Here's a video demo at the Berkeley Marina of the APM/Mission Planner UAV swarming interface (control-F in the MP). Although it's designed for multicopters, we tested it first on autonomous ArduRovers (APM-powered cars), which are slow and safe. First demo: Leader-follower, using only GPS data. Works like a baby duck following its mother!

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Comment by Andrew Tridgell on August 31, 2013 at 4:17am

great stuff!

Comment by Randy on August 31, 2013 at 4:31am

It's surprinsingly accurate considering it's only using the GPS.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on August 31, 2013 at 8:06am

That's pretty cool.  Can you get a Rover to follow a Copter, or vice-versa?

Comment by Timothy Chung on August 31, 2013 at 10:09am

Very cool!

Comment by george on August 31, 2013 at 11:53am

Any plans to integrate this to Arduplane?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on August 31, 2013 at 11:54am

George: it's built on "Guided" mode, which I think is already supported in Arduplane

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on September 1, 2013 at 4:35am

Hi George, it will work in planes too, but the behaviour may not be what you expect. As Chris says, it's based on guided mode. When a copter or rover reaches its destination in guided mode it can stop and hold position. When a plane reaches its destination it needs to start circling. That means when it is following another plane it will tend to circle as it catches up, which won't be like the "baby duckling" behaviour that this video shows.

Cheers, Tridge

3D Robotics
Comment by Brandon Basso on September 2, 2013 at 9:36pm


We've had it working on copter before and it looks pretty good.  The workflow needs to be improved a bit, but all the core functions are there.  This rover demo was actually done with the same interface used for copter (and plane) in Mission Planner.


Copter following rover and vice-versa is next on the agenda :) stay tuned!

Comment by Stefan Lane Hardy on June 2, 2014 at 9:52am
How did you get this working?  I've been trying it with Mission Planner from the Ctrl+F/Swarm screen, but it won't work with me.  It recognizing both vehicles, but it will only affect the leader.  The follower won't follow when the leader is moved.  I wondered if I had to click the "Take Off" button, but I thought that'd only be for quad rotors or planes.  Either way, when I clicked the "Take Off" button the follower's wheels twitched, but that's the only response I've gotten from the follower through Mission Planner.
Comment by Ram Malav on December 16, 2015 at 8:53am

I am trying to fly quadcopters(more than two) in certain formation  (without using SWARM or FOLLOW ME).
Can you tell me, How can i get real time GPS location of flying copter?
I mean, where (in which parameter) does ardupilot codebase store GPS location to show on Mission Planner(or any other GCS) ?
Can i extract GPS location from Telemetry Logs periodically (Like in every 2 second)?

Any help would be much appreciated

Thank you


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