Gapter Brain Software Suite

In this tutorial, we present the different software frameworks that come pre-installed in Gapter Brain.

Note

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • software framework of the Gapter brain
  • how to install a new software in Gapter brain

For any query, please feel free to post your questions in the Gaitech EDU Forum

First, before being able to develop or deploy any program in Gapter Brain, you need to connect to it. Depending on the wireless mode, you can connect to Gapter by following instructions in GAPTER: Network Configuration and Connection. Then, you will have access to the software development frameworks of Gapter, which are presented in what follows.

The Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Operating System (OS)

Gapter brain comes with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS operating system pre-installed.

Robot Operating System (ROS)

ROS is the defacto standard for developing software and applications for robots, including drones. ROS is already installed in Gapter. It can be located in this folder /opt/ros/. To know the version of ROS installed on your Gapter, you can perform the following command

Then, you will see the folder name which presents the ROS version. The default ROS version is indigo.

If you want to install another version of ROS on Gapter Brain, then make sure that you are connected to it in WiFi infrastructre mode as illustrated in the tutorial GAPTER: Network Configuration and Connection and that you are connected to the Internet. Then, you can install ROS by following the ROS tutorials (for Ubuntu 14.04 OS) installation instructions of ROS Indigo, then you must configure your ROS environment The installation of ROS on Odroid XU4 is similar to installing it on any other computer with Ubuntu 14.04 OS.

The default catkin workspace is located in /home/gapter/catkin_ws folder. You can create new ROS packages in /home/gapter/catkin_ws/src/ as illustrated in the tutorial Creating a ROS Package .

To edit/create ROS programs, you can use the nano editor in command line terminal direcltly on Odroid XU4. If this is not enough convinient, then you can develop your ROS programs locally on your computer machine, and test them; then transfer the file to appropriate folder in the catkin workspace and ROS package. You can use FTP client to transfer files from your computer to Gapter (e.g. FileZilla or others), or you can transfer through using a USB device.

Tip

Note that you can run your programs first on Gapter simulator (see tutorial GAPTER: Simulation) to make sure that they work as expected before running them on the real Gapter drone.

Tip

We already provide a sample of ROS programs on Gapter brain, which are available in the folder /home/gapter/catkin_ws/src/gaitech_edu/src/gapter/. You can run and test these programs by following the GAPTER: ROS Tutorials.

MAVProxy

MAVProxy is a lightweight terminal command ground station that supports the MAVLink protocol. You can get more details about * MAVProxy. MAVProxy comes pre-installed into Odroid XU4 computer of the Gapter Brain. It allows to connect to the Pizhawk autopilot through a serial link to get all the status of the autopilot through MAVLink message. In addition, MAVProxy allows to broadcast MAVLink messages through WiFi connection using either UDP or TCP. Thus, MAVLink message can be broadcasted through the Internet, which can be processed by cloud platforms such as the Dronemap Planner cloud-based drone management system.

DroneKit

DroneKit helps creating applications for drones using the Ardupilot autopilot. It supports both Python and Android programming languages. DroneKit comes pre-installed in Gapter Brain. You can locate the DroneKit folder in path /home/gapter/dronekit/. Examples in Python are available in the folder /home/gapter/dronekit/dronekit-python/examples/