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simplest robot with ROS

asked 2012-08-13 08:06:06 -0600

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By using arduino serial, I have made a tracked vehicle move, read distance sensors, and turn a servo. Right now there is no encoders in the bot, and I understand this is a necessity.

What is the simplest robot stack that I can run with my setup? Right now I am working on teleoperation. And I am planning to maybe start from turtlebot sim, and maybe connect it so that turtlesim moves with the robot.

I understand that my setup is really limited. I wanted to do robotics as a hobby, so I bought bunch of arduinos and sensors, then I quickly understood I can't do the things I want to with the arduino, and then i discovered ros.

Any ideas/recomendations/help greatly appreciated.


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What, exactly, do you want to accomplish? That is, what's your end goal? Without some sense of where you want to go, this question is very vague.

Mac gravatar image Mac  ( 2012-08-13 09:05:39 -0600 )edit

ok, for example, i want to go around, and if i sense something turn left. arduino_serial provides convenient way to communicate with hardware. where do we run this code? we have to make a ros stack???

cambazz gravatar image cambazz  ( 2012-08-15 08:14:03 -0600 )edit

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answered 2012-08-14 23:58:32 -0600

davinci gravatar image

You should formulate some goals which you want to achieve and what kind of robot you want to create. A vacuum cleaning robot can also move randomly, then you don't need encoders. As encoders are quite expensive to buy you can also build them yourself like in this example:

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answered 2012-08-15 15:23:47 -0600

weiin gravatar image

I think the simplest robots consist of 3 main components: the brain, the eyes, and the legs. In your case, you have the Arduino as the brain, your distance sensors are the eyes, and the servos are the legs. So it should be quite straight forward creating your first robot, with or without ROS.

You might want to look at BEAM robots for some of the simplest robots. Eg. Grey Walter's tortoise did not even have the kind of computational power we have now, yet was able to demonstrate simple obstacle avoidance (which is a good place to start in robotics)

Of course, with ROS, you get to tap into the huge resource of higher level algorithms written by others. But just note the different requirements of each algorithm, some of which may require different sensors. For example, the Kinect has been used as a relatively cheap 3D sensor in the turtlebot for navigation, and also localization/mapping algorithms like RGBDSLAM.

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Asked: 2012-08-13 08:06:06 -0600

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Last updated: Aug 15 '12