    |     Done installing voxl-suite for QRB5165        |
    |                                                   |
    |         Please visit our online guides at         |
    |                |
    |                                                   |
    |      To configure Modal Pipe Architecture (MPA)   |
    |       services, please run voxl-configure-mpa     |
    |                                                   |
    | To see what MPA services are enabled and running, |
    |           please run voxl-inspect-services        |
    |                                                   |
    |   To see a list of MPA utilities available, adb   |
    |      or ssh into VOXL and type voxl{TAB}{TAB}     |

5 Configure Software

After flashing a Platform Release, your VOXL /data/ parition will still contain IMU and Camera calibration from before. However, the system parition is now back to a clean state with no services enabled. Most likely you will want to start enabling individual services manually or use the voxl-configure-mpa tool to set up all services at once and work from there. If you purchased a ModalAI dev drone then the model number for that drone will be saved in the preserved /data/ parition between platform release flashes enabling you to configure all VOXL services to a standard configuration for that dev drone with the factory reset option:

voxl-configure-mpa --factory-reset

Follow the guides in the Software Configuration Page for more information on configuring and using VOXL Services.

Factory Production Configuration

voxl-configure-mpa supports production factory configuration with pre-configured scenarios based on ModalAI’s products.

The following video shows a clean installation and production configuration for a VOXL Deck (MDK-F0002) that contains a “legacy” / green VOXL unit.

The following video shows a clean installation and production configuration for a VOXL Flight Deck (MDK-F0001) that contains an M0019 VOXL Flight. This video demonstrates a clean flash getting all of the way to the stereo calibration page.

Post Tweaks


To save time configuring multiple drones, you are encouraged to add your own configuration steps to a platform release via the Post Tweaks method to automatically perform your customizations as part of the flashing process. This is a good place to add calls to (voxl-configure-cameras)[/configure-cameras/] and voxl-configure-extrinsics for your custom camera config for exmaple.

Inside of each platform release tar archive is a folder called post-tweaks. In this folder you can add a bash script called containing any extra setup and configuration steps you may want run automatically. This script will be executed from within the post-tweaks directory by the top-level script after the normal platform release installation. Depending on the platform release you are trying to install, this script may already exist and contain something from ModalAI.

You can also add files to this folder and adb push them to VOXL in the script.


Example script to reconfigure all services to defaults for the Flight Deck, disable VIO, and then enable DFS server for VOA.


adb shell "rsync -r /share/qualcomm-proprietary/usr/ /usr"

adb shell "voxl-configure-mpa -p -f flight-deck"

echo "Configuring DFS"
adb shell "voxl-configure-dfs factory_enable"
adb shell "voxl-configure-qvio disable"

echo "Rebooting"
adb reboot
adb wait-for-device

echo "Done"