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Turtlebot (clearpath) Kinect Visualization Tutorial

asked 2012-08-19 19:29:09 -0600

limbonic gravatar image

updated 2016-10-24 09:01:12 -0600

ngrennan gravatar image

I was able to solve the problem by upgrading the turtlebot laptop to Fuerte.


I have read through several posts on this particular problem, unfortunately was not able to solve it using the hints given in other threads. First off, about my setup: I have ROS Fuerte running on my workstation while it's the fresh electric install on the netbook. ROS_HOSTNAME is set to the workstations IP, the master uri to the laptop's IP and corresponding port. ROS_HOSTNAME on the laptop is set to its IP, likewise the master uri (again on port 11311). As for the SDK, I installed the ros-fuerte-clearpath-turtlebot package, because I was unable to fetch the dependencies for the electric SDK using Fuerte (maybe using two different versions is the root of all evil?)

I can bring up the dashboard from my workstation without any problems, the only warnings I get are about ROS being unable to fetch information in the laptop's battery charge state. I can set the robot to full mode and breaker 0 turns green. Also, I have no problem firing up kinect via roslaunch turtlebot_bringup kinect.launch. I have also followed the note in the turtlebot bringup tutorial saying that one should "roslaunch openni_camera openni_node.launch" after charging the turtlebot, nevertheless no matter whether I use the former, the latter or roslaunch openni_launch openni.launch, I am unable to get any visualization using the camera input in rviz on the workstation. If I run rostopic list on the workstation there are several camera and kinect_laser topics, nevertheless rostopic echo does not show any messages being sent to the workstation. rosout does not show any broadcasting information with regards to the camera (if there should be any).

What am I doing wrong? Should I upgrade the turtlebot laptop's ROS to Fuerte as well? What is the corresponding SDK to download? Am I even using the right SDK on the workstation? Why is there absolutely no output if I try echoing the camera topics?

edit: by the way, the green light on the kinect is flashing. Is it supposed to flash or is this due to some problem that might be related to power shortage (e.g. USB-driver related as some other topic suggests)?

edit2: the workstation is running ubuntu 12.04 LTS, the turtlebot laptop runs ubuntu 10.04 LTS (the differences on the platforms are not intentional, I had my ROS installed on the workstation beforehand and considering it's not my own turtlebot, I did not want to induce huge changes to the system).

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answered 2013-01-10 06:17:27 -0600

JillTurtle gravatar image

I had problems with the kinect visualization tutorial as well...

once you bring up RVIZ you have to add a camera view and go to the topic section and click to the right where there is a drop down menu (that you can't see until you click), there you choose a view such as rgb or laser

hope this helps!

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answered 2013-01-09 19:10:55 -0600

Fabian Saccilotto gravatar image

I had the same installation configuration: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on the workstation and 10.04 on the turtlebot. I also had a lot of problems setting the system up. Most of all wireless connection losses and Problems starting the kinect.

I got the system to work when I used the (non-clearpath) ros-fuerte-turtlebot packages. I didn't test the clearpath packages. I started my kinect with

roslaunch turtlebot_bringup kinect.launch

as far as I know, this will start the deprecated Openni nodelets.

The green light on the kinect is flashing as soon you plug into usb, but this is no indication whether there is enough power... The breaker 1 on the dashboard has to be on.

Sometimes it helped me when I stopped/started the turtlebot service.

sudo service turtlebot stop

sudo service turtlebot start


sudo service turtlebot restart doesn't work

Since a few days new apt repositories for ros-fuerte-turtlebot are available. I upgraded both systems and kinect as well as gmapping works. With this configuration you can start the kinect via openni_launch

For the battery problem you can use the solution here:

You create an overlay package for this, to keep the apt-packages unchanged. If you have questions to this, just ask. It is different for electric and fuerte and it took me some time to figure out.

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Asked: 2012-08-19 19:29:09 -0600

Seen: 797 times

Last updated: Jan 10 '13