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One lab, multiple robots, multiple independent projects

asked 2019-06-21 12:35:43 -0600

pitosalas gravatar image

I just came across this quote:

"For use cases with multiple robots it is generally recommended to use multiple masters and forward specific tf information between the robots. There are several different methods of implementing bridges between masters. For more information please see the sig/Multimaster."

In my case, we have a small robotics lab with around 10 robots. Students pair up and each are assigned a robot. Obviously we want the different student projects not to interfere with each other. We are currently running a single roscore.

The above quote (from the tf2 documentation) implies some problems with what we are doing. I need a little help clarifying or elaborating on the above caveat as well as the "right" way to do what I am trying to do?

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answered 2019-06-21 13:40:02 -0600

ahendrix gravatar image

You should run a separate roscore for each robot. I usually run the roscore on the robot.

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Can you say why? What problems does it solve? What problems does it create? Right now I have it working apparently fine with name spacing. Thanks.

pitosalas gravatar image pitosalas  ( 2019-06-21 13:42:32 -0600 )edit

Running a separate roscore for each robot doesn't require namespacing or TF prefixes.

ahendrix gravatar image ahendrix  ( 2019-06-21 16:31:51 -0600 )edit

Obviously we want the different student projects not to interfere with each other.

And it also automatically isolates each robot -- and connected ROS nodes -- from each other.

Nothing prevents anyone from using the namespace of a different robot and mucking things up.

Using a separate master makes this much harder (not impossible, as it's a form of security-through-obscurity, but still).

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2019-06-22 02:05:03 -0600 )edit

Thanks @gvdhoorn. Much better than actual answer. My robots have just a raspberry pi. Would running core on them be a cpu or memory load problem do you think?

pitosalas gravatar image pitosalas  ( 2019-06-22 06:59:14 -0600 )edit

A master does not use significant amounts of CPU, it should be fine.

Unless students start using parameters as topics -- which I have seen -- but that would obviously be a no-no in any case.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2019-06-22 07:06:25 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2019-06-21 12:35:43 -0600

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Last updated: Jun 21 '19