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I suppose who know ROS and how it works (at least most of you) I have some question regarding the implementation of a quadrotor in that framework.

  1. 3D movements: A quadrotor has 6DOF and moves in a 3D environment. Looking at the various ROS packages I could not find any package that allows to drive a "robot" in the 3D space. The package /move_base for instance allows only 2D. Make sense to use this package for such a project? I thought to use 2D navigation projecting the "shadow" of a quadrotor on the ground...

  2. MoveIt: it seems a real interesting and promising package, but I read that it is for robotic arms and not expressly indicate for quadrotor. Maybe one can use the possibility to create a virtual floating joints in MoveIt to let the quadrotor any movement in a 3D environment...that's ok, but I cannot understand whether is "too much" and not useful for a flying robot.

  3. Trajectories: The possibility to create a 3D trajectory in the space seems to be not a standard package of ROS. I found Octomap which allows the creation of 3D maps from sensor datas. Very interesting and for sure very useful. But...I don't think it could be useful for creating 3D trajectories. Should I in that case create an extra package to compute 3D trajectories to be feed into the quadrotor? Or there already something like that?

There is already an existing project hector_quadrotor which seems to acclaim a good success ans it is very considered in the field. Most people refer to that project when speaking or answering question regarding quadrotors in ROS. I saw many times that project...since weeks. And due to the total lack of documentation I didn't try anymore to understand how it works. Really too difficult. Another interesting project, ArDrone, has comments in the source code...in Russian!!! @_@

Could you me give any good suggestions? Or point me in the right direction please? It would help me to understand how to focus my searches and which package I can/cannot use.

UPDATE: my goal is to let the quadrotor flying and using gmapping to localize itself. I've heard and read al lot of stuff about that but I found all this tutorials very hard to understand. I cannot get a global vision of the software and sometime I run in problems like: "is there a package for this task, or should I invent it from scratch?"

Thanks!

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Mark Booth May 28 '18 at 10:25

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ You are right that most of ROS is geared toward mobile manipulation robots. This is because Willow Garage's primary platform was the PR2 robot. Could you describe in more detail what you are trying to do with your quadrotor? Do you need ROS for your flight controls, user inputs, mapping, navigation, path planning, etc? $\endgroup$ – Ben Nov 4 '14 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ Mavlink isn't the best designed protocol but it's a better choice than ros if you want to use existing infrastructure rather than create your own. I like the pixhawk hardware/software stack. Gmapping is probably not appropriate for what you want to do. However,it and many other slam algo's are available at openslam without the ros baggage. $\endgroup$ – hauptmech Dec 11 '15 at 1:08
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What you need to implement is the high-level algorithm. ROS is just a platform for you to handle data communication, don't put your eye only on ROS.

From my experience, using ROS on ARM, with SLAM and localization:

and one amazing demo in the ICRA last year.

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In case you find it complex, I recommend you an online course we created that teaches how to make drones navigate using that PTAM-visualization package and also how to use MoveIt! to navigate in a 3D environment. We use simulations to make you practice on the spot how everything works.

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CCNY seems to have a pretty good UAV ROS library.

You might also want to try your question on ROS's question/answer site: http://answers.ros.org.

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  • $\begingroup$ You are on ROS Q&A too!!! Anyway the ROS library made by CCNY is really not what I want. $\endgroup$ – Dave Dec 18 '14 at 17:20
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To control the UAV Quadrotor, you can use MAVROS y you have any autopilot which support MAVLink protocol (i.e AR. parrot, navio+, etc). I'm working to control the uav in a simulatior in mavproxy and now I can takeoff, arming, change mode and move it, the issue I found is rotation on yaw angle. I hope this help you.

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