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7-8" Tablet for Turtlebot?

asked 2015-10-26 23:42:25 -0500

FarrisGoldstein gravatar image

I'm looking to replace the bulky laptop on my roomba-based Turtlebot with a tablet that has a full-size USB port, so that I can do telepresence audio/video with the same machine that does all the mapping & bot/ROS logic. I've been fiddling with a TW700 that I got really cheap, and it's almost working, but it has a lot of landmines. Oh, and I might have just bricked it.

Any suggestions for tablets that will run Ubuntu, with good device support, and have a full USB port?

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answered 2016-01-17 16:20:23 -0500

dchang0 gravatar image

I'm in the same boat as you--we need a lightweight tablet that can run Ubuntu 14.04.3 and ROS indigo and preferably a full-size USB port.

After doing a lot of research I think we have narrowed it down to used Microsoft Surface Pro 1 or 2 tablets or Dell's low-quality 2-in-1 Inspiron 11 3157 (that has terrific battery life and is Ubuntu-certified).

If you are willing to step up from 7-8" to 10" or 11.6", those may work for you. The Surface Pro 1 is actually fairly small. There is some word that the Dell Venue 8 Pro can run Ubuntu but I have not found the full foolproof instructions to do so.

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answered 2016-01-18 02:35:03 -0500

Another feasible approach would be using a small single board computer (SBC) as the main robot controller (using the Raspberry Pi2 with ROS for instance is pretty painless by now). The footprint of such SBCs is very small and you are then free to either add a display to the SBC directly, or via Ethernet connect a tablet/small netbook/whatever with whatever OS suits you (for instance having a UI running in a browser via robot web tools). The advantage would be that you could avoid experiments with installing Ubuntu/ROS on a tablet this way.

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Asked: 2015-10-26 23:42:25 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 18 '16