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Which quadrotor has the best ROS support?

asked 2011-02-16 14:06:17 -0500

Yogi gravatar image

updated 2014-01-28 17:09:10 -0500

ngrennan gravatar image

We are looking to buy a quadrotor, and I was wondering which quadrotor is currently best supported by ros.

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mmwise gravatar image mmwise  ( 2011-02-17 09:33:52 -0500 )edit

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answered 2011-02-16 15:06:00 -0500

The only quadrotors I'm aware of with ROS support are the Ascending Technologies Pelican (and Hummingbird, in theory anyway) and the Parrot AR.Drone. For the AscTec, there are drivers available in ccny-ros-pkg and a higher level systems and control framework in starmac-ros-pkg (which, for the AscTec, uses the asctec_drivers stack in ccny-ros-pkg for communicating with the hardware).

I believe that there is some AR.Drone support in the ardrone_driver package though I have no personal experience with it. The design of starmac-ros-pkg is such that it should be adaptable to different quadrotors--right now that support is limited to AscTec (and a generic quadrotor in simulation) but we expect that to widen to others, possibly including the AR.Drone and/or PixHawk -- see this

I have also seen 'ROS' and 'PixHawk' together in the same sentence in a few places though I'm not sure how deep the integration goes. There is this webpage, though I'm not sure if that represents the latest word on the matter. Hopefully someone on that project could provide more insight.

Hope this helps. Please have a look at starmac-ros-pkg (full disclosure: I'm a member of the project!) to see if it might meet your needs; as I mentioned it's meant to be a general framework for quadrotors though necessarily its development has been geared towards current needs within our lab.

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I wouldn't say that the AR.Drone is a very capable platform. I've worked with one, and the available payload is a bit low to add any additional sensing capabilities. Also, you can't even touch the on board computer, last I checked, so that's another limitation.
mjcarroll gravatar image mjcarroll  ( 2011-02-16 21:27:29 -0500 )edit

Is it also possible to simulate them within ROS?

kr1zz gravatar image kr1zz  ( 2013-04-21 23:19:15 -0500 )edit

answered 2011-02-16 14:59:16 -0500

joq gravatar image

updated 2011-02-16 14:59:42 -0500

I don't know which is best, but those who are interested can find links to several Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with ROS support.

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answered 2011-02-16 16:18:42 -0500

The asctec_autopilot from ccny node is a 'plug and play' package to set up communication with your Asctec vehicle! It's the only (but decent) Linux driver I'm aware of for those heli's.



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Asked: 2011-02-16 14:06:17 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 16 '11