InventUAV Gazebo simulation for Arduplane and ArduCopter


According to Chris Anderson, August, 27 2015, on DIY Drones:

The future of robotics development, including drones, is powerful simulation, which makes it possible to achieve faster development and better performance by reducing the “trial and error” process of testing everything with physical machines. The Dronecode projects have long used a number of powerful drone-specific simulators, including both “hardware-in-the-loop” (HITL) and “software-in-the-loop” (SITL) programs.

But as drone simulation goes beyond simply simulating the drone itself and extends to simulating an entire robotic system, including swarming, pathfinding, environmental awareness and autonomous mapping and navigation without GPS, you need even more powerful tools.

The gold standard for advanced robotics simulation is the ROS/Gazebo package, which is now supported by ArduPilot as part of the Dronecode project (ROS is the Robot Operating System, created by the Open Source Robotics Foundation, which is part of Dronecode).“

InventUAV (Patrice Lelaisant, Aurélien Roy and Maxime Lafleur) as a development team around innovative UAV applications, now moves a step forward in ArduCopter and ArduPlane with Gazebo simulation. We achieved a stable and robust simulation with real-time behavior based on the initial efforts of ETH Zurich and Alexander Buyval from Bryansk State Technical University. To demonstrate the capabilities of the simulator, we have developed two new functionalities:

– a new autopilot Flight Mode: the Wall-Follow mode for vertical inspection.

– a realistic parachute feature as an example of dynamic model

In our vision this simulator will become an integral part of the V-model toolchain for UAV engineers, especially to:

  • prototype new designs for specific applications, and virtually test various combinations of sensor payloads and flight modes before moving to real hardware ;

  • debug in real-time Ardupilot, and even the communication between Ground Stations and the autopilot ;

  • ultimately validate functions are well-behaved.

Besides conception usefulness, the simulator is also very helpful for new pilots to train on RC piloting, or for veterans to hone their skills in parameter tuning and optimizations. Full capabilities of the Autopilot could now be used. In-field risky tests are no more needed!

Furthermore, we can imagine the simulation on industrial applications, Geomatics or even Agriculture applications, to optimize distances or precision with real-time motion of your UAV. The simulator also allows you to customize the environment with georeferenced 3D objects. With these features you can afford countless experiments with your UAV.

Aurélien ROY ([email protected])

Maxime LAFLEUR ([email protected])

We are also looking for new opportunities. Feel free to send us an email.

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