VR Rover : ArduRover + VR Brain 5.2 + Companion Computer + Velodyne Puck Lite. Outdoor autonomous navigation without GPS.

VR Rover :

APM Rover on VR Brain 5.2 + Companion Computer + ROS and Slam mapping the navigation in outdoor done without GPS but the feedback is aligned with Geo Map because we use the GPS offset and Mag offset as starting point ...
Today was our first test without gps and it work fine ... The rover need some hardware patch and fine tuning setup but the algorithm work fine :)

On Ground station you can work as with the GPS all functionality are available , in the next months will be release the anti collision module already integrated in enviroment available for pro user in all Ardupilot enviroment and firmware.

This is a core technology that we share on all Ardupilot firmware : Arducopter ,Trad Hely , Arduplane ,Ardurover and Boat. 

Some people told me to switch to PX4 but for use better ROS integration although VR Brain hardware already support PX4 but i prefer to improve the integration of ardupilot firmware our team have a great skill and the Dev Team of Ardupilot are my old friend start to work togheter 8 years ago :) and we have a lot of advanced functionality already available for indoor localitation that we use with our customer and not only inside the university lab.

So is possible use Ardupilot for professional application. Thousand of users around the world use it .

So actually we are working to Pro version of Ardupilot fully integrated in ROS and available as modular firmware and hardware object , in the next week we discover a lot of great project develop on Ardupilot Pro pro on VR Goliath platform.

Thanks to whole Ardupilot.org DevTeam for all work done until now on ArduRover 

P.S.

the video is intalian . but is at 360 degree . It's a standard working day in our lab ... ;)

Best

Roberto Navoni

Views: 1108

Comment by Dan J Pollock on August 26, 2016 at 1:40pm

Nice. I am building a rover as well using a Pixhawk and nvidia TX1. Not sure the firmware will run on a Pixhawk however :(   I have the Zed camera and a lidar lite with rotation for mapping. I was trying to do it all with the nvidia and ROS. The Pixhawk makes it a snap to get the basic rover up and running. Mavros isn't that hard to get working. There are already drivers for the Zed for ROS. And with the TX1 gpu support you get 18fps at 720p from the Zed. But not a lot of cycles left for running the bot when you are processing the video. The Pixhawk lets it run only vision related code for the best performance. Trying to use two motors with encoders for the steering instead of a linkage. That is causing me some grief at the moment. But as soon as that is working mine will be up and running as well. The Lidar lite plugs into the pixhhawk with a easy to build cable. It has some glitches but until something better that is as inexpensive comes along I'll live with it. I'll have to look into it and see if that firmware will work with my set-up. I'd like to try it.


MR60
Comment by Hugues on August 26, 2016 at 2:10pm

i don't understand what the video is showing, nor what you try to do. Can you explain for dummies?


Moderator
Comment by Roberto Navoni on August 26, 2016 at 2:49pm

Hi Hugues ,

sorry ... is the my first time with 360 degree camera and the resolution was not so good ... and language , too is italian. 

So what we done in last year is a framework of : 

VR Brain 5.2 with Ardupilot firmware that support basically Copter and Rover connected to a Companion computer on it we use Ubuntu OS + ROS . Depend of sensor and complexity of the system but the companion could be Raspberry PI 2 /3 , Odroid , Interl i7 embedded platform .

We learn very well how use Lidar data with ROS and implement , improve  and use some algorithm for Mapping and Navigation . 

Before this video 8 month ago we succesfully flight autonomously inside burner with 2D Slam + Barometer lidar was Hokuyo. 

Now improve the algorithm use 3D Lidar Velodyne and use the same architecture on system with a Rover . 

So basically we can navigate in enviroment using ArduRover without GPS only with lidar in outdoor or indoor enviroment. 

In the video you see the first fully real test of go to navigation where the enviroment mapping is done by Lidar and not with GPS so we have a very good precision of navigation and have also a object advoidance option not tested in these first test. 

The first test was only for check if navigation algorithm work fine also without gps but with lidar slam and if precision was ok.  We done the same test with gps before but the quality of navigation could decrease depend of visibility of satellite with Lidar you don't have this kind of problem. 

The next step will be use a data fusion algorithm that use GPS / Lidar depend of situation and quality of signal of sensor. 

That's all . 

The connection between ROS and Ardupilot done by some special module implemented in ROS that simulate a GPS enviroment in input at Ardupilot the Fake Gps is connected by serial port to VR Brain Flight control .

best

Roberto 


Moderator
Comment by Roberto Navoni on August 26, 2016 at 3:01pm

Here you can find my Youtube channel with a lot of video of my previous test https://www.youtube.com/user/rnavoni/videos on rover and indoor navigation.

This is the same version of system for Flight Drone  : 


MR60
Comment by Hugues on August 26, 2016 at 11:24pm

thx for the explanation. It is a great project!

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