Installing/Setting up ROS¶
You will need to install ROS on both the companion computer and the 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 and ROS Melodic releases are supported, with the recommended operating system being Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 respectively. If storage and/or hardware resources are limited on your companion computer, you can install the bare-bones ROS package (e.g.
ros-kinetic-ros-base) instead of the full desktop version.
You will need to install the ROSflight packages on both the companion computer and the base station computer. The companion computer will run the node that actually communicates with the flight controller over a serial connection, while the base station needs the message and service definitions to be able to call services or subscribe and publish to topics.
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 repositories, as described in the ROS installation guide, you can install rosflight using the following, inserting the name of the ROS release you are using (e.g. "kinetic" or "melodic"):
sudo apt install ros-<ros_release>-rosflight-pkgs
The previous command will install all of the rosflight packages, including the Gazebo simulation packages. If installing on a companion computer with limited resources, you can instead install only
sudo apt install ros-<ros_release>-rosflight
If you prefer, or if binary packages are not available for your distribution or system architecture, you can install the ROSflight packages from source instead. First, set up a
catkin workspace by following the directions here.
In order to ensure that new terminal windows are configured to use this workspace, you can add the line
source ~/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash to your
~/.bashrc file or its equivalent on other systems. (Change the path if your workspace is located somewhere other than
Next, download the source code into your workspace. Assuming that your workspace is located at
cd ~/catkin_ws/src git clone https://github.com/rosflight/rosflight.git
rosflightmetapackage, so you have to remember the
cd rosflight git submodule update --init --recursive
cd ~/catkin_ws/src rosdep -y install --ignore-src --from-path rosflight
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/ttyACM0
/dev/ttyACM0with the port your flight controller is connected to. The
rosflight_ionode 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/ttyACM0"/> </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.
As of Jetpack 4.2, with the CTI-L4T patch installed to use the TX2 mounted on a CTI Orbitty carrier board, the three drivers mentioned here are installed out of the box.
It is likely that your Flip32/Naze32 board doesn't work correctly out of the box with the TX2. To fix this, you need to build some drivers in with the kernel. This process is pretty straight-forward.
To build the kernel with additional USB drivers, follow the instructions and video found here. This video shows the CH341 module being added. However, there are a few additional drivers you will likely require. These include:
- USB Winchiphead CH341 Single Port Serial Driver
- USB Modem (CDC ACM) support
- USB CP210x family of UART Bridge Controllers
After following the instructions to add these drivers, reboot your TX2 and your USB devices should show up in /dev/ttyUSB