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2 computers 1 robot - getting started

asked 2017-02-03 08:46:09 -0600

cerebraldad gravatar image

I just got done watching a few tutorials on youtube. One mentioned that they use 2 computers - one on the robot, obviously (netbook) and one as a Development computer. The development computer has all the packages and what I'm assuming is a "full install" of ROS - and the robot has ROS but a stripped down version that just runs compiled packages for operation. Am I close?

I have an old netbook that im going to be installing Ubuntu on and I have a macbook air that I plan n using for development. I currently dont have two machines that i can dedicate to Linux OS.

My question is - how do I go about installing the different "versions" of ROS to get started playing around with the platform? I'm assuming even though IOS is linux based I would still want to invoke some sort of VM?

I've read through some of the ROS Wiki articles on getting started, but got a little overwhelmed and didn't want to screw things up.

Can anyone help get me started or shed some light on my next steps?

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answered 2017-02-03 11:11:01 -0600

Steven_Daniluk gravatar image

You're on the right track. Basically you need three things: ROS on the netbook, ROS on the macbook, and those two computers talking to each other.

You can follow the ROS Tutorials which will guide you through installing in understanding ROS.

For your macbook, you will need a virtual machine. ROS is not yet fully supported for OSX, and attempting to install it can be quite difficult. I personally use Parallels on my macbook, but other options would be VMWare, or VirtualBox. However, I don't believe VMWare supports virtual graphics acceleration, which is quite important for any visualization work. Once you have Ubuntu installed on your virtual machine, you follow the same install instructions from the ROS Tutorials link above.

For the netbook, you are correct, you can install a "bare bones" version of ROS. This simply means that you get all of the ROS functionality, minus anything GUI related, since robots don't often have screens to utilize the GUI applications. On these Install Instructions you would simply use the command for ROS Base, instead of Desktop Full. You can of course install the full version if you like in same way you would have done for the macbook.

To get the two computers talking to each other you'll need to setup your network. The Turtlebot tutorials have a nice page about this here, which I would suggest following.

After that you should be good to go!

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Great thank you. I downloaded Virtual Box and have Ubuntu 16 running and am currently installing the desktop version. Thank you for your help. Once i find the charger for the netbook - I'll install the barebones version. ;) other than that My network is setup. Thanks again!

cerebraldad gravatar image cerebraldad  ( 2017-02-03 11:57:22 -0600 )edit

So, the "desktop" is for development and sim? what is the relationship to the "desktop" and "robot"... do you just sftp your package to the "robot" and launch it via ssh?

cerebraldad gravatar image cerebraldad  ( 2017-02-03 12:28:04 -0600 )edit

Yeah basically. For any nodes you want running on the robot, the package will need to be on that computer (and built), then you ssh in (from the desktop) and launch it. Alternatively, nodes that don't have to run on the robot computer can be run on the desktop.

Steven_Daniluk gravatar image Steven_Daniluk  ( 2017-02-03 13:27:09 -0600 )edit

If that answers everything of you please mark this as answered by clicking the up arrow beside the answer. This way when someone else searches for a similar question, they will see this one marked as answered.

Steven_Daniluk gravatar image Steven_Daniluk  ( 2017-02-03 13:28:22 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2017-02-03 08:46:09 -0600

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Last updated: Feb 03 '17