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

Views: 79640

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on May 10, 2012 at 9:31am

Hello heathyfatboy,

Yes this feature was used in the v2.0 but I have removed it in this new v2.0c release. When AUTO mode is set, the APMrover is fully autonomous and the stick commands from the transmitter are not used, so the trasmitter can be switched off.

The ROV_NUDGE is not yet used here.

Regards, Jean-Louis

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on May 10, 2012 at 9:33am

@Robert: Not yet, I let growing the APMrover firmware...

Comment by Franco Borasio on May 11, 2012 at 12:34am

Hi, Jean.louis,

I've sccessfully done a mission with 10 waypoints with my 1/8 rockcreewler. I've seen that after 2 loops of the mission, the rover can have a tollerance distance from 2 to 5 meters from fixed point. This is because of the GPS  tollerance of course. Here in Italy the GPS fix 8 sats. So if I need to move beetween obstacles that are 3 or 5 meters away from waypoints, after two loops the rover may has a contact with them. It's possible to allow 2 sonar, may be one at 45° from the center to the right and another at 45° from the center to the left, put in front of the car for to have obstacle avoidance?

Best regards and compliments


Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on May 11, 2012 at 1:13am

Hello Franco,

Congratulations for your successful mission test of the APMrover v2.0. I have very glad that you have succeed, good work. About the use of the sonar for obstacle avoidance feature, I put this in my TO DO LIST. and it will soon be available in a next release of the APMrover.

Regards, Jean-Louis

Comment by Franco Borasio on May 11, 2012 at 6:52am

thanks JL

I will wait it !!!!!

and as soon as I can, I will post a video of my creewler working, equipped with 2 camera. the first thermo for night vision, and the second normal for day vision


Best regards


Comment by Franco Borasio on May 11, 2012 at 7:07am

Mr jean-Luis (please don't kill me!!!!!)

I've forgot to ask you if it's possible to stop the car (when it is not in loop) when it finish the mission, or when it return to lunch. Until now, it return back home but it start to make circles like in loiter mode.

My electronic is apm 2560 complete sistem with oilpan, xbee, sonar etc. etc.

YOU ARE SIMPLY THE BEST !!!!! ( this is not the Tina Turner song)

King regards!!!!


Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on May 11, 2012 at 9:46am

Hello Franco,

You will find the APMrover v2.1 *** alpha version *** with your requested improvements...

- After the RTL is finished, the rover stops and go back to MANUAL mode (so don't forget to put throttle to zero, in AUTO mode)

- The SONAR sensor is now implemented for obstacles avoidance in front of the rover

Please, this is an alpha version for testing purposes. I don't have a sonar so, I haven't tested this feature about the obstacles avoidance.

How to use it:

Set in APM_Config_Rover.h


the sonar setup is done with the APM mission planner, Configration tab and Hardware Options

and you may define the trigger distance in cm with:

#define SONAR_TRIGGER       60        // trigger distance in cm

When the distance is lower than the SONAR_TRIGGER the rover turn 90° right.

Please tell me if this new update works, I don't have a sonar so I am not able to check this...

You may download the APMrover v2.1 alpha at:


Have fun with the APMrover... I shall be very glad to see a video of your rover in action...

Regards, Jean-Louis



Comment by Franco Borasio on May 11, 2012 at 11:24am

Thank you very much, Jean Louis you are incredible!!!!

I will try it this evening or tomorrow morning, after that I'll tell you everything about the new functions.....

Best regards and have a good evening.....


Comment by Manolito Biscoito on May 11, 2012 at 12:55pm


Thank you Jean-Loius.

Lovely work!

Franco, could you please post some pictures?


Wires, connectios, MPlanner....

Thank you in advance.


Comment by Franco Borasio on May 11, 2012 at 3:23pm

hi Jean-Louis

I've try now with the new version..... I can't try the sonar because the car, when I write the waypoint it start to go to the first, and than go every time in one direction that is completly different from the waypoint I wrote (sometimes go directly in other direction that are the reverse of the right direction). I've try to make the magnitude 3-4 time in manual and in auto but every time is the same. Only one time there was an obstacle in front of his direction and it seem to turn to the right and didn't touch it. I think the sonar is working, but I can't make a confirmation because of the random direction. The version I've used befoure this one, was the 2.0b so I don't know if the middle version has something strange it too or if is only the last one.

The car didn't stop if I try RTL. May be it doesn't understand where it is !!!!!!

Tell me if you want me to do other tests.

Best regards


I've think also to the noise the sonar can generate, but it is with filter like for arducopter, and is 15cm higher over the IMU so I don't think that this is the problem....


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