project-condor / sbt-mavlink

MAVLink to Scala bindings generation plugin for SBT


SBT-MAVLink Plugin

This plugin provides generation of Scala sources from MAVLink message definition files. It translates a MAVLink dialect defined in XML to useable scala objects and provides utilities for parsing and creating MAVLink packets.

Generated Code


The generated code is in general used as the following examples illustrates.

import org.mavlink._

//parser to transform an incoming byte stream into packets
val parser = new Parser(
  (pckt: Packet) => {
    val msg: Message = Message.unpack(pckt.messageId, pckt.payload)
  	println("received message: " + msg)
  (err: Parser.Errors.Error) => {
    sys.error("parse error: " + err)

//assembles messages into packets from a specific sender
val assembler = new Assembler(SenderSystemId, SenderComponentId)

//create an explicit message
val message = Heartbeat(0)

//pack the message into a payload
val (id: Byte, payload: Array[Byte]) = Message.pack(message)

//assemble into packet
val packet = assembler.assemble(id, payload)

//simulate wire transfer
val data = packet.toArray

The concrete message implementations are generated according to the selected dialect (see section Keys).



Every message is mapped to a Scala case class, its name converted to CamelCase. The fields of the case class correspond to the fields defined in the dialect definition (names are converted to camelCase).


Field types are mapped according to the following table

Definition Type Scala Type
int8_t / uint8_t / char Byte
in16_t / uint16_t Short
int32_t / uint32_t Int
int64_t / uint64_t Long
float Float
double Double
char[] String
<type>[] Array[<type>]


  1. Since Scala only supports signed integer types, it is up to the client to interpret the values of fields correctly.
  2. Read-only fields such as uint8_t_mavlink_version don't play well with case classes. These fields are therefore treated as writeable by the user. E.g. when creating a standard heartbeat message, the user must add the mavlink version manually.


Enums are mapped to Scala objects, their fields defined as final vals (CamelCase) of type Int.

Note that since many MAVLink messages that use enums do not define a dependency on them in XML (no 'enum=' attribute), no type safety can be guaranteed when generating messages.


Add the following to your plugins:

addSbtPlugin("com.github.jodersky" % "sbt-mavlink" % "0.6.0")`

Enable the plugin


Set a MAVLink dialect

mavlinkDialect := baseDirectory.value / "mavlink" / "dialect.xml"

Compile your project.


All keys are defined in com.github.jodersky.mavlink.sbt.MavlinkKeys

  • mavlinkDialect - [Setting] - Specifies the location of the MAVLink dialect definition for which to generate Scala code.

  • mavlinkGenerate - [Task] - Generates Scala code to interoperate with MAVLink. In a standard project using this plugin this task is added to sourceGenerators, i.e. it is automatically called before compiling.

  • mavlinkTarget - [Setting] - Output directory of generated Scala sources. This should be within sourceManaged.


Copyright (c) 2015 Jakob Odersky

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this program. If not, see