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If your ultimate goal is to use _ROS_ and ardrone_autonomy to control the drone, I suggest that you also capture the images through the _ROS API_ (e.g. subscribe to the camera topic in your node), then use the cv_bridge package to convert the ROS image data type (sensor_msgs::Image) to cv::Mat. The following tutorial shows how to perform that in _C++_: Converting between ROS images and OpenCV images (C++)

If your ultimate goal is to use _ROS_ ROS and ardrone_autonomy to control the drone, I suggest that you also capture the images through the _ROS API_ (e.g. subscribe to the camera topic in your node), then use the cv_bridge package to convert the ROS image data type (sensor_msgs::Image) to cv::Mat. The following tutorial shows how to perform that in _C++_: Converting between ROS images and OpenCV images (C++)

If your ultimate goal is to use ROS and ardrone_autonomy to control the drone, I suggest that you also capture the images through the _ROS API_ ROS API as well (e.g. subscribe to the camera topic in your node), then use the cv_bridge package to convert the ROS image data type (sensor_msgs::Image) to cv::Mat. The following tutorial shows how to perform that in _C++_: C++: Converting between ROS images and OpenCV images (C++)