A few primer questions on Cockpit

First off, well done on Cockpit. It looks fantastic - and I look forward to trying it out on the water soon!

Some basis questions:

  1. You mention it will be web-based or capable of running as an application. What’s the underlying technology for this? Supported platforms/OS? In evaluating Cockpit vs. QT/QGroundControl as a software base for our own (open source) development work we’ll likely need to know this.
  2. Love the screen/widgets approach. I take it there’ll be support for us to develop our own custom widgets (?)
  3. In terms of an MVP as drop-in replacement for QGC - and I haven’t tested it in the water yet: it looks great but the major missing piece would be telemetry logging. Ideally configurable by variable as per QGC. Is this on the features list? Got a time frame?

Keep up the awesome work guys!

1 Like

Hi @PeterM,

Thanks! It’s not fully featured yet, but hopefully your testing goes well :slight_smile:

The interface is Vue-based, which is packaged up into

  • a BlueOS extension that can serve it
    • this can be accessed via a web browser (Chrome recommended) that has network access to the vehicle
  • an Electron app that can run on common operating systems
    • we automatically generate application binaries for Linux / macOS / Windows as part of the release process

It’s perhaps worth noting that Cockpit is currently reliant on web-based access to the MAVLink stream and WebRTC video streams, which are provided by MAVLink2REST and MAVLinkCameraManager in BlueOS, so it’s currently not straightforward to connect to a non-BlueOS vehicle, even when using one of the Electron app binaries.

So do we!

Absolutely. It’s currently only possible to add widgets via the Cockpit codebase, but the longer term intent is to support some form of dynamic widget loading, at which point it will be possible to design freestanding widgets that can be shared with others as downloadable add-ons.

Yes, telemetry logging is a planned feature, but no fixed time frame for it at the moment.

In the interim it might be sufficient to use the DataFlash logs from the autopilot. They should be accessible (and viewable) via the BlueOS Log Browser. Note that recorded data uses a different structure (and higher frequency) compared to the directly recorded MAVLink messages that QGC stores in its .tlog telemetry log files.

Could you clarify what you mean by this?

As I understand it QGC’s telemetry logging stores all the MAVLink messages it receives, and the only configuration options are for the stream group rates from the vehicle, as well as optionally saving the telemetry data in .csv files instead of only .tlog files.

If I’m remembering correctly it does record only the currently displayed telemetry values in the .ass subtitle files that are used as overlays for video recordings, but those are not the telemetry logs.

@EliotBR we’ve also been enjoying using Cockpit in some initial testing. Looks really encouraging. One thing we have noticed is the latency on the video stream - this to us is a critical factor. Any views on why it maybe high and also inconsistent. The UI and configurability is great but if the latency isn’t low / consistent then it procludes it’s use in piloting. Direct comparison to QGC sees a marked difference on the same ROV system.
I would also encourage focus on the recording of videos with telemetry data as per the ass file in QGC, that’s vital for most of our use cases.

Exciting times, and looking forward to seeing it progress.