Sending Commands to Bebop


bebop_tools package comes with a launch file for tele-operating Bebop with a joystick using ROS joy_teleop package. The configuration file (key-action map) is written for Logitech F710 controller and located in /bebop_tools/config folder. Adapting the file to your own controller is straight-forward. To teleop Bebop while the driver is running execute roslaunch bebop_tools joy_teleop.launch.


Publish a message of type std_msgs/Empty to takeoff topic.

$ rostopic pub --once std_msgs/Empty [namespace]/takeoff


Publish a message of type std_msgs/Empty to land topic.

$ rostopic pub --once std_msgs/Empty [namespace]/land


Publish a message of type std_msgs/Empty to reset topic.

$ rostopic pub --once std_msgs/Empty [namespace]/reset


To move Bebop around, publish messages of type geometry_msgs/Twist to cmd_vel topic while Bebop is flying. The effect of each field of the message on Bebop’s movement is listed below:

linear.x  (+)      Translate forward
          (-)      Translate backward
linear.y  (+)      Translate to left
          (-)      Translate to right
linear.z  (+)      Ascend
          (-)      Descend
angular.z (+)      Rotate clockwise
          (-)      Rotate counter clockwise

Acceptable range for all fields are [-1..1]. The drone executes the last received command as long as the driver is running. This command is reset to when Takeoff, Land or Emergency command is received. To make Bebop hover and maintain its current position, you need to publish a message with all fields set to zero to cmd_vel.


TODO: Add the unit and min/max mapping for each field.

Moving the Virtual Camera

To move Bebop’s virtual camera, publish a message of type geometry_msgs/Twist to camera_control topic. angular.y and angular.z fields of this message set absolute tilt and pan of the camera in degrees respectively.


The API for this command is not stable. We plan to use JointState message in feature versions.

angular.y (+)      tilt down
          (-)      tilt up
angular.z (+)      pan left
          (-)      pan right

GPS Navigation


Not fully integrated/tested yet.

Flat Trim


Test fails, probably not working.

Publish a message of type std_msgs/Empty to flattrim topic.

$ rostopic pub --once std_msgs/Empty [namespace]/flattrim

Flight Animations


Be extra cautious when performing any flight animations, specially in indoor environments.

Bebop can perform four different types of flight animation (flipping). To perform an animation, publish a message of type std_msgs/UInt8 to flip topic while drone is flying. The data field determines the requested animation type.

0       Flip Forward
1       Flip Backward
2       Flip Right
3       Flip Left