3D Robotics

Simulate quadcopter UAVs with ROS

Outdoor scenerio demo

From the Robot Operating System news:

Announcement from Johannes Meyer and Stefan Kohlbrecher of Team Hector Darmstadt to ros-users

We are happy to announce the hector_quadrotor stack. While impressive results have been demonstrated by different groups using real quadrotor UAVs and ROS in the past, to our knowledge so far there is no solution available for comprehensive simulation of quadrotor UAVs using ROS tools.

We hope to fill this gap with the hector_quadrotor stack. Using the packages provided, a quadrotor UAV can be simulated in gazebo, similar to other mobile robots. This makes it possible to record sensor data (LIDAR, RGB-D, Stereo..) and test planning and control approaches in simulation.

The stack currently contains the following packages:

  • hector_quadrotor_urdf provides an URDF model of our quadrotor UAV. You can also define your own model and attach our sensors and controllers to it.
  • hector_quadrotor_gazebo contains launch files for running gazebo and spawning quadrotors.
  • hector_quadrotor_gazebo_plugins contains two UAV specific plugins: a simple controller that subscribes to a geometry_msgs/Twist topic and calculates the required forces and torques and a sensor plugin that simulates a barometric altimeter. Some more generic sensor plugins not specific to UAVs (IMU, Magnetic, GPS, Sonar) are provided by package hector_gazebo_plugins in the hector_gazebo stack.
  • hector_quadrotor_teleop contains a node and launch files for controlling the quadrotor using a joystick or gamepad.
  • hector_quadrotor_demo provides sample launch files that run the quadrotor simulation and hector_slam for indoor and outdoor scenarios.

As many users of real quadrotors can probably confirm, testing with the real thing can lead to broken hardware quickly in case something goes wrong. We hope our stack contributes to a reduction of the number of broken quadrotor UAVs in research labs around the world

We plan to convert the plugins for Gazebo 1.0.0 as soon as ROS fuerte is released.

Indoor simulation:

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  • Really interesting. If I have free time I'm going to test this. I haven't enough money to buy a drone and this could be useful to learn to develop functionality on without worrying about fly capabilities.  

  • epic

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