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Information about Turtlebot2

asked 2012-10-25 05:06:43 -0600

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I'll be teaching a robotics course this spring using ROS and Turtlebots as the platform. I currently have several of the original Turtlebots and intend to order several more in the near future. I noticed today that the Turtlebot2 is now available for purchase. I'm trying to determine which version I should buy, and I'm having trouble finding very much information about the new release. I'm hoping that someone in the know can help me answer a few questions, or point me in the right direction.

-Is there currently support for the new Turtlebot in Fuerte?

-To what degree will code for the new Turtlebot be backward compatible with the old Turtlebot. Will the existing Turtlebot node still work with the new base? Or will there be a new stack?

-It looks like the new Turtlebot is designed to provide power to a laptop. What laptop(s) will be supported? I've been looking at the Acer Aspire One AO756-4854.

-Is the low-level interface to the Kobuki base compatible with the interface to the Create? Is there a published specification for the Kobuki interface?

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answered 2012-10-25 07:23:53 -0600

Ryan gravatar image

I will try to answer your questions in order:

  • Is there currently support for the new Turtlebot in Fuerte? Currently, yes, and we will build Fuerte images for the new TurtleBot.

  • To what degree will code for the new Turtlebot be backward compatible with the old Turtlebot. Will the existing Turtlebot node still work with the new base? Or will there be a new stack? We are attempting to maintain the code as close to the current structure as possible. There will definitely be another package for communication with the drive base. Code which is written for an old TurtleBot should work with a new one (unless you're using messages like turtlebot_node/sensor_state). Code which is written for a new one should also work with an old one (unless you're using Kobuki-specific messages or require the better sensors you will get with the new drive base)

  • It looks like the new Turtlebot is designed to provide power to a laptop. What laptop(s) will be supported? I've been looking at the Acer Aspire One AO756-4854. Laptops are a constant source of frustration for us, as manufacturers are now EOLing their laptops on a 6 month rotation and they never work out of the box with Linux. We are currently shipping the Asus 1025C with our TurtleBots.

  • Is the low-level interface to the Kobuki base compatible with the interface to the Create? Is there a published specification for the Kobuki interface? No, it is not compatible on a driver level. There is no formal published spec yet.

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Can you say what voltage the laptop power connection is and how much power it provides?

dornhege gravatar imagedornhege ( 2012-10-25 08:05:10 -0600 )edit

The power connection is 19 V and will provide 2 A to the netbook when the robot is docked. I believe the current plan is to provide no power on this connector to the netbook when the robot isn't docked (to avoid draining the battery), but I'll have to confirm that

Ryan gravatar imageRyan ( 2012-10-25 11:36:51 -0600 )edit
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answered 2012-10-25 15:39:02 -0600

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To add some extra information to Ryan's post above.

  • Is there currently support for the new Turtlebot in Fuerte?

We are currently hacking on the code in fuerte - you can track the development branches on github. I am planning to upgrade the development for groovy relatively quickly - mostly due to catkin and the fact we need to do quite alot of our new development for turtlebot around catkin as well and these won't be compatible with fuerte.

So groovy would seem to be a better long term fit for turtlebot2 and I'll certainly make sure groovy installs are manually possible whilst we transition.

  • To what degree will code for the new Turtlebot be backward compatible with the old Turtlebot. Will the existing Turtlebot node still work with the new base? Or will there be a new stack?

The new code on github is currently using environment variables to define various hardware parts which would be different (currently TURTLEBOT_BASE, TURTLEBOT_STACKS, TURTLEBOT_3D_SENSOR). These get used to launch the appropriate drivers and nodes. This may change, but the launching concept should remain somewhat similar.

My perspective is that the new software being developed on github is essentially what defines 'Turtlebot2'. That software is reconfigurable to run with whatever turtlebot-compatible hardware you have.

  • It looks like the new Turtlebot is designed to provide power to a laptop. What laptop(s) will be supported? I've been looking at the Acer Aspire One AO756-4854.

We (Yujin Robot) are in the same situation. Currently we are looking at shipping the ASUS1225B until further notice (not yet fixed).

  • Is the low-level interface to the Kobuki base compatible with the interface to the Create? Is there a published specification for the Kobuki interface?

We're still developing the kobuki driver. It is important to note that there is an REP for the turtlebot - REP 119. This is not yet completely polished, though it attacks the major points. The kobuki and create drivers both do the basics - they provide consistent /odom and /cmd_vel topics and the official turtlebot applications are ok. Some of the sensors (e.g. bump sensors) could be made compatible if there is demand for it. If you'd like to get your voice heard, probably the best place to do so is the turtlebot sig.

This week we are also finalising some contact points for Kobuki - mailing list, email, blog, twitter and rebuilding the official web site. I will advertise information for these once done (expect early next week). These should help fill in some holes for people.

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answered 2015-01-27 21:13:47 -0600

Ahyan gravatar image

I am also considering a turtlebot2. Can anyone please answer? 1. What about simulation environment for turtlebot2? Is it Gazebo similar to previous turtlebot? 2. I saw a robotic arm attached with turtlebot2 sometimes? If I buy a new turtlebot2, will the manipulator arm be also attached with it? Thank you

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  1. Yes, it's Gazebo.
  2. Most manufacturers don't sell TurtleBots with arms due to the lack of quality low-cost arms.
  3. In the future, please post this as a separate question so others can find it easier.
Ryan gravatar imageRyan ( 2015-01-27 23:33:12 -0600 )edit

Thank you for your answer. Would you please also tell me whether I can program turtlebot2 (with arm) using hydo? Can I buy turtlebot arm separately from manufacture? Is it available?

Ahyan gravatar imageAhyan ( 2015-01-28 00:00:47 -0600 )edit
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answered 2012-10-25 05:26:13 -0600

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Have you looked at this: http://ros.org/wiki/kobuki/ ? I'm assuming there will be fuerte support.

There also was a specs page, which seems 404 now. IIRC it was a 19V connector.

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The specs page was moved - now at http://kobuki.yujinrobot.com/kobuki/specifications/

Daniel Stonier gravatar imageDaniel Stonier ( 2012-10-26 01:54:56 -0600 )edit
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answered 2012-11-05 02:50:13 -0600

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Here's what I have figured out about the charging port (from the kobuki specifications):

  • The laptop charger port is active only when the laptop is plugged in. If you are planning on manually charging the robot, you could charge whatever laptop you place on the robot at the same time.
  • If you are interested in long term autonomous operation through the docking station, the Kobuki itself uses a 19v/3.16A (60 Watts) charger and 19v/2.1A (40 Watts) are available for laptop recharging. Any laptop that uses a 40 Watt AC Adaptor will probably be fine.
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Asked: 2012-10-25 05:06:43 -0600

Seen: 1,236 times

Last updated: Jan 27 '15