Ardurover will not navigate to waypoints in "Auto" mode

Hi all,

I built a boat that uses Pixhawk as its main controller with the Beta version of ArduRover. I am using the skid steering function and it works perfectly when controlling the boat manually. However, the boat does not steer towards any waypoints when switched to auto mode. Instead, the boat drives in circles with no increase in RPM of the motors and with what seems like, no sense of direction. The GPS works and there are no error messages.

When switching the boat to “RTL” it seems to turn to a certain heading and drive at full power to no end. When I turn to the boat 180 degrees in the opposite direction, and then switching to RTL then it will just drive off, full power, with no sense of direction.

Can anyone help out with this? Is the error in the Beta version of the software? I am aware that skid steer does not work in the current version of ArduRover. That is why I am running the beta version as skid steering is fixed.

This is a capstone project that my team and I are working on at the University of South Alabama.

Best Regards,

If you are using MP to communicate with your ArduBoat Pixhawk, you might try checking the “reverse” box next to the Radio Calibration Roll Bar.

I am also experienced inexplicable AUTO mode behaviour.
In my case AUTO mode does not follow the waypoint, but goes in an unrelated direction. Haven’t been able to figure out why.
Also can’t really tell in MP what it’s actually thinking it’s doing…

I do know that if your ESCs don’t have reverse AUTO mode will not work at all.
I’ve got Rover 3.1.2

Is there a way to DEBUG what the Ardupilot is thinking it’s doing? i.e. is there a window somewhere that confirms that it’s actually trying to follow a given waypoint?


Try putting the boat into STEERING mode and seeing what happens then. That uses the same code as AUTO modes. Also note if you have reversed something in your transmitter to get steering in the right direction you have to reverse it in the ArduPilot parameters as well.

Thanks, Grant.

Hello Grant,
Thanks for your message, great suggestion to use STEERING, I haven’t needed to, but it would have really been helpful if I had known about it before.

In fact I’ve installed the latest beta and now finally everything seems to work fine, none of the very strange behaviours I had previously, both in the behaviour of the rover and on what I was seeing in MissionPlanner ( see Rover with Skid Steering won’t move in AUTO mode )

I did have a royal battle to get the compass to give me a heading that made sense in my Pixracer. Ended up disabling all the internal compasses and only using the external and using declination to correct for the offset from that compass…