The ArduPilot development team is proud to announce the release of version 3.0.0 of APM:Rover. This is a major release with a lot of changes so please read the notes carefully!
A huge thanks to ALL the ArduPilot developers. The Rover code benefits tremendously from all the hard work that goes into the Copter and Plane vehicle code. Most of the code changes in this release were not specifically for Rover however because of the fantastic architecture of the ArduPilot code Rover automatically get's those enhancements anyway.
Note that the documentation hasn't yet caught up with all the changes in this release. We are still working on that, but meanwhile if you see a feature that interests you and it isn't documented yet then please ask.
The 3.x.x releases and above DON'T support APM1/APM2
This release DOES NOT SUPPORT the old APM1/APM2 AVR based boards. The issue is the amount of effort required to keep the new code ported to the old platforms. We are very sorry this has to occur and if there is someone who is willing and technically capable of doing this work then please let us know.
There will be a discussion created on ArduPilot forums where people can request features in the new code be backported to the APM code to run on the AVR boards and if it is reasonably easy and they are willing to do the beta testing we will do our best to make it happen.
EKF2 - New Kalman Filter
Paul Riseborough has been working hard recently on the new EKF2 variant which fixes many issues seen with the old estimator. The key improvements are:
- support for separate filters on each IMU for multi-IMU boards (such as the Pixhawk), giving a high degree of redundancy
- much better handling of gyro drift estimation, especially on start up
- much faster recovery from attitude estimation errors
After extensive testing of the new EKF code we decided to make it the default for this release. You can still use the old EKF if you want to by setting AHRS_EKF_TYPE to 1, although it is recommended that the new EKF be used for all vehicles.
In order to use the EKF we need to be a bit more careful about the setup of the vehicle. That is why we enabled arming and pre-arm checks by default. Please don't disable the arming checks, they are there for very good reasons.
UAVCAN new protocol
The uavcan change to the new protocol has been a long time coming, and we'd like to thank Holger for both his great work on this and his patience given how long it has taken to be in a release. This adds support for automatic canbus node assignment which makes setup much easier, and also supports the latest versions of the Zubax canbus GPS.
Support for 4 new Boards
The porting of ArduPilot to more boards continues, with support for 3 new boards in this release. They are:
- the BHAT board
- the PXFmini
- the QualComm Flight
- the Pixracer
More information about the list of supported boards is available here:
Startup on a moving platform
One of the benefits of the new EKF2 estimator is that it allows for rapid estimation of gyro offset without doing a gyro calibration on startup. This makes it possible to startup and arm on a moving platform by setting the INS_GYR_CAL parameter to zero (to disable gyro calibration on boot). This should be a big help for boats.
Improved Camera Trigger Logging
This release adds new CAM_FEEDBACK_PIN and CAM_FEEDBACK_POL parameters. These add support for separate CAM and TRIG log messages, where TRIG is logged when the camera is triggered and the CAM message is logged when an external pin indicates the camera has actually fired. This pin is typically based on the flash hot shoe of a camera
and provides a way to log the exact time of camera triggering more accurately. Many thanks to Dario Andres and Jaime Machuca for their work on this feature.
You can now see the individual contributions of the P, I and D components for the Steering PID in the logs (PIDY), allowing you to get a much better picture of the performance.
This release includes a lot more options for diagnosing vibration issues. You will notice new VIBRATION messages in MAVLink and VIBE messages in the dataflash logs. Those give you a good idea of your (unfiltered) vibration levels. For really detailed analysis you can setup your LOG_BITMASK to include raw logging, which gives you every accel and gyro sample on your Pixhawk. You can then do a FFT on the result and plot the distribution of vibration level with frequency. That is great for finding the cause of vibration issues. Note that you need a very fast microSD card for that to work!
This is the first release that allows you to disarm using steering if you want to. It isn't enabled by default. You can enable it
with the ARMING_RUDDER parameter by setting it to 2. It will only allow you to disarm if the autopilot thinks you are not moving at the time.
This release includes support for a bunch more sensors. It now supports 3 different interfaces for the LightWare range of Lidars (serial, I2C and analog), and also supports the very nice Septentrio RTK dual-frequency GPS (the first dual-frequency GPS we have support for). It also supports the new "blue label" Lidar from Pulsed Light (both on I2C and PWM).
