Rapid Algorithm Development for Drones using Gazebo and ROS

Instructor: Dr.Jose Martinez-Carranza

Abstract: This tutorial will cover the use of the Gazebo simulator and how to exploit it for rapid implementation of algorithms specialised for autonomous drones. In this sense, the main goal is to show the user a set of useful tools within Gazebo in combination with the Robotics Operating System (ROS that can be used to test algorithms before moving to the implementation with the physical drone. Examples of tools to be revised include: how to load pre-existing synthetic worlds; the use of Gazebo’s ground truth for drone’s localisation; the use of synthetic GPS; how to record datasets from the virtual on-board cameras; how to add synthetic depth cameras and finally, how to implement a basic controller for autonomous drone navigation. Gazebo provides a simulated model of the A.R. Drone from the Parrot Company, which enables a programming of this drone to control four control signals for roll, pitch, yaw and height. It will show how the implementation in Gazebo enables a seamless development of algorithms for the physical drone.

Jose Martinez-Carranza is Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Eletrónica (INAOE). He obtained a BSc in Computer Science (Cum Laude) from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla in 2004, and an MSc in Computer Science (Best Student) from INAOE in 2007, both institutions in México. In 2012, he received his PhD from the University of Bristol in the UK, where he also worked as Postdoctoral Researcher from 2012 to 2014. He received the highly prestigious Newton Advanced Fellowship (2015-2018), granted by the Royal Society in the UK to work with autonomous drones in GPS-denied environments. He also leads a Mexican team that has achieved outstanding performance in International Drone Competitions: 1st Place in the IROS 2017 Autonomous Drone Racing competition; 2nd Place in the International Micro Air Vehicle competition (IMAV) 2016 and ranked 4th in the IMAV 2017. His team is the first Mexican team to win an International Autonomous Drone Competition.