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How to run ROS on a System on Chip (SoC)?

asked 2020-03-19 03:43:12 -0500

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Hi all,

I'm hoping you can help me understand something.

I have a robotics application where size and cost is potentially a big constraint.

For lots of robots, single board computers can be very useful because we can install Linux on them and then ROS on top of that as the basis for the robots functionality. I'm wondering if it is possible to do the same using a system on chip? If so, how might I go about getting started with something like this?

I'm basically imagining that I would use some kind of development kit similar to the Nvidia Jetson Nano (https://www.nvidia.com/en-gb/autonomo...) to initially get into a chip, install Linux on it, install ROS on it and launch some ROS packages. With the chip working through the development kit, it would then be moved to a custom PCB on the robot for final usage.

I suppose I'm thinking of the way the Nvidia Jetson Nano development kit is used to develop software that is deployed onto a System on Module for production but something relevant to a small, inexpensive System on Chip.

Is this situation remotely realistic? I'm wondering if this rough approach might open up possibilities for making the electronics/computing hardware side of the robot really cheap and really small in size compared to using something like a Raspberry Pi or any other SBC.

As you may guess, I cannot currently claim any level of expertise in this area so any guidance would be appreciated!

Have a great day :)

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answered 2020-03-19 12:52:41 -0500

updated 2020-03-19 12:53:12 -0500

Yes, its realistic, and its also how about ~20% of my robots are built.

Jetson even comes with a custom flavor of Ubuntu installed that you're working with. You can just install ROS via the usual routes and be on your way. For something like an RPi, it depends on the OS, but if you're using a light Ubuntu or Ubuntu, you should be good to go. There's things like raspberian and there's some images out there with ROS pre-installed. Otherwise, you can still use it but will have to do a source build.

tl;dr: yes!

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Asked: 2020-03-19 03:43:12 -0500

Seen: 198 times

Last updated: Mar 19 '20