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

Shengyang Chen, Weifeng Zhou, An Shik Yang, Han Chen, Boyang Li, Chih Yung Wen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Visual simultaneous localization and mapping (v-SLAM) and navigation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are receiving increasing attention in both research and education. However, extensive physical testing can be expensive and time-consuming due to safety precautions, battery constraints, and the complexity of hardware setups. For the efficient development of navigation algorithms and autonomous systems, as well as for education purposes, the ROS-Gazebo-PX4 simulator was customized in-depth, integrated into our previous released research works, and provided as an end-to-end simulation (E2ES) solution for UAV, v-SLAM, and navigation applications. Unlike most other similar works, which can only stimulate certain parts of the navigation algorithms, the E2ES platform simulates all of the localization, mapping, and path-planning kits in one simulator. The navigation stack performs well in the E2ES test bench with the absolute pose errors of 0.3 m (translation) and 0.9 degree (rotation), respectively, for an 83 m length trajectory. Moreover, the E2ES provides an out-of-box, click-and-fly autonomy in UAV navigation. The project source code is opened for the benefit of the research community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022


  • Path planning
  • Robotic simulation
  • SLAM
  • Stereo camera
  • UAV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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