How do we actually use ROS to run our drone?

How do we actually use ROS to run our drone? I understand that the emlid image has ROS installed but to what extent, and what are the limits of it. I am absolutely unfamiliar with ROS and I only heard about it when I first looked into the navio2. I went to ROS’s website to see if they have a command or a system or something but they just referred back to the ROS section for the navio2 documentation. I already followed it but clearly it wont allow my quadcopter to fly with just that tutorial. It would be nice if there was a walk-through for making a drone using the navio2, a raspberry pi model whatever, and a basic drone kit. I would like to see how to actually get it off the ground. I have found a topic that allowed me to move the propellers autonomously through the servo.py program, but to make sense of sensor data from scratch in python takes a lot of time. I thought the point of having Ardupilot and ROS was to avoid making code from scratch.

Hey there,

You can check ROS resources (docs and forum), there should be a lot of information on how to build UAV with ROS. Actually building a Navio2-powered drone running ROS is neat idea, we’ll consider posting such project in future. Thanks!

Hello tatiana.andreeva,

I want to make my drone fully autonomous. I have the dji f450 kit which I intend to use with the navio2. I will try the ROS document one more time but my end goal is to have a drone fly without a controller. Thought the emlid website and the documentation I have seen the word autopilot a few times which is exactly what I want. I hope they aren’t the word ArduPilot with autocorrect enabled. Also thank you for considering that idea I mentioned in my last post.

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ROS is good if you are wanting to get down and dirty in code and engineering. However, if you need a basic autopilot, look at Ardupilot, for a basic drone it has the code already written and all you need to do is some configuration (through the Ground Station), I think it might be a better choice for you.

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Thank you webb.howard, I have taken your advice and after some research and tests I have gotten to the point where I am trying to get an accurate gps reading on ArduPilot so I can run the drone autonomously. It says my drone is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean meanwhile I live in New York. I tried to run gps.py and the coordinates said the exact same thing. Now I think I am facing a faulty board. Is the board actually broken or am I missing something.

This is guessing, but before giving up on the board, check some of these things:

  1. Make sure you have your antenna plugged in.
  2. You may need to be outdoors, or near a window. I don’t get a GPS lock when things are sitting on my desk, but if I place the antenna within 6 inches of my window I get six or eight satellites and a good fix. No fix will give you 0, 0 coordinates, which is in the Atlantic a bit off of Africa, or it will randomly bounce you around.
    Check the status LED on the Navio2. Not connected to Ground Station, and not armed, you should have a slowly blinking Green if the GPS has a fix.
    From the GCS, check how many satellites you have and what the hdop (dillution of precision) reads; this should be on the bottom left of the flight data map. No satellites, no data.
  3. If you have set up a GCS, check your connections (SiK radio?)

Thank you Webb the gps is working great now. My next problem is that the mission planner is constantly crying that the rc roll is not configured. I have no intentions of using a controller how do I get it to fly with just mission planner and no controller?

Take a look at this article:


It looks like you need to set the min/max parameters, even though you are not using a transmitter.

Even though it can be calibrated it still needs a controller of some sort. Here is what I had in mind, would it work with the navio2?
Desired controller
I’m on a budget so price wise this is great. Not sure if the navio2 supports fhss.

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