APMRover 2, a fun UGV project for full autonomous recon missions...

[UPDATE: This project is now being ported to a proper Google Code repository and manual. For instructions, start there. You can also join the ArduRover User Group here.]

Hello to ALL, the new firmware for APMRover v2 has been tested successfully on my rover on may 1st, 2012 on full autonomous reco mission following a navigation plan. This new release of the APMRover v2 works on the APM v1.4 with the OilPan shield (magnetometer + MT3329 GPS) and also of course on the APM v2. The previous version of the APMRover v1.0 was a light size version specially designed for the APM1280 CPU (only) board and the MT3329 GPS.

For the frame, I have used a Traxxas Monster Jam Grinder with a brushed and high power motor Titan 12T and its XL-5 ESC.

The APMrover UGV is able to run itself following a list of recorded waypoints. The waypoints list (FPL) can be preloaded with the APM Mission Planner OR better in live, recorded by the pilot himself (with the SW7) during a manual run and then replayed in a full autonomous mission.

The firmware APMrover2 for APM v1 + OilPan or APM v2 successfully tested can be downloaded HERE

The APMrover v2 is also online on the official ArduPilot-Mega GIT repository HERE

Below the PID setup for the APMrover v1 and v2:

The light firmware APMrover1 for APM v1 (CPU 1280 or 2560) that I have tested can be downloaded HERE 

Here's how to connect your cables:

More infos at: http://diydrones.com/profile/JeanLouisNaudin

Have Fun and Enjoy with the APMrover...

Regards, Jean-Louis

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Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on May 7, 2012 at 9:27am

Yes, that's a very good point. I was lucky to have checked my XL10 BEC output before connecting it.

Another solution is to do the "Jason Power Hack" to your APM, and then use an external BEC to power the APM, set at 5V of course.  But then you can connect the Speed Controller BEC to the output rail to power the steering servo.

So in my case, that's what I did.  I used an LM7805 to power the APM at 5V.

Comment by Daniel Chapelat on May 7, 2012 at 11:19am

Jean Louis goodnight
sorry but: Point and click (mode TOUR) does not work with the v2APMrover I reccompilé 2 times but same problem, I tried with v2.33arduplane originalet everything is ok, then I used v2.33 arduplaneoriginal and your PID
thank you

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on May 7, 2012 at 12:39pm

@Daniel: Have you done the test in AUTO mode ? You need to be in AUTO mode first and then do the point and click so as to set the nav point into GUIDED mode.



Comment by Earl on May 7, 2012 at 10:20pm

Hello Jean-Louis

I have posted here at DIYdrones a lot.

I now have a BIG RC tank I am using for my chassis.

The tank has a 580 motor on each treed. I bought a M2 DID 3s dual brushed esc. Cost over $125 but it controls the motors great. The controller is for RC dirt digger trucks. Probably overkill for my use.

I downloaded your apm software and I am gonna try it. Right now I have throttle on ch 1 and rudder on ch 2. Manually the tank drives fantastic. The DIG function makes sure one track drives while the other track is on break. It is no speed demon but it will crawl over almost anything.

I am going to equip it with FPV video. I am a HAM operator and I have a 5 watt video TX in the 430-440 mhz band. I am also thinking about putting a LRS rc system into it.

Here is a picture.

I will be glad to share my experiences with the group.


Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on May 7, 2012 at 10:25pm

Hello Earl,

Woow, this is a big machine, thanks for sharing your experience with us. Have Fun with the APMrover...

Regards, Jean-Louis

Comment by Earl on May 7, 2012 at 10:59pm

I tried the rover software but I did not see the gps code. I am using apm1 mega 2560 with ublox 16 gps.


Comment by healthyfatboy on May 8, 2012 at 6:41am

So, this is my first foray into the APM hardware so I'm new to all of these. I have been r/c for years so that part isn't a problem but I'm not sure what I should expect to see for performance on this.

I got everything connected to my Traxxas Rustler, used a 6 channel Orange receiver and my DX8 so I could get the full functionality. I uploaded the code for the 1280+GPS only and set my waypoints using the MP. I set a waypoint radius of 10 (maybe it was 15) and uploaded the points to the APM. I also updated the parameters just like you had highlighted in the yellow box and updated those as well.





I went out to go follow the points out in the street (it's about a quarter mile loop) and I found that most of the time, it would just circle around slowly and not get anywhere. It was going pretty slow so maybe that was part of the problem as the GPS could have issues with the heading going so slow.

Any ideas on what I can do to improve the performance some more?

Comment by Daniel Chapelat on May 8, 2012 at 8:17am

Hello Jean Louis
I'm going crazy: impossible to have a connection with XBee(APMrover2dual_firmware)
But with (ArduPlane-2.33) or (ArduCopter 2.5.4) everything is ok(same compilation mode with Arduino)
I do not understand?

Thank you have an idea

Regards Daniel

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on May 8, 2012 at 8:56am

Hello healthyfatboy, have you used the latest version which have been recently updated at:


Regards, Jean-Louis

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on May 8, 2012 at 8:58am

Hello Daniel,

Does the rate of the SERIAL3_BAUD has been set so as to be in line with your Xbee rate ?

i.e.:  #define SERIAL3_BAUD        38400

Regards, Jean-Louis


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