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I don't run rosserial any more because of its high memory usage on the Arduino, but I have used it successfully connected both to USB and to the UART. It's important to have voltage level conversion on the receive line from the Arduino. The Arduino will output TTL-level voltage on that line (0-5V), while the RPi only wants 0-3.3V.

My current robot uses an A-Star board from Pololu, which plugs into the GPIO pins on the RPi. It has on-board level conversion wiring points, which I'm using, and it works fine as /dev/ttyAMA0.

Be aware that by default the serial ports are only accessible by root. If you are not running as root then you need to add your RPi user to the "dialout" group, which is the group of the TTY devices.