Software Updates April 2020

Aloha BLUE BUDDIES :ocean: :earth_americas:! Over the past months, @williangalvani, @patrickelectric and @tomaz have put a ton of effort into improving our software packages, and today I’m excited to announce that we have finally prepared a big round of software updates! Below are the highlights and update instructions for each package that has been updated; please follow the instructions and updates in the order that they appear. You can find out more about the development of these features, as well as some demonstrations in our earlier post about Software Beta Test.

QGC v4.0.5


  • Support for ArduSub 4.0 and automatic motor test procedure
  • Architectural improvements in video streaming
  • Video streaming will use hardware decoding where available
  • New joystick setup UI

Update instructions

To update, download and install from one of the links below:

Companion v0.0.20


  • New MAVLink to REST API
  • New Ping-Viewer integration
    • Ping360 scanning sonar display will get heading updates from the vehicle to keep the ping-viewer display oriented nose-forward
  • Fix Ping1D firmware update via Companion web interface
  • Improve underwater GPS integration stability
  • ArduSub 4.0 support
  • Navigator board support

Update instructions

Companion software release notes are here. To perform a companion update update:

  • Plug a fully charged battery into the ROV and connect the tether to your computer.
  • Navigate to 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 Click the button that says ‘Update companion’. If you do not see this button, then the companion software is up to date.
  • 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 be updated, and the update available message should no longer appear.
  • 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.

ArduSub v4.0.1


  • Over 10000 new commits (catching up with other vehicles 4.0 releases).
  • The Real Time Operating System (RTOS) is now ChibiOs instead of NuttX .
  • Added a new option for automatic detection of the thrusters directions , making setup easier .
  • Heavy frames can now roll/tilt to arbitrary attitudes (even upside down ).
  • Depth Hold is now working with arbitrary attitudes.
  • Depth Hold and Stabilize modes now hold the attitude at which they were enabled.
  • Roll-Pitch toggle mode now use the inputs as rate targets instead of position targets.
  • In Roll-Pitch Toggle mode, the Center Mount button now levels the ROV.
  • Support depth setpoints via MAVlink in Depth-Hold mode.
  • Support attitude setpoints via MAVlink in Depth-Hold and Stabilize modes.
  • Support for setting MAVLink message intervals .
  • Navigator board support.
  • Many improvements to SITL (Software In The Loop simulator for developers) so its behavior better resembles that of a real ROV.

Update instructions

An autopilot installed on a vehicle like the BlueROV2 can be updated remotely via the companion computer web interface:

  • Power on your ROV and connect it to your computer
  • Navigate to and ensure that the ROV has an internet connection
  • Navigate to Click the button under the ‘Pixhawk Firmware Update’ section that says ‘Stable’.
  • Wait for the update process to complete, and you are finished!

Ardusub 4.0 requires QGC 4.0 or greater to operate.

Update companion to v0.0.20 before updating ardusub to make sure that you get the latest version

Ping Viewer v2.1.0


  • New Ping360 chart rotation
    • Ping360 chart will be rotated with BlueROV body frame
  • Decrease Ping360 scan time
  • Improve Ping360 chart and A-Scan resolution
  • Better GPU hardware compatibility, lower CPU and GPU usage
  • Save previous manual connection configurations for device manager
  • Fix Ping360 detection with multiple network interfaces

Update instructions

To update, download and install from one of the links below:

Ping Echosounder v3.28


  • support for baudrates 9600 - 2M in a single firmware
  • automatic baudrate detection after serial line break
  • support continuous output of ‘simple distance’ message for low-bandwidth systems

Update instructions (standalone - direct connection to pc)

Follow our upgrade firmware instructions here

Update instructions (installed on BlueROV2)

  • power on and connect to your BlueROV2 with the Ping Echsounder installed
  • download the firmware file
  • navigate to in a browser
  • click ‘upload’ and select the firmware file we downloaded
  • click ‘flash’
  • wait for the procedure to complete

A post was split to a new topic: ArduSub direct motor control

Great work Team :clap: :clap:

A post was split to a new topic: QGC 4.0 text items not visible

2 posts were split to a new topic: Companion update not working

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Auto-altitude control

6 posts were split to a new topic: Feedback for Ping Viewer 2.1.0

6 posts were split to a new topic: Companion update unavailable

A post was split to a new topic: QGC 4.0 feedback

5 posts were split to a new topic: MAVLink REST API not working after 0.0.20 update

Hi, we’ve found it difficult to handle all of the various feedback in a single thread. I have moved the feedback we received here into their own individual topics, and this thread will be locked.

Please open a new topic to report issues or ask questions regarding the software updates.