ROS Resources: Documentation | Support | Discussion Forum | Index | Service Status | ros @ Robotics Stack Exchange
Ask Your Question

What compact PC to buy to run ROS in a mobile robot

asked 2015-09-22 11:26:52 -0500

danimtb gravatar image

updated 2015-09-22 13:56:33 -0500

Hi guys!

After a few months using my i5 laptop in a Pioneer 3 AT mobile robot with kinect and sick lms100 laserscanner, it's time to look for a suitable compact PC/board to put in my robot.

I am looking for a compact PC with enough power to run navigation nodes, kinect, laser, and so on and would like to ask for advice to the community. I've found new intel NUC i7 to be a possible choice (looking for something to work just out-of-the-box) but I'm wondering if that would be compatible with all ros and ubuntu stuff. Maybe it is a bit overkilled? Checked some info about that here.

¿What compact PC do you think would fit my needs?

Any advice would be helpful! thx

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete

5 Answers

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

answered 2015-09-23 08:07:50 -0500

daenny gravatar image

The intel NUCs are a very good out-of-the-box solution. An i7 is plenty of power, but the i5 versions usually are good enough for most people. Just be sure that you are not limited by the accessible ports. Think of how many USB, LAN, etc, or other ports do you need? If you use many cameras, the USB ports could be a limiting factor if they are controlled via the same host controller.

Otherwise any custom build using mini-ITX offers a bit more flexibility. Then you have a choice of dual LAN ports, multiple USB3.0/USB2.0 host controllers, etc.

In our youBot, we upgraded the internal PC using the intel DQ77 mini itx, which is sadly not for sale anymore. But similar options with the newer generation processors should be available.

To power it from batteries, we use the mini-box openUPS which can switch seamlessly between Battery and external Power, and charge LiPos and other batteries, when connected to power.

edit flag offensive delete link more


I've seen some Gigabyte PCs too but have lower features than NUCs. I'll have a look at that mini-box openUPS you point to ensure correct power. Thanks!

danimtb gravatar image danimtb  ( 2015-09-24 02:25:50 -0500 )edit

Im currently using a i7 NUC on one of my robots, and its awesome

l0g1x gravatar image l0g1x  ( 2015-09-24 14:30:49 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-09-24 01:15:38 -0500

TomSon gravatar image

Try to look to some advantech Fanless PC such as series 1000 or series 2000.

edit flag offensive delete link more


The housing is great for a mobile robot aplication but I'm afraid it is a little bit expensive and with not so high specs... Thanks anyway!

danimtb gravatar image danimtb  ( 2015-09-24 02:30:42 -0500 )edit

I take this for the 2 serials ports and the quad core processor. It depends on what you need :)

TomSon gravatar image TomSon  ( 2015-09-24 03:17:54 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-09-24 16:30:31 -0500

ReedHedges gravatar image

One suggestion for the P3AT is that its easy to power from the robot's batteries (battery board) if the computer only requires unregulated 12v. You can always check with us at for info on powering/connecting the computer. Unfortunately most currently available Mini-ITX boards with integrated ports are slightly too big to fit inside the robot (though we may have a solution for that at some point.. its a few mm difference) but smaller form factors may fit. But if its in an enclosure on top that's not a problem.

Reed (Adept MobileRobots)

edit flag offensive delete link more

answered 2015-09-22 12:19:40 -0500

Mr. CEO gravatar image

updated 2015-09-22 12:20:35 -0500

Depending on your setup you could always run some of the services on a remote machine and keep your laptop on the robot. Then the form factor would not matter...

edit flag offensive delete link more


My idea is to run all services on that PC and just use my laptop to visualize data through Rviz or to teleoperate the robot

danimtb gravatar image danimtb  ( 2015-09-22 14:01:22 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-01-15 18:54:39 -0500

candersen10 gravatar image

updated 2018-01-15 22:14:02 -0500

jayess gravatar image

If ruggedness is a concern at all, would something like this: which is fanless and low cost relative to a Series 1000/Series 2000 as mentioned above be advisable?

edit flag offensive delete link more

Question Tools

1 follower


Asked: 2015-09-22 11:26:52 -0500

Seen: 4,965 times

Last updated: Jan 15 '18