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(Turtlebot) Easier way to check power button status of iRobot Create

asked 2011-12-15 01:42:46 -0600

130s gravatar image

updated 2011-12-15 04:59:58 -0600

What would be easier ways to check the power on/off on iRobot Create?

If I understand correctly the usage, we often need to check if the power light of Create is on/off on Turtlebot. For ex. power charging doesn't start while the power on unless in passive mode. Also, ROS can't operate it when it's off, which sometimes happen to me even though the light on powering cables for Create is on. Correct me if I'm doing something wrong here, which could be the best answer to this Q as well.

Suppose I'm correct, it's a little tedious to crouch down and look into the thin space b/w Create and Turtlebot's lowest plate to see Creates panel every time. Dashboard is very nice tool, but I think it doesn't provide enough feature yet when it comes to checking if power is on/off.

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I will look into this, I have created a ticket here I'm not sure if it's possible but I have some ideas for how to implement it and add it to the dashboard
mmwise gravatar image mmwise  ( 2011-12-16 07:10:14 -0600 )edit
Thank you. That'd be great if turning battery on/off from remote (by dashboard etc.) is possible (and the ticket page cited doesn't contain anything but it'll get filled right? Just wondering).
130s gravatar image 130s  ( 2011-12-19 02:16:28 -0600 )edit

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answered 2011-12-17 11:58:56 -0600

updated 2011-12-17 12:00:52 -0600

I have also found that the LED near the power button to not be a reliable power status indicator. It's very easy to add a real power on/off status LED by connecting an LED to the cargo bay connector pin 8 (switched 5VDC) and pin 21 (ground). Be sure to also add a resistor (180ohm to 330 ohm) in series with the the LED to limit current to, and protect the LED.

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Sounds awesome. I'm afraid I can't try the similar thing very soon since I'm finishing my contract w/current employer where I use Turtlebots, but this might be something I want to give shot and hope Turtlebot manufacturers to think about.
130s gravatar image 130s  ( 2011-12-19 02:19:33 -0600 )edit
Not a bad idea! I've logged this in our feature request hopper.
Ryan gravatar image Ryan  ( 2011-12-21 12:50:18 -0600 )edit
I have added diagnostics to the turtlebot_node now so that you can see in the dashboard if the node is running.. will be in the next TB release.
mmwise gravatar image mmwise  ( 2011-12-29 09:52:29 -0600 )edit

answered 2011-12-15 20:54:49 -0600

Atom gravatar image

updated 2011-12-15 21:03:00 -0600

Might sound barbaric,but you could remove the Create's powerbutton led and move it to a spot where you can see it.Although if you were teleoperating turtlebot. You probably would have to use a micro controller like arduino to toggle the power botton on the create with a relay then you could also tap into the powerbutton-led voltage to confirm that the Create was on or off.

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@Atom I like your idea. Nice to have remote contorolable tool like that. I'm just afraid then another source of issue, checking if Arduino stuff in your example is working properly, might rise though.
130s gravatar image 130s  ( 2011-12-16 08:47:48 -0600 )edit
As far as the issue with Arduino working properly you could have it sending serial strings that publish to ros topics stating that it is connected and working to your expectations. If you require a certain setup, elaborate more on your optimal setup and I could give you better advise.
Atom gravatar image Atom  ( 2011-12-16 17:17:41 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2011-12-15 01:42:46 -0600

Seen: 3,041 times

Last updated: Dec 17 '11