GAPTER: ROS Tutorials

Controlling Gapter MAVROS

In this tutorial, we will provide the main steps to follow to configure MAVROS and to control Gapter using ROS terminal commands.

Configuring Desktop with MAVROS

Prerequisites: Tested on ubuntu 14.04 with ROS Indigo installed

Installing MAVROS

  • Open the terminal in your desktop and install the following
user $: sudo apt-get install python-catkin-tools python-rosinstall-generator
  • Create a workspace
user $: mkdir -p ~/catkin_ws/src
user $: cd ~/catkin_ws
/catkin_ws $: catkin init
/catkin_ws $: wstool init src
  • Get source (upstream – released)
/catkin_ws $: rosinstall_generator --upstream-development mavros | tee /tmp/mavros.rosinstall
  • install latest released mavlink package
/catkin_ws $: rosinstall_generator mavlink | tee -a /tmp/mavros.rosinstall workspace & deps
/catkin_ws $: wstool merge -t src /tmp/mavros.rosinstall
/catkin_ws $: wstool update -t src
/catkin_ws $: rosdep install --from-paths src --ignore-src --rosdistro indigo -y finally – build
/catkin_ws $: catkin build

ROS Network configuration

Before controlling Gapter using ROS, you should first configure ROS network in your desktop.

  • Open bashrc in your desktop
1. user $: sudo gedit ~/.bashrc
  • Add these lines at the end
1. export
2. export ROS_MASTER_URI=

where is your desktop’s ip address and is gapter’s ip address.

For more comprehensive tutorial on Network Configuration on ROS, refer to Network Configuration

Controling Gapter using MAVROS

In this tutorial, we will control Gapter using MAVROS. For this you don’t have to install MAVROS on your desktop, but rather on Gapter, because we control Gapter via ssh with Gapter’s onboard computer (Odroid XU4).

Follow these steps:

  • First, connect to the WiFi gapternet from your desktop which will be shown in Wi-Fi list. If prompt for password type gapteredu
  • Open the terminal and connect to Gapter’s computer by typing following
user $: ssh gapter@

If prompts for password, type gapteredu


Before controlling Gapter, parameters need to be changed based on indoor or outdoor operation

  • Now in the same terminal type following to start mavproxy ground station:
odroid $: --master=/dev/ttyUSB0 --baudrate 57600 --out 192.168.x.xx:5000  --aircraft MyCopter

You must enter your desktop’s IP address in place of 192.168.x.xx

  • You can notice heartbeat form Gapter which shows mavlink has been connected
  • Type these lines in the same terminal where you can see MAV> tab on left side

For outdoor operation

MAV> load param /home/gapter/gapter_param/outdoor.param

For indoor operation

MAV> load param /home/gapter/gapter_param/indoor.param
  • Once parameters loaded you can stop mavlink by pressing ctrl+c
  • In the same terminal launch mavros to connect Gapter using mavros
gapter $ : roslaunch ros_gapter bringup_minimal.launch

Type your desktop ip address in place of

  • Gapter should be in GUIDED mode to control it from desktop.

  • Follow these steps in a new terminal.

    • You should ssh to gapter before running following lines.

    • This is to arm Gapter

      • gapter $: rosrun mavros mavsafety arm

You can see Gapter’s propellers are rotating

  • Change Gapter’s mode to GUIDED mode

    • gapter $: rosrun mavros mavsys mode -c GUIDED
  • For takeoff at 3 meters height from current positione

    • gapter $: rosrun mavros mavcm takeoffcur 0 0 3
  • For landing Gapter

    • gapter $: rosrun mavros mavsys mode -c Land