PixHawk programming

Hi all,

This is my first time programming UAV and Pixhawk, and am looking for suggestions on how to start. My goal is to write a program that takes a camera image, do some object identification, and decide what the UAV should do, and then send those commands to the autopilot (PixHawk). I have 2 questions:

1. Since I'm only developing the software and don't have the actual plane with me (the aircraft is with a friend that's geographically separated from me), I'm thinking of buying the bare bones of the autopilot only to test my program. Do you think this list is enough to get me started?

- Pixhawk kit

- servos

- battery to power the pixhawk

2. I've read the MavLink for dummies and get an idea of the roles of PixHawk, MavLink, and GCS. However, conceptually, I'm currently still stuck at the most basic thing: how can I send these commands to the autopilot but bypassing the ground control. What I thought I would like to start with is:
1. Connect the PixHawk and peripherals (servo, power, etc.) to the computer via USB
2. Open serial communication with the PixHawk via USB (or wifi, radio, etc.)
3. Push a command like: set motor speed to X, or request GPS coordinate, etc. via terminal or python script (I have the list of MavLink messages)
4. See that the command physically works.
5. After this is verified, then I can move forward and build up the more complicated program.
Any advice on how to move forward?

Thanks,

P.S. of course, any general tips for a newbie is appreciated :-)

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Replies

  • I am also very interested in this and would like to know how this goes. Thus leaving a comment, and following. However I am trying to use a radio input to help change the direction of the plane. Basically once the plane gets a radio input, it will turn to Maximize the input.

    Let me know where you get for this please!

    Thanks.

  • 3D Robotics

    MAVProxy allows you to directly send MAVLink from a computer, without having to go through a GCS.

    • How can we send mavlink commands with python code without having to write code in mavproxy?

      any examples?

    • Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your (very fast) suggestion. It looks like what we need. I'll check it out in more details.

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