Multiple Vehicle Operations with QGroundControl


I have multiple BlueROV2s and I’d like to control them at the same time through QGroundControl. Do you know if this can be done?

Ideally I’d like to move one into a location, then switch to the other one to move it into a different location.


It is possible, but it is a developmental feature of QGC, and you would have to disable the pilot input failsafes of ArduSub which I do not recommend in any case.

I have a similar requirement, although for a USV rather than sub. All that is required is to provide way points to several USVs, have them go there, then loiter. Then repeat that, perhaps every half hour. Telemetry requirements in the opposite direction are minimal - just safety data such as state of charge & confirmation of position at low frequency. I’d like to use LoRa as the carrier but don’t see any mission planner that will allow this. Any suggestions? I’m happy to “disable the pilot input failsafes” but don’t see how to even use QGroundControl in this mode.

We have done this with ground rovers as a proof of concept for a 6 vehicle marine USV swarm. We are using some custom 900mhz radios in a mesh network configuration for communication and telemetry. For software we are using Mission Planner, not QGCS, I am much more familiar with this software. Here is a link to a demo in action, but excuse the poor cinematography…note the exceptional DeltaRov HCU we used as a joystick!


Hi Trevor, welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

I haven’t personally had to do this yet so it’s a bit out of my depth. I’ve flagged it internally and you should get a response shortly :slight_smile:

@MoretonBayKiting just updating to say I’ve been chasing this up over the past week but @jwalser and @williangalvani (the engineers most likely to be able to answer it) have been super busy lately. I’ve pinged them again internally and am hoping you get a response by Tuesday.

I’ve just re-read your comment a few extra times to see if I can provide any extra info. I’ve noted that you’re specifically after USVs, so it’s likely relevant to use ArduRover rather than ArduSub. I just had a look on the general ArduPilot forums, and found this post that you and Andrew have been quite active in. I would imagine you’re more likely to have decent results in the ArduRover or QGroundControl categories on the ArduPilot forums. This post seems like it could be useful. Also, perhaps the following search results yield something useful?

Many of the posts there are trivially dismissible from being unrelated, but quite a few also looked like they could be promising.

Also, not sure if @FairweatherIT have any additional tips or advice given they’ve clearly done something like what you’re wanting to achieve.

Thanks @EliotBR. I’ll look into those suggestions. Most I’ve seen, eg that by @FairweatherIT, require custom solutions. Clearly some customisation will be necessary. But I have no radio control background so would prefer to avoid radio customisation if possible. I hope I’ll be able to use LoRa modules (yes, a particular radio customisation…) and make a local LoRaWAN. Given our very simple requirements, I may do it without using a GCS. The MAVLink library should allow a custom front end that’s not too difficult. I remain interested in any feedback/thoughts.

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Hi @MoretonBayKiting ,

I believe both QGroundControl and MAVProxy should be able to handle multiple surface vehicles (remember to set different vehicle ids for each vehicle).
You should be able to make a mission that repeats itself, start all the vehicles, and then just monitor everything from QGC/MAVProxy.

Setting-up the MAVLink communications and all the vehicles may be annoying, but it is definitely possible.

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I’m working on a project that uses both a BlueROV and an aerial drone. Would the Blue Robotics version of QGC potentially work with these vehicles?

Hi @natetoombs, welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

That sounds awesome! Would be really cool if you’re able to post some updates as you progress in our Dive Log and/or Build categories :smiley:

Our recommended version of QGC is just a previous release of the normal QGC application, until we’ve tested and implemented any required updates to make the latest version work correctly with ArduSub. When any version of QGC is run it detects the connected vehicle type and auto-adjusts the GUI to display the relevant parameters and options available for that vehicle type.

Given you’re trying to use two different vehicle types at the same time, I’m not sure how that would go, especially if you’re trying to control both of them. I imagine it’s likely to cause at least some issues since the parameters and commands won’t be consistent across the types (although maybe QGC is smart enough to show/enable both sets? Haven’t tried it so not sure). The main alternative that springs to mind would be running two instances of QGC, but as far as I’m aware that can’t be done on the same computer (not sure why unfortunately) unless you’re running two operating systems (e.g. I can run a second instance in a virtual machine).

For a more complete response I’d suggest you ask on the broader ArduPilot forum, since they will have actually used multi-vehicle control, and may have experience doing so with multiple vehicle types simultaneously.

Feel free to discuss any follow-ups you’ve got here or we can pull this to a separate topic, and if you do make a topic/thread on the ArduPilot forum then you can post a link here if you want and I can try to monitor that and chime in if anything ArduSub specific comes up. I’m @EliotBR there as well, so if you’d prefer you can tag me instead/as well, and if I can’t answer something I’ll ask the relevant software engineer from our team to get in touch :slight_smile:

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Thank you for the quick response!

I followed your suggestion and made a post on the ArduPilot forum, found here. I can throw any information I find in this topic as well. Thanks for the help!

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