May 2024 Meetings Aerial Robotics

Howdy Aerial Enthusiasts!

Nice weather has come (or at least in Sweden), and of course we will also continue in May with our meetings! :sun_with_face: :sunflower: :sunglasses:

The next developer meeting is on:
Meeting link:
Also see the community calendar .

Also this time it will be lead by @mrpollo. Make sure to update


  • 1- Intro and Announcements
  • 2- Subcommittees, past present future
  • 3- Discussion points
    • TBD
  • 4- Conclusion

Intro & Announcements

Meeting Minutes and Agenda now on Discourse
We made the decision to test adding everything to the discourse forums instead of spliting it in parts between google docs, forums and github, please share feedback, we want to make sure we make this as easier to follow as possible

Jazzy Jalisco Tutorial Party

Subcommittee Updates

Simulation @aarsh_t:

In simulation part, I have been testing several existing packages that uses new gazebo and ROS2. (aerostack2, ardupilot)
There is also multi-coptor motor model and multi-coptor control plugin for the gzsim that can be used as stand alone, just for simulating the drone behavior without sitl or hitl if you have good parameters and model for the drone that you are using. Physics is working quite well with ros2 after spending some time in digging through the source code (because it is not documented on the gz docs)

Probably I should try to document it somewhere. (Should I do it on the gz docs or in the ros-aerial repos?)


  • Vignesh: Which physics engine was used
  • Aarsh: this was done in gazebo
  • Vignesh: Ode is not supported in gazebo
  • Rhys: Gazebo is now using dart, bullet backend is being worked, Ode is only used for collision (intersection boxes) (so not for the rigid body physics). rigid body physics is dart and the aerial dynamics is done by a (custom) plugins. Parameters is done by dart but are still close to ODE.
  • This will be continued on discord.

Documentation @KimMcG:

For Documentation, we have been experimenting with mkdocs and use readthedoc theme now for the website: Aerial Robotics Landscape. It looks quite nice but we still need to add some more necessary plugins (like edit this page) and introduce deployment github actions before we can officially show this to the world I think

Indoor @botmayank

indoor nav - I started to explore 2 of the packages that we’ve tracked in the indoor nav packages list - a) aerostack2 gazebo demo and b) ardupilot+ROS2 humble + Cartographer in ardupilot_ros repo. Tracking my effort here for aerostack2, ran into some hiccup: Indoor navigation · GitHub
The motivation is to first understand the state of the tutorials against gazebo fortress/garden/harmonic with ros2 humble + ubuntu 22.04 natively and then to see where we can add further work.

Mayank: 22.04 ubuntu update and got Humble. Got looking at Aerostack2. And cartographer+Arduplot.


  • Agree on subcommittee goals for indoor and simulation.

Rhys - requirements needs to be set by the other streams. We thought that environment providing is handy for the other streams.

Mayank: Aarsh/Rhys would be nice to have a fixed set of ros + gazebo. Fortress is recommended for Humble but a lot of things are added for harmonic.

Rhys: Fortress is unsupported on many platform, so it is not interesting for us. Garden is way better and harmonic is the new LTS, so that is where the focus will be.

Mayank: We should do some work on getting standard autonomy package to work more on harmonic gazebo as well

Miguel: We have tested with harmonic for aerostack2. It should work now actually (one week ago).

Aarsh: Alright I’ll update to harmonic as fortress didn’t work. If Miguel could update that as well?

Miguel: Fortress is officially linked with Humble, but we will need to make the new release to Jazzy.

Aarsh: Perhaps that there can be community tutorials to work with humble + harmonic

Rhys: Perhaps good to go for standard platforms that we can work in gazebo for? VTOL, quadcopter, and make them work for autonomy stack

Mayank: For outdoor that is great platforms but for indoor we mostly need quadcopters of different weight classes. X500 is a good place to start.

Rhys: is a good thing to aim for

Mayank: I really like how they have used by ardupilot/ cartographer/ros.

Kim: Keep it autopilot agnositic? keep plugin

Rhys: that is perhaps a good idea. Keeps the playing field

Rhys: Lee controller is criticized. I’ll look up the discussions. Very difficult to tune.

Rhys: VRX is the maritime project that drives the simulation.

Aarsh Thakker :
I see there are 2 different types of people that use sim tools along with ROS. - One that doesn’t care about the sitl and hitl and just want to validate the algorithm and use it with some simple vehicle with ROS wrapper. (I guess aerostacke2 falls here) - One that do care about the sitl and hitl and want to test various type of vehicle. (I guess AP / px4 falls here)

Aarsh Thakker: If we wait for 2 more weeks, we might have ROS jazzy that will support gz-harmonic out of the box XD

Aarsh Thakker:I tried existing plug-ins but couldn’t tune it properly. Drone didn;t flew or was horribly unstable

Vignesh Balaji: They also have a good water environment in VRX

Mayank Joneja: Aarsh true, my concern is that there’s always inertia for PX4 + Ardu dev communities to test/port from Humble to Jazzy or for most users to jump ship directly too.

TODOS (set on 11th of April)

  • Simulation: define more precise goals for the subcommittee → Check if providing a standard set of environments would be a good one. [DONE
  • Outdoor navigation: Getting help for the geo-map binary release and getting testers for the Ardupilot non-linear planner application (see the list of PRs down here) [UNCLEAR]
  • Indoor navigation: Determining a standard environment + simulation for people to work on. (maybe we should send out a poll) [DONE]
  • Documentation: Continue to work on the website + work on an outreach campaign for more contributions [DONE]


Next meeting: Presentation meeting 22 May 4 pm UTC
Title: Flapper Drones: bioinspired platforms for R&D and drone shows, and how we got there
Speaker: Matej Karasek.

Mayank: how quick does PX4 and Ardupilot update to the latest jazzy distro?

Ramon: Don’t think it will be difficult.
Rhys: Shouldn’t take too long.
aarsh: another maritime challenge from osrf GitHub - osrf/mbzirc: Simulator for the MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge

Rhys: new Ubuntu can’t install any pip without penv.

reminder for the meeting tomorrow! 4 pm UTC at

Also I can propose a discussion points for tomorrow

  • Agree on subcommittee goals for indoor and simulation
  • Review of the website of the aerial robotics landscape

Let me know if anyone wants to to talk about anything else


Sorry for the delay! The recording of last week can be found here

Here is the transcripts, summary and chat content:
Aerial Robotics WG Meeting May 8 2024 - Transcript.pdf (209.3 KB)
This time no slides as notes were taken in the agenda announcement given above. We are going to potentially re-evaluate this as it was difficult to take notes in this. So perhaps next developer meeting this will be done differently.

Conclusions and Todo’s

Next week we will have a presentation meeting:

Meeting link:
Also see the community calendar

This will be a presentation by Matěj Karásek from Flapper drones to talk about their Flapping wing MAV.

The title is: Flapper Drones: bioinspired platforms for R&D and drone shows, and how we got there

See you there!