ROS MAV SIG Call for Participation

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ROS Aerial Vehicle Users,

We'd like to invite you to participate in an effort to develop a standard set of messages for communicating within robotics components on Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). At the IROS workshop on MAV's (proceedings) this fall it was identified that the MAV community has many different implementations of the same capabilities. They are often all closely related and are almost compatible but rarely is it easy to switch between different implementations, or use different implementations together. From that discussion it was proposed to work toward building up a common way to communicate and enable the MAV community to collaborate most effectively.

To make this happen we have setup a mailinglist and wiki pages to be a place to coordinate this effort (MAV SIG, mailing list). If you are interested in this topic we ask that you join, listen and participate so that we can get as broad a spectrum of voices as possible.

We have chosen the ROS SIG format as it has proven effective at developing standard messages which are used by many people every day. ROS SIG's are relatively unstructured and allow adaptation for differences in each community and process.

We plan to use the ROS .msg format as a way to formalize the messages, since it is a relatively compact way to express messages which has representations in many languages. The most important part of the process will not be the actual msg file that comes out, but the datatypes for which people can rely on being isomorphic when transitioning between systems.

Having common datatypes will allow us to have better modularity and interoperability. As an example from the ROS ecosystem, there are 10+ different laser scanner drivers in the ROS ecosystem and 18+ different camera drivers (ROS sensors). Because these drivers all use a standard set of messages a user of those sensors can switch which sensor they are using on their system, or deploy systems with different sensors and the rest system will continue to operate without modifications. There are more complicated examples such as the navigation stack which has a standard set of messages for sending commands and providing feedback. This same interface has been used for differential drive, holonomic, free flying, and even walking robots.

There are already dozens of MAV related ROS packages released and we hope that developing these standard messages can help coordinate the efforts of the many contributors already working on aerial vehicles in ROS.

If you would like to know more please check out the SIG (LINK). if you're at all interested please join the process. We've started a thread at here to kick off the process.  

Tully Foote (OSRF), Lorenz Meier (ETHZ / CVG, PX4), Markus Achtelik (ETHZ / ASL).

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This page contains a single entry by Tully Foote published on November 10, 2014 6:00 PM.

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