We have prepared a new stable release of the Companion computer software. A comprehensive list of changes can be found in the release notes, and here are the highlights:
Hotplugging support and process status information
We have added hotplugging support for the autopilot, camera, and USB cable. The devices will automatically be detected and configured when they are plugged in. In the past, a system reboot would be required if one of these devices were to come loose and unplugged. This function also helps a lot with bench testing and development! Additionally, a list of each of the Companion computer’s active services and detected devices has been added to the system page. Here, you can check that everything is running as it should, and you will be able to determine if a cable has been unplugged or come loose. This feature helps a lot with troubleshooting and debugging system issues.
Network configuration options
Two new Ethernet network configuration options have been added to Companion: DHCP Server and DHCP Client modes. DHCP Client mode is useful for connecting the ROV to a network through a router. DHCP Server mode is useful for connecting the ROV to many computers without reconfiguring each computer’s network options. These options and the existing static IP reassignment have been hidden by default now; you will need to click the ‘Enable Advanced Options’ slider in the header to view them.
System log download and version information
A button has been added to the bottom of the system page that will download the webui system log on the /system page. This is normally only necessary upon request during technical support, but feel free to take a look!
The current version of Companion has been added to the header, and the current version of ArduSub running on the autopilot has been added to the system page. Now you know!
Persistent log storage and faster attitude updates
Previously, telemetry logs were stored on the companion computer, but would be overwritten after each boot. Now, all of the telemetry logs are stored on the vehicle in the ~/telemetry/logs directory. Attitude (roll, pitch, heading) updates have been sent at 4Hz, now they will be sent at 20Hz. The result is a much smoother look and feel to the artifical horizon and compass indicators in QGC.
Preliminary support for the upcoming Ping Echosounder
This is all we will mention for now, but you may be sure that it is coming, and when it does, it will be plug and play!
To perform the update:
- Plug a fully charged battery into the ROV and connect the tether to your computer.
- Navigate to 192.168.2.2:2770 in your browser and ensure that the ROV has access to a WiFi network. If you do not see a webpage at this address, you need to perform the update according to the instructions here .
- Navigate to 192.168.2.2:2770/system . Click the button that says ‘Update companion’.
- Scroll down the page to see the update progress in the text window. The update process will take between 5 and 20 minutes depending on the Internet connection speed. Wait for the update process to complete.
- When it completes, refresh your browser. The companion version should now be 0.0.16.
- If the update fails (usually due to a loss of internet connectivity), you will be warned that the ROV will reboot and to leave the battery plugged in. At this point, once you are able to refresh the webpage, it is safe to either power down the ROV or attempt the update again.
- Finally, to apply the new options for faster telemetry and persistent logs, navigate to http://192.168.2.2:2770/mavproxy page and click ‘Restore Default Options’ (you will see the new options appear). You will need to restart QGC to see the faster update rates.