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AIONio

Getting Started

AIONio is a complete system image that enables seamless advanced control of AION ROBOTICS companion computer equipped vehicles.

Companion Computer: Recommended Use:
Jetson TX2 High performance edge computing
Jetson Xavier Ultimate performance edge computing

:doc:`Jetson Hardware Info <../companion-computer>`

Running the latest release of JetPack, you'll have access to a full Ubuntu desktop and all the great features of linux. Whether developing Simultaneous Localization and Mapping applications, Deep Neural Networks, Object Detection and Tracking, AIONio provides an excellent foundation to get you going quickly.

Included:

  • Full Ubuntu Operating System
  • ROS installation
  • AIONio ROS control package
  • MavROS - MAVlink communication node
  • Telemetry and Message routing between Autopilot, Companion and remote Computers. (Serial/UDP/TCP)
  • Networking support for:
    • WLAN - WiFi
    • LAN - Ethernet, p2p, LTE
    • Serial
  • H264 video streaming
  • NVIDIA Jetpack
    • TensorRT
    • cuDNN
    • VisionWorks/OpenCV
    • CUDA
    • Multimedia API
    • L4T
    • Computer Vision

ROS Packages

Repo Package Function Status
aion_io aion_control
  • Control vehicle using cmd_vel messages
  • Publish Autopilot sensors as ROS topics
Complete
aion_io aion_descriptions
  • Vehicle URDFs and Mesh Files
Complete
aion_io aion_simulator
  • Gazebo Config and launch files
  • Simple Teleop node for using a playstation Controller
Complete

AION ROBOTICS GitHub

Add on packages are available for purchase from AION ROBOTICS

Calibrate Autopilot

UGV Instructions [HERE]

The calibration example is provided using Mission Planner Ground Control Station [HERE]

Vehicle Bringup

  1. Power on the vehicle
  2. Connect to the WiFi network with a host computer.

Tip

The name of the network is AIONio- plus the last four hexadecimal digits of the vehicles unique mac address. For example: AIONio-c71a

  1. The default passphrase to connect to the network is aionrobotics

4. Open a terminal and ssh to the UGV over wireless network:

ssh -X aion@10.0.1.128

Username aion

Password aion

5. launch AIONio:

cd ~/AIONio_ws
roslaunch aion_control aion_io.launch
  1. Verify Autopilot sensors are streaming to ROS:
  • To view GPS location:
rostopic echo /mavros/global_position/global
  • To view a list of all ROS topics:
rostopic list
  • To view the output of any topic:
rostopic echo <topic_name>
  1. Follow the appropriate vehicle control guide below.

UGV Control

1. Arm the vehicle:

rosrun mavros mavsafety arm

Note

Vehicle must have a GPS lock to arm in autonomous modes. Documentation for GPS denied/indoor navigation coming soon.

Tip

You can also Arm using an RC transmitter or GCS such as AION ROBOTICS C3, Mission Planner etc. For instructions see vehicle specific documentation.

2. Change vehicle mode:

rosrun mavros mavsys mode -c GUIDED
Control Mode Function
MANUAL
  • Manual control of the vehicle
AUTO
  • Begin ArduPilot Point-N-Click waypoint mission
GUIDED
  • ROS control of Autopilot

For full MavROS documentation see [HERE]

3. To move the vehicle, we must publish cmd_vel messages. Open another terminal, connect to the vehicle and launch rqt:

rqt
  1. Add topic to publisher:

/mavros/setpoint_velocity/cmd_vel

geometry_msgs/Twist

cmd_vel

  1. Under the rqt "Plugins" tab, select "Publishers>Robot Steering"

Warning

UGV will move when you output cmd_vel! Be ready to hit stop!

Note

This example control tool works by publishing cmd_vel messages which MavROS is subscribed to. cmd_vel messages are used to physically control the UGV in the real world and serve as the base for you to build advanced integrations from.

Copter Control

Warning

ROS control of UAS is for advanced users only. Serious risk of injury or property damage! Read these instructions in full several times before attempting to execute in real life. Safe operation is the responsibility of the user.

1. Change aircraft mode:

rosrun mavros mavsys mode -c GUIDED
Control Mode Function
LOITER
  • GPS/Alt stabilized manual flight
RTL
  • Return to location when first Armed
GUIDED
  • ROS control of Autopilot
LAND
  • Lands the aircraft

2. To control the vehicle while in flight, we must publish cmd_vel messages. Open another terminal, connect to the vehicle and launch rqt

rqt
  1. Add topic to publisher:

/mavros/setpoint_velocity/cmd_vel

geometry_msgs/Twist

cmd_vel

  1. Under the rqt "Plugins" tab, select "Publishers>Robot Steering".

Note

This example control tool works by publishing cmd_vel messages which MavROS is subscribed to. cmd_vel messages are used to physically control the UGV in the real world and serve as the base for you to build advanced integrations from. You will use this tool to move the aircraft in flight.

Warning

PROPS WILL BEGIN SPINNING WHEN ARMED!

5. Return to the first terminal to Arm the vehicle:

rosrun mavros mavsafety arm

Warning

PROPS WILL BEGIN SPINNING WHEN ARMED!

Note

Vehicle must have a GPS lock to arm. Documentation for GPS denied/indoor navigation coming soon.

Tip

You can also Arm using an RC transmitter or GCS such as AION ROBOTICS C3, Mission Planner etc. For instructions see vehicle specific documentation.

6. To take off:

rosrun mavros mavcmd takeoff

You will use the "Robot Steering" sliders to move vehicle during flight.

Warning

Vehicle will move when you output cmd_vel! Be ready to return slider to zero position to stop! This is a primitive control example only and should NOT be used for normal operation.

7. To land:

rosrun mavros mavcmd land

Useful Tools

  • To visualize all active nodes/topics:
rqt_graph

Tip

To use rqt_graph remotely without setting up ROS networking, you may want to export the TX2 display to your remote machine.

To do so:

export DISPLAY=:10

Complete list of ROS tools [HERE]

Running ROS remotely

AION ROBOTICS vehicles ship with ROS networking configured as Master. You can run ROS nodes and programs such as rviz on a remote computer by installing ROS and configuring it to use the vehicle as Master.

To point the remote computer to the vehicle (ROS Master) add the following lines to its .bashrc file:

export ROS_MASTER_URI=http://IP_OF_VEHICLE:11311
export ROS_HOSTNAME=IP_OF_THIS_COMPUTER

If you are using Ubuntu, you can substitute IP_OF_VEHICLE with the hostname of your vehicle. The hostname is the same as the WiFi network name followed by .local.

Following our previous example above, the hostname would be AIONio-c71a.local. Otherwise, you will substitute this with the actual IP address of the vehicle.

Likewise if using Ubuntu, you may substitute IP_OF_THIS_COMPUTER with your computers hostname followed by .local or again, with the computers IP address.

For more detailed information or troubleshooting tips on configuring ROS networking look at the ROS Documentation

Video Streaming

Video streaming is enabled by default.

  • To use this feature, simply plug in a USB Camera and it will automatically start an H264 UDP stream to port 5600

Tip

To access the control panel, type 10.0.1.128:8000 into a connected devices web browser.

Factory Reset

To factory reset a TX2 equipped vehicle see :doc:`[HERE] <../tx2-flash>`

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