Gear Shift / Clutch

I know there has been some discussion about reverse pathing and navigation, something I am very interested in.  Anyone who has run a full sized vehicle in a ditch knows how important this can be for self recovery of the unmanned asset.  And, consider the fact that not every road one would operate on would allow a full radius turn.  Three (or ten) point turns are common in our daily operations.

That said, has there been any thought on gear selection in Mission Planner?  I am still new to the Pixhawk and Planner, but certainly believe an AUX channel could be configured for gear shift position.  

If gear shift is considered, then maybe clutch functions would follow?

If there is an existing workaround, or something I have missed, I would appreciate any hints.

Thanks in advance for any insight!

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  • What sort of sized vehicle are you looking at? Full size or large rover?

    I guess the action of changing gear should be tied in to the speed or the expected maneuver of the rover rather than a specific action from mission planner.  A small program added to the stack should be able to manage scheduling gear with measured speed or motor RPM with the right detector plugged in to the pixhawk.

    3 to 10 point turns would probably be best accomplished with a scripted maneuver tied with some understanding of the rovers immediate surroundings.

    That's my 2p anyway...

    • Thanks for the input Phil.  For now, suffice it to say we routinely automate anything that rolls or floats, but currently utilize more commercial systems. The PixHawk has a lot of potential, and we want to see how far we can take it.

       We are mainly just concerned with getting a commanded position sent to the actuator from the GCS in Manual mode.  After all, creating a program to handle a turn is great, but no good if we can't physically change gears. 

      Most automatic transmissions can deal with only 3 shift positions; drive, park, and reverse. But, more complex transmissions could utilize 7 or more actuator positions.

      Signals can be PWM, I2C, CAN, serial, etc. 

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