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Is 8-16GB sufficient to run ROS on robot?

asked 2020-04-07 09:16:09 -0500

new_to_ros gravatar image

Hi, some SBC only come with 8GB or 16GB. Are SBC with that amount of RAM sufficient to be used as the computer for robot running ROS?

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Would that not depend on what you want to do exactly? Running listener and talker from the tutorials will be fine with either.

But running 100+ nodes with PointCloud2s, multiple lidars, etc, etc is quickly going to fill 8GB.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2020-04-07 09:35:53 -0500 )edit

Thanks. I have not used ROS before and I don't know its capabilities and what I can do with it. However, I need to buy a SBC now. So, I wonder how much RAM would be recommended in general.

new_to_ros gravatar image new_to_ros  ( 2020-04-07 12:03:22 -0500 )edit

This is not a forum, please don't post a comment in the answer space. You can add a comment or edit your question instead. Please only answer your own question if you have an answer that resolves your problem.

tfoote gravatar image tfoote  ( 2020-04-07 12:55:56 -0500 )edit

Note that until you can define what capabilities you want there's no way to really answer your question. How many sensors, what resolution, what algorithms you want to run, how complex is your robot, how fast do you want to drive, all are factors that determine your memory usage. Not to mention the other dimensions that are also important such as what are your IO requirements and capabilities, CPU requirements.

And with all that defined there are many things that can be tuned to use more or less RAM or any other resource that may or may not effect your critical performance. Instead of trying to ask an oracle it's likely best to find the closest analogous implementation you can find and find out what computation they are using and match that.

Please update your question with basically a full system overview if you'd like an answer ...(more)

tfoote gravatar image tfoote  ( 2020-04-07 12:59:25 -0500 )edit

I am completely new to ROS. I am just buying a SBC to learn how to control robot using ROS1. So, I cannot tell what I will need eventually. Of course, being able to future proof is good.

new_to_ros gravatar image new_to_ros  ( 2020-04-08 14:18:13 -0500 )edit

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answered 2020-04-08 01:20:14 -0500

updated 2020-04-08 01:20:34 -0500

some SBC only come with 8GB or 16GB

My laptop that I do day to day development on only has 16gb, if you get an SBC with 16GB, you’ll likely be fine. I think you’d only have issues in extreme cases like processing ~10ish depth cameras at the same time or other very demanding tasks. For typical needs, this is satisfactory.

Keep in mind ROS is just a library like any other. The specifications of the machine are based largely on the specifics of what you want to do with it. The “overhead” of ROS from a system level is negligible by comparison once you’re running controllers, planners, perception pipelines, etc.

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Thanks. If 16GB is sufficient for you, it should be sufficient for me.

new_to_ros gravatar image new_to_ros  ( 2020-04-08 14:18:42 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2020-04-07 09:16:09 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 08