Installing/setting up ROS
You will need to install ROS on both the onboard computer and base station laptop. Check out the Official ROS Installation page for details on how to do this.
Currently only the long-term support ROS kinetic release is supported, with the recommended operating system being Ubuntu 16.04. If storage is limited on your onboard computer, you can install the bare-bones ROS package (
ros-kinetic-ros-base) instead of the full desktop version.
You will need to install the rosflight packages on both your onboard computer and your base station computer. The onboard computer will run the node that actually communicates with the flight controller over the serial connection, while the base station needs the message and service definitions to be able to subscribe and publish to topics or call services.
From the apt repository
The recommended installation method for Ubuntu or Debian systems is to use the rosflight packages in the official ROS apt repositories. If you have configured your system to use these packages as described in the ROS installation guide, you can install rosflight using
sudo apt-get install ros-kinetic-rosflight-pkgs
If you prefer, or if you are unable to use the apt packages (e.g. for 64-bit ARM running on an NVIDA TX1/TX2), you can install the rosflight repositories from source instead. You will need a
catkin workspace set up. If you haven't already done this, you can create a new workspace with something like the following commands:
source /opt/ros/indigo/setup.bash cd mkdir -p catkin_ws/src cd catkin_ws/src catkin_init_workspace cd .. catkin_make source ~/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash
In order to ensure that ROS uses this workspace, you can add the last line (
source ~/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash) to your
~/.bashrc file or its equivalent on other systems. Next download the source code into your workspace
cd ~/catkin_ws/src git clone https://github.com/rosflight/rosflight.git
pull down the submodules (there is a triple-layer submodule setup in the
rosflight metapackage, so you have to remember the
cd rosflight git submodule --init --recursive
rosdep install --ignore-src rosflight cd ~/catkin_ws/src rosdep install --ignore-src --from-path rosflight
then build the packages.
cd ~/catkin_ws catkin_make
rosflight_io node is the bridge between ROS and the MAVLink communication with the flight controller. This node must be run on the computer that has the physical serial connection to your flight controller. To run this node, use something like the following command (after starting a
rosrun rosflight rosflight_io _port:=/dev/ttyUSB0
/dev/ttyUSB0 with the port your flight controller is connected to. The
rosflight_io node could also be started from within a launch file with something like
<node pkg="rosflight" type="rosflight_io" name="rosflight_io" output="screen"> <param name="port" value="/dev/ttyUSB0"/> </node>
The optional (but recommended)
output="screen" option ensures that status messages from
rosflight_io will be forwarded to the console from which you call
For details on all parameters, topics, and services related to the
rosflight_io node, refer to the documentation on the ROS wiki.