For the uBlox GPS, we now have a lot more configurability of the driver, with the ability to set the GNSS mode for different constellations. Also in the uBlox driver we support logging of the raw carrier phase and pseudo range data, which allows for post RTK analysis with raw-capable receivers for really accurate photo missions.
Better Linux support
This release includes a lot of improvements to the Linux based autopilot boards, including the NavIO+, the PXF and ERLE boards and the BBBMini and the new RasPilot board.
On-board compass calibrator
We also have a new on-board compass calibrator, which also adds calibration for soft iron effects, allowing for much more accurate compass calibration.
Lots of other changes!
The above list is just a taste of the changes that have gone into this release. Thousands of small changes have gone into this release with dozens of people contributing. Many thanks to everyone who helped!
Other key changes
- fixed the MAV_CMD_DO_SET_HOME (thanks salonijain12)
- fixed bug when reverse throttle would increase speed in AUTO
- fixed a bug going into guided and rover still moving
- loitering at a waypoint if Param1 is non-zero
- update uavcan to new protocol
- fixed reporting of armed state with safety switch
- added optional arming check for minimum voltage
- improved text message queueing to ground stations
- re-organisation of HAL_Linux bus API
- improved NMEA parsing in GPS driver
- improved autoconfig of uBlox GPS driver
- support a wider range of Lightware serial Lidars
- improved non-GPS performance of EKF2
- improved compass fusion in EKF2
- improved support for Pixracer board
- improved NavIO2 support
- added BATT_WATT_MAX parameter
- enable messages for MAVLink gimbal support
- use 64 bit timestamps in dataflash logs
- added realtime PID tuning messages and PID logging
- fixed a failure case for the px4 failsafe mixer
- added DSM binding support on Pixhawk
- added vibration level logging
- ignore low voltage failsafe while disarmed
- added delta velocity and delta angle logging
- allow steering disarm based on ARMING_RUDDER parameter
- prevent mode switch changes changing WP tracking
- fixed parameter documentation spelling errors
- send MISSION_ITEM_REACHED messages on waypoint completion
- enable EKF by default on rover
- Improve gyro bias learning rate for plane and rover
- Allow switching primary GPS instance with 1 sat difference
- added NSH over MAVLink support
- added support for mpu9250 on pixhawk and pixhawk2
- Add support for logging ublox RXM-RAWX messages
- lots of updates to improve support for Linux based boards
- added ORGN message in dataflash
- added support for new "blue label" Lidar
- switched to real hdop in uBlox driver
- improved auto-config of uBlox
- raise accel discrepancy arming threshold to 0.75
- improved support for tcp and udp connections on Linux
- switched to delta-velocity and delta-angles in DCM
- improved detection of which accel to use in EKF
- improved auto-detections of flow control on pixhawk UARTs
- added HDOP to uavcan GPS driver
- improved sending of autopilot version
- log zero rangefinder distance when unhealthy
- added PRU firmware files for BeagleBoneBlack port
- fix for recent STORM32 gimbal support
- changed sending of STATUSTEXT severity to use correct values
- added new RSSI library with PWM input support
- fixed MAVLink heading report for UAVCAN GPS
- support LightWare I2C rangefinder on Linux
- improved staging of parameters and formats on startup to dataflash
- added new on-board compass calibrator
- improved RCOutput code for NavIO port
- added support for Septentrio GPS receiver
- support DO_MOUNT_CONTROl via command-long interface
- added CAM_RELAY_ON parameter
- moved SKIP_GYRO_CAL functionality to INS_GYR_CAL
- new waf build system
- new async accel calibrator
- better rangefinder power control
- dataflash over mavlink support
- settable main loop rate
- hideable parameters
- improved logging for dual-GPS setups
- improvements to multiple RTK GPS drivers
- numerous HAL_Linux improvements
- improved logging of CAM messages
- added support for IMU heaters in HAL_Linux
- support for RCInput over UDP in HAL_Linux
- improved EKF startup checks for GPS accuracy
- added raw IMU logging for all platforms
- configurable RGB LED brightness
- improvements to the lsm303d driver for Linux