End-to-End UAV Simulation for Visual SLAM and Navigation

S. Chen, H. Chen, W. Zhou, C. -Y. Wen, B. Li

Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (v-SLAM) and navigation of multirotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in an unknown environment have grown in popularity for both research and education. However, due to the complex hardware setup, safety precautions, and battery constraints, extensive physical testing can be expensive and time-consuming. As an alternative solution, simulation tools lower the barrier to carry out the algorithm testing and validation before field trials. In this letter, we customize the ROS-Gazebo-PX4 simulator in deep and provide an end-to-end simulation solution for the UAV v-SLAM and navigation study. A set of localization, mapping, and path planning kits were also integrated into the simulation platform. In our simulation, various aspects, including complex environments and onboard sensors, can simultaneously interact with our navigation framework to achieve specific surveillance missions. In this end-to-end simulation, we achieved click and fly level autonomy UAV navigation. The source code is open to the research community.

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