Building a ROS based quadrotor

asked 2017-12-24 06:08:40 -0600

Srijal gravatar image

Hello ROS Community,

I'm an engineering undergraduate and hobbyist trying to enter the world of aerial robotics. I figured learning ROS was an essential part of any project involving UAVs and so for the past 4-5 months I have read a few books, searched around a lot and used RTAB-Map with a Kinect sensor on a Raspberry Pi to wirelessly create 3D maps of indoor environments.The idea now is to build a quadrotor and mount the Kinect sensor along with some powerful onboard computer (better than the RPi) on it to do 3D mapping and navigation with it.

Now, I'm not sure if that's exactly what I want to do because I want to learn the actual mathematical modelling and control of a quadrotor (I'm taking a course on Coursera), and the truth is that I'm confused as to what project exactly would be best for someone at my stage. Any thoughts?

The problem I think is that there is no such robotic culture or projects at my institute, so I basically have to figure out everything on my own. Usually, for all the UAV labs and projects that I see, I almost never see the specifications of the quadrotor, onboard computer, exact flight control flow, etc, which keeps me wondering how I would be able to replicate it. I guess for the majority of the people working on such projects, the knowledge is passed on from professor to students, and there is never a need to share it online. Also, the quadrotors are mostly research drones such as the AscTec Pelican, which is expensive for a student to get, and I couldn't simply find a project with a DIY quadrotor.

So based on what I know, I'll be building a quadrotor capable of handling the required payload, use the Naze32/Flip32 FC on it along with some onboard computer like the ODROID XU4 or probably the Intel NUC, and then put ROS along with the ROSflight firmware on the FC. Is that how things are done? Would such a system be flexible enough to handle a variety of projects?

I might be terribly off, please post your thoughts. Thank you for your time.

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As an engineer and hobbyist, I've built drones and ROS-based robots, but not (yet) a ROS-based quad. From my experience, the best way to start is just to start building. You've got some ideas, go and test them out. But do it one-by-one.

Arif Rahman gravatar image Arif Rahman  ( 2017-12-26 23:18:49 -0600 )edit

Thank you for your response Arif. I've bought the Naze32 and I plan to initially install and test things out on it first, and then finalize on the quadrotor specifications. Everything being funded in my individual capacity, it is an expensive build, so I don't want to go in unplanned.

Srijal gravatar image Srijal  ( 2017-12-27 13:51:44 -0600 )edit

Any news on this one? I'm looking into using a naze32 with usb from raspberry pi

jacksonkr_ gravatar image jacksonkr_  ( 2018-07-30 20:15:12 -0600 )edit