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Is ROS for me?

asked 2012-11-28 13:09:10 -0500

packrat gravