inav rover tutorial

How to setup INAV on a rover

INAV 2.5 finally allowed to use INAV and INAV compatible flight controllers to be used on rovers and boats. Finally, INAV supports not only flying vehicles. Bear in mind, that the rover and boat support is not full, and some functionalities might not be working like expected.

What works:

  • Reversible ESC and motors
  • Steering
  • Waypoints
  • Return to home on a straight line without any obstacle avoidance
  • Failsafe

To make it work, you will need the following:

  • Rover chassis and drivetrain. It can be wheeled or tracked vehicles. Steering can be done with servo or as a differential steering.
  • INAV compatible flight controller with at least one servo output. Using a flight controller designed for airplanes is recommended
  • GPS unit with a magnetometer! To be able to run Waypoint Missions and Return To Home, a magnetometer is required
  • Proper ESC for the motors you are using. Reversible ESC are optional but not required.

This is the list of Rover and Boat specific changes. For general talks like: calibration, receiver, failsafe, OSD and GPS setup, please refer to those 2 playlists: INAV on Multirotor drone and INAV on an airplane


INAV Rover Defaults Dialog

Step one is to flash the flight controller with the “Full chip erase” option selected and during the first connection to the INAV Configurator to select the “Rovers & Boats” option. This will set some predefined options that will make the whole process simpler.


INAV Rover Mixer

On the Mixer Tab choose if this is Rover or a Boat and load the mixer for your platform. Bear in mind that by default, INAV uses a servo for yaw control and steering. To use a Differential Steering (tracked vehicles), you will have to modify the Motor Mixer. It’s simple. All you have to do is to add a Yaw authority to motors, so INAV will know that it has to slow one of them to turn. Please take a look at the “Airplane with differential thrust” mixer preset to see how to do it.

Reversible ESCs and motors

INAV Rover Reversible Motors configuration

If your rover/boat uses reversible ESCs and motors, you should enable the option on the Configuration Tab.

On top of that, you should update the “Reversible motors” Neutral, Deadband Low, and Deadband High in a way that:

  • motors stop on Neutral output value
  • rotates forward at Deadband High
  • rotates backward on Deadband Low value


INAV Rover Outputs Tab

Over here, you should:

  • Enable motor and servo output
  • Enable “Stop motors on low throttle”

Navigation tuning

INAV Rover Cruise Throttle

The last thing that needs setting up is the speed during waypoint missions and return to home. It is done in the “Fixed Wing Navigation Settings” on the Advanced Tuning Tab.

“Cruise throttle”, “Min Throttle” and “Max Throttle ” settings should be set to a value that gives the speed you want. Bear in mind, just like on fixed wings, there is no speed control as such. INAV will not control the velocity, only send the predefined throttle value to the ESCs during the autonomous drive.

2 thoughts to “How to setup INAV on a rover”

  1. I am attempting to us Inav in a rover. The model is an Axial Wraith Rock Racer, which has a brushed motor (as do many rc cars and trucks). The esc is brushed (of course) and has a pwm frequency of 6khz. Obviously the vehicle can go in forward and reverse.

    Here’s the problem, Inav won’t let me select a brushed esc and “reversible”. After a save and reboot it just resets “reversible” to off. Perhaps I have to deal with that with a mix on the transmitter and leave reversible off?

    Or should I just select “standard” for esc and reversible, and ignore the frequency mismatch? The reason I ask is I have connected a standard rc radio receiver to this model in the past and it worked fine, and I never had to change anything to let it know it was a brushed esc. So why would it matter in Inav?

    Also I can’t find the number of poles for this motor anywhere. I assume it’s probably a 2 or 4 pole motor because it’s brushed but I have no idea. The motor is very had to get in the vehicle to I’d have to take a lot apart to be able to get a good look at it. Don’t really want to do that.

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