Virtual Event | September 14 - 15, 2021
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Wednesday, September 15 • 11:55am - 12:10pm
Building UGV (uncrewed ground vehicles) Automated Rovers Using PX4 - Mehar Jaiswal, AuroraNautics & Jeff Michalski, Airogistic

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QGoundControl Vehicle Setup includes support for numerous “Airframes”.  However, the term “Airframe” is a misnomer in that Dronecode™ can support many different types of autonomous vehicles including balloons, blimps, water vehicles and UGVs (unscrewed ground vehicles), better known as rovers.

This session will cover basic steps for building a UGV, Dronecode rover vehicle using the “generic rover” airframe. Covered will be the QGroundControl configuration and setup, the wiring and the software programming of the Pixhawk. We used the NXP Hovergames FMUK66 Pixhawk and paired it with the NXP i.MX8 NavQ companion computer for navigation. We will show how to setup the RC radios telemetry and the RC operator controller for the rover. In addition, we will present a demo of a robotic arm payload with discussion of applications and the Nvidia Nano on our robot.

Different types of rover propulsions and motor drive configurations will need to be supported in QGroundControl and PX4 to fill in rover support. The wide variety and selection of sensors that apply to ground vehicles, such as: cameras, LIDAR, and radars are used to navigate UGVs. This makes visual accuracy more attainable. Dronecode’s sensor support is a key advantage of using Dronecode for building Pixhawk and PX4 based UGVs. We will introduce ROS and Gazebo simulation of UGVs. We may discuss RTK GPS, MAVROS and MAVLink communication protocols and what they add in terms of capabilities specifically for the outside use of UGVs around the world.

To wrap up this session, a discussion of challenges ahead for improving the Dronecode UGV support, what can be done to improve mission accuracy, attitude control and the ability to do complex applications with PX4 UGVs as we seek collaboration to move the Dronecode UGV support forward. There are some applications that can accomplished for consumer centric autonomous vehicles such as warehouse helpers, and garbage picking. This would fall under the category of iterations of the same technology, making it more versatile.

avatar for Jeff Michalski

Jeff Michalski

Partner, Airogistic
Developed the Airogistic DroneDome automated Git CI/CD PX4 capable 24/7 test and aerial regression environment. I work on precision automated launch/land and pre-flight test for VTOL multi-rotor Drones
avatar for Mehar Jaiswal

Mehar Jaiswal

Partner, AuroraNautics
Pursuing MS/PhD in Aerospace Engineering @ the University of Texas at Austin.

Wednesday September 15, 2021 11:55am - 12:10pm PDT
Track 2
  Lightning Talks
  • Presentation Slides Included yes