Aloha Blue Buddies! It’s your boy Jacob here to drop of another round of software updates! . We have updates for the whole trifecta this time: ArduSub, Companion, and QGC. In this post, I’ll describe the updates, and all of the installation instructions will follow at the end:
ArduSub v3.5.4 (release notes)
This release carries one major update: the performance in Depth Hold mode is significantly improved, particularly when transitioning from a vertical maneuver to holding the current depth. Those who update will experience a much more stable and natural feeling depth control that is easier to operate. If you enjoy it, you can pass compliments to the wonderful chef @patrickelectric for preparing the improvement!
Pictured below, depth hold target transition in ArduSub v3.5.3. There is significant overshoot and ‘bounce back’ on the order of 20~30cm!. Fine depth control is impossible. The vertical scale is mm.
Pictured below, depth hold target transition in ArduSub v3.5.4. The overshoot has been reduced to ~2cm, and the pilot can achieve very fine centimeter-level control of the depth target. The vertical scale is mm.
We aren’t finished improving yet! We will be providing fine tuned parameter files that will provide further optimized control and performance for your BlueROV2.
QGroundControl v3.5.0 (release notes)
You might have noticed, QGC and ArduPilot were originally designed with flying vehicles in mind. Blue Robotics has developed the support for submersible vehicles like our BlueROV2 in ArduPilot that we know as ArduSub. Since then, we have been working on developing the support for ArduSub in QGC. This includes things like recording video to the hard drive, improving joystick support, and support for the Water Linked underwater GPS system. In the past, we have been providing our own builds of QGC in order to quickly address the needs of ArduSub users. Now, we have developed adequate ArduSub support in QGC, and our newest software engineer @WillianGalvani has been working heroically the last several months to bring our QGC modifications ‘upstream’ to the mainline codebase.
This update does not carry any significant feature updates for ArduSub users, it is a stability update with thousands of code changes since version 3.2.4. This update will allow us to benefit from the efforts of many other developers that are improving QGC. Refer to the release notes for details.
Companion v0.0.17 (release notes)
This update primarily addresses two matters:
- add support for using Water Linked underwater GPS system with QGC v3.5.0
- bugfix issue where camera settings are not saved/loaded correctly
- 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 on the page to see the update progress appear in the text window
- The update process will take between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the Internet connection speed. Wait for the update process to complete. When it completes, the browser will refresh
- The companion version should now be 0.0.17
- 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
First, uninstall QGC from your computer. Then, download and install the new version of QGC:
There are a few notes to be aware of in the QGC transition:
- Audio streaming is removed until a subsequent update
- Your application settings will be reset to defaults, so you will need to configure the video feed and your telemetry:
- On the Fly Page (click the paper airplane), you may click the gear icon next to the compass to select the voltage, current and other telemetry data that you would like to be presented in the main piloting interface
- If the joystick icon at the top of the screen is red, you will need to re-calibrate and enable your joystick on the Joystick Page
- Those ROVs equipped with Water Linked systems will need to use companion 0.0.17 or later to work with QGC 3.5.0
- The record button has moved to the instrument panel:
- Power on your ROV and connect it to your computer
- Navigate to 192.168.2.2:2770/network and ensure that the ROV has an internet connection
- Navigate to 192.168.2.2:2770/system. Click the button under the ‘Pixhawk Firmware Update’ section that says ‘Stable’
- Wait for the update process to complete, and you are finished!