I was watching some videos from Andrew Tridgell (one of the main developers of Arduplane) about some realy cool stuff for APM. I was particularly interested in the developments of porting the APM code to Linux which should make some new things much easier like image processing given much more powerful platforms.
And to make life much easier there will soon be a release of the Pixhawk Fire Cape which is a shield/cape for the beaglebone black, a 1Ghz ARM computer available for around £33. Pricing for the fire cape is still no known. Which will turn your beaglebone into a much more powerful pixhawk. The pixhawk fire cape will also have 3 of each sensor (3x accelerometer, 3x gyro, 3x magnetometer) for greater sensor redundancy. This is still a early announcement so things might change, and I have no idea about when it will be released.
If anyone is interested in getting ardupilot up and running on your beaglebone black (using something like a I2C L3G4200D 10DOF sensor board off ebay ) there are instructions on the ardupilot dev site
Here is the full video from linux.conf.au 2014 which also has some general interesting points about the history of the APM project and also some development challenges in porting from 8bit atmel to 32bit CPU on the pixhawk to porting to embedded linux.
Other interesting work is with differential GPS, which should allow for better position data on the cheap when compared to other solutions like RTK GPS.