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BlueROV ROS Package Updates

(Josh) #1

Hey all,

We are making some major changes to the bluerov-ros-pkg layout and I wanted to introduce those here. The biggest changes are:

  1. The repository itself is no longer a package but contains two packages: bluerov and bluerov_apps. The bluerov package contains the launch files to turn on the sub and get it into an ideal state. It also contains the robot description information including models and transforms. The bluerov_apps package contains applications like teleop_joy. This separation allows folks to opt out of the bluerov package if they are using a custom ROV. It also lets folks opt out of the bluerov_apps package if they which to avoid the larger list of dependancies that that package will require.

  2. We have moved away from the APM autopilot + APM stack for internal development and are trying out the Pixhawk autopilot + APM stack. The primary motivation for this is because the APM software stack stopped supporting the APM autopilot a long time ago. Since the last version of the APM software which ran on the APM autopilot had major differences with which mavlink messages they supported compared to the latest APM software, the BlueROV ROS package now only supports the latest APM:Sub software which does not work on the APM autopilot.

  3. Documentation is moving from markdown files within the repository and readthedocs to the ROS wiki. The readthedocs.org page has been turned off. Along with this, we will be pushing the BlueROV ROS package through the normal ROS distribution channels, so you should be able to do “sudo apt-get install ros-indigo-bluerov” in the future.

We’d love for you to try this new software out for yourself. We also encourage contributing back through our github repositories.

Questions? Comments? Please let us know!


(Jacob) #2

Looks great Josh. Good work on the udev rules and the teleop_joy node! I will be trying this out very soon. I am excited that this is all coming together for the pixhawk- onward!


(Josh) #3


Sounds great! I’m looking forward to a second set of eyes on this code and documentation.

Be sure to use the develop branch of the code - I usually only update master on releases.

Also, documentation is not finished but is coming along:


(mike def) #4

Hi Josh,

I recently ordered all of the recommended electronics that was referred to on the website and now it seems to be a little different. This was the original website that new seems to be defunct https://github.com/bluerobotics/bluerov-ros-pkg/blob/master/docs/index.md. Anyways I ordered the electronics as per what was used in BlueROV specifically the APM 2.6+ being changed to a Pixhawk. Should I return the APM for the Pixhawk or is the Pixhawk in addition to the APM? I am waiting on my BlueROV as some parts are on backorder and would like to have some of the electronics ready when it arrives. Thank you for your help with this.



(Josh) #5

Hey Mike,

You can still use the APM autopilot to control your BlueROV. Version 0.4.0 is the last version of the bluerov-ros-pkg that will support the APM autopilot. Future developments of our ROS package will be focused on the current APM software stack which has not supported the APM autopilot since version 3.3. (See the APM autopilot product page for details on this.)

If you do choose to purchase a newer autopilot that can run the latest APM software stack, note that we have also had success in using QGroundControl directly (without the use of ROS.) This is great because it can allow control from Windows and Mac in addition to the Linux support that our ROS package already provides. Incomplete instructions for using QGroundControl are on the APM:Sub page. Remember though that the BlueROV is sold as a developer kit - much of this software is in development and we don’t guarantee that it works yet.

Hope that helps,