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beginner robot

asked 2012-02-24 04:28:54 -0600

cassander gravatar image

updated 2012-02-24 04:30:07 -0600

I would like an affordable beginner's robot that can be used for learning and exploring ROS. The ones that are compatible with ROS mentioned on the ROS website, are a little out of my budget at the moment. Are there any cheaper alternatives?

A simple mobile platform would be sufficient to begin with and then I can add more components as my proficiency with ROS increases. I tried search for other similar questions on the site, but it turned up naught...

The iRobot create would not be an option because I am from outside the US.. unless, they changed the rules that allows foreigners to buy iRobot creates..


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answered 2012-02-24 05:04:26 -0600

Murph gravatar image

Where are you located? You might be able to work off of a Roomba instead of a Create.

For example, I think that's what Turtlebot EU does. (Though they're not accepting orders currently).

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Im in Asia. Either way, a turtle bot is too expensive I feel. I would simply be happy with a mobile platform without any other sensors. Something with motors, wheels and a base that can be controlled using ROS...

cassander gravatar image cassander  ( 2012-02-24 05:15:44 -0600 )edit

If you use a serializer MCU and 2 gearmotors with encoders, wheels will cost you about $250. But you have to assemble it your self, Pirobot ( has ROS software to make work

Peter Heim gravatar image Peter Heim  ( 2012-02-24 09:53:36 -0600 )edit

By a "serializer MCU" you mean a microcontroller that has a serial port and can communicate serially with the main computer?

cassander gravatar image cassander  ( 2012-02-24 23:25:24 -0600 )edit

Yes but most use a USB port ( With the above setup you will have a basic robot that can be controlled with ROS the built in motor driver has enough power to carry a small laptop

Peter Heim gravatar image Peter Heim  ( 2012-02-25 00:19:17 -0600 )edit

How about the arduino? Would I be able to do the same thing with arduino? Because, it is a lot cheaper and there is a "rosserial" stack with a "rosserial_arduino" package which enables communication between the arduino and ROS. Ofcourse, I will probably have to buy a separate motor probs

cassander gravatar image cassander  ( 2012-02-25 06:44:10 -0600 )edit

Yes here is a link ( my own robot is based on a lot of this code here is the link to my blog ( it's a holomonic rob0t and uses a arduino mega

Peter Heim gravatar image Peter Heim  ( 2012-02-25 10:01:23 -0600 )edit

Hi @cassander. The Serializer MCU is now called the Element and is sold by cmRobot at!

Pi Robot gravatar image Pi Robot  ( 2012-02-26 03:27:14 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2012-02-24 04:28:54 -0600

Seen: 1,015 times

Last updated: Feb 24 '12