This quickstart shows you how to build and run a simple MAVSDK C++ example application against a simulated vehicle, and observe the operation using the console and in a ground station.
MAVSDK is essentially a C++ library (or rather multiple library files) that you can include and link in your C++ application.
Install MAVSDK library
The prebuilt C++ library can be downloaded as a .deb from releases, e.g.:
wget https://github.com/mavlink/MAVSDK/releases/download/v0.37.0/mavsdk_0.37.0_ubuntu20.04_amd64.deb sudo dpkg -i mavsdk_0.37.0_ubuntu20.04_amd64.deb
Install Homebrew and use it to install the library:
brew install mavsdk
For Windows you can download the mavsdk-windows-x64-release.zip file from MAVSDK releases containing the headers and library and extract it locally (see information how to use a locally installed library).
For more detailed instructions or other platforms check out the installation notes.
Setting up a Simulator
The easiest way to try out MAVSDK is to run one of the MAVSDK examples against a simulated version of the vehicle.
To set up and run the PX4 simulator, you need to either set up the PX4 SITL developer environment.
Or use a pre-built docker container to run PX4 and the simulator:
docker run --rm -it jonasvautherin/px4-gazebo-headless:1.11.0
You can use QGroundControl to connect the simulator and observe vehicle movement and behaviour while the examples are running. QGroundControl will automatically connect to the PX4 simulation as soon as it is started.
See QGroundControl > Download and Install for information about setting up QGroundControl on your platform.
Build and Try Example
The examples are stored as part of the projects source code. Get them using git in a terminal:
git clone https://github.com/mavlink/MAVSDK.git --recursive cd MAVSDK
The examples can be found in the examples directory:
To build the takeoff and land example, you can do:
cd takeoff_and_land/ cmake -Bbuild -H. cmake --build build -j4
Running an Example
First start PX4 in SITL (Simulation) and QGroundControl as described above.
Then run the example app (from the example/takeoff_land/build directory) as shown:
The MAVSDK application should connect to PX4, and you will be able to observe the example running in the SDK terminal, SITL terminal, and/or QGroundControl. The expected behaviour is shown here: Example: Takeoff and Land.
The first argument above is the connection string (
udp://:14540). This is the standard PX4 UDP port for connecting to offboard APIs (also see Connecting to Systems).
Once MAVSDK is installed we recommend you:
- Try the other examples
- See how to write your own application in C++.
- Browse the API reference to get an overview of the functionality.