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 HmnRobots on January 12, 2013 at 6:01am

Hi I'm just signing in; I just just discovered what I'm looking for ! In fact  I working (very slowly) on a robot laxn mower; So far it's navigation is really basic : based on US sensors, burried wire .. A much more sophisticated navigation system would greatly improve it's efficency; So far, I read from internet that GPS alone won't be enough accurate, RTK would be the minimum to add.But what is the accuracy of the ArduRover ? below the meter, below 10cm ? I haven't  found so far the answer

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on January 12, 2013 at 9:54am


The present accuracy of the LEA-6 equipped APM might get down to 1 m. However, there has been discussion concerning using software and certain GPS parameters to get down to 10 cm. Whether that is achieveable or not is still up in the air.



Comment by HmnRobots on January 12, 2013 at 12:32pm

Thanks for the quick answer, I guess I'll have to wait! my mower will still have to navigate randomly across my yard!

Comment by Chris Cuddihy on January 14, 2013 at 6:11pm

I really need help.   I am having no luck with rover and can't get it to do much of any thing that makes any sense. 

I currently have the equipment set up on my work bench with a servo connected to AMP output 1 for steering and another servo connected to output 3 to simulate the ESC. ( I also have Xbee telemetry, but am not connection it using Mavlink.)

Here is what is happening;

  1. Turn on system and wait for GPS lock.

  2. Put the transmitter in Manual mode. 

  3. Turn on transmitter.

  4. Result:  I have manual control of the servos.

  5. Put  transmitter in auto mode.

  6. Result:  I do not have manual control of the servos.

  7. Put transmitter back into Manual mode.

  8. Result:  This is where thing go bad.  I may or may not have control of the servos.   The behavior is erratic,  some times control returns after a few seconds,  other times only after pushing the reset button on the APM.

I am probably missing a small but significant step,  but I've no idea how it's supposed to work.  Could someone give me step by step instructions on how to test this thing?

Assume the Ardurover software has been correctly loaded.


Chris Cuddihy

Comment by Evaristo Ramos, Jr. on January 14, 2013 at 6:26pm

Hi Chris,

In manual and learning modes are the only ones where you have control of the servos. In auto mode the APM will take over control of the servos completely. Without it actually moving the GPS will not update and the APM wont tell your stuff to move around basically. I would highly suggest waiting for the GPS to get a full almanac download form the satellites and you have a lock before letting it loose, that was one of my mistakes early when I was testing happyland (Canada) then I came home to Texas and made the same mistake again (lol) not letting it download, but once I did I got solid GPS locks, I drifted around but I think that is because of the GPS and I dont have my compass setup really.

Also I believe learning mode is broken at the moment, you can only do manual and auto mode.

For auto mode use the MP (mission planner) you will download a set of waypoints to the rover and then let that sucker go which is basically what I did.

My next step is do the xbee and try to the click to drive mode when the system is in auto, I am hoping maybe others will chime in this point as I really have not had time to get back to my build, but I am hoping to soon.



Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on January 15, 2013 at 7:14am


Yes, the learning mode is broken in the latest code. Also, without any waypoints, the APM was reseting itself and going back to the manual mode.

When I first got my rover going, I put it up on blocks and then made sure that I could control it correctly in the manual mode. IE throttle increased with an increase in the Elevator direction and steering moved correctly with movement  in the Aileron directions. While still up on the blocks, I selected a waypoint that would cause a left turn when heading out from the home waypoint. I then used the reversing function in the MP radio calibration to make any necessary changes to the throttle/steering when in the auto mode. You can also perform the same tests with a servo tester that can provide a readout of servo position for the throttle and steering channels when in the manual and auto modes.


I have used both the 3DR 900MHz telemetry and the Xbee telemetry with my 6WD rover. I used the 3DR telemetry with the MP running on a laptop and the Xbee telemetry with an ArduStation2.

Hope thsi helps.



Comment by Chinlin on January 15, 2013 at 5:05pm

I am not RC car user. Just wonder if it supports to run backward in automode in some case?

Comment by James on January 27, 2013 at 3:26am

im actually kind of hoping this would work with non apm boards too

Comment by Linus on January 27, 2013 at 2:32pm


there where already some discussion that in some cases running backwards is the better option.

whats your opinion on that ?


im sorry to say but dont think it will work without apm board.

but have a look maybe you can find a used one on ebay.



Comment by Chinlin on January 27, 2013 at 5:45pm


I would like to know if it supports backward running in recent version.

or can you point where the discussion is?




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