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Setup ROS on VOXL 2

ModalAI Top Tip: ROS is not required to use or develop with VOXL 2.

If you like ROS, let’s proceed:

Tutorial Video

Install ROS

VOXL 2 / RB5 Flight can use apt package management, which allows flexibility on what ROS version to install, and allows us to keep the core system image smaller. For these reasons, we leave it up to the end user to select what to install.

To install ROS Melodic (as an example), connect VOXL 2 / RB5 Flight to the internet and run the following:

apt-get update
apt install -y ros-melodic-ros-base ros-melodic-image-transport


If you have not already configured MPA, please check this out first as it is a pre-requisite.

As a shortcut, if you have a VOXL 2 Sentinel:

voxl-configure-mpa -p -f sentinel

If you have an RB5 Flight:

voxl-configure-mpa -p -f rb5-flight


Source ROS setup script:

voxl2:~$ . /opt/ros/melodic/

Run the voxl_mpa_to_ros node, which uses this launch file /opt/ros/melodic/share/voxl_mpa_to_ros/launch/voxl_mpa_to_ros.launch

voxl2:~$ roslaunch voxl_mpa_to_ros voxl_mpa_to_ros.launch

You should get similar output:

... logging to /home/root/.ros/log/81ccbc5c-34ac-11ed-80c6-00c0caafca29/roslaunch-m0054-2535.log
Checking log directory for disk usage. This may take a while.
Press Ctrl-C to interrupt
Done checking log file disk usage. Usage is <1GB.

started roslaunch server http://m0054:45955/


 * /rosdistro: melodic
 * /rosversion: 1.14.13

    voxl_mpa_to_ros_node (voxl_mpa_to_ros/voxl_mpa_to_ros_node)

auto-starting new master
process[master]: started with pid [2557]

setting /run_id to 81ccbc5c-34ac-11ed-80c6-00c0caafca29
process[rosout-1]: started with pid [2568]
started core service [/rosout]
process[voxl_mpa_to_ros_node-2]: started with pid [2571]

MPA to ROS app is now running

Found new interface: hires
Found new interface: qvio_overlay
Found new interface: stereo_front
Found new interface: stereo_rear
Found new interface: tracking
Found new interface: imu_apps
Found new interface: voa_pc_out
Found new interface: qvio

List Topics

In a new shell, run the following:

voxl2:~$ rostopic list

Next Steps

See the MAVROS test example for VOXL 2.

See the building ROS nodes for VOXL for information on making your own ROS nodes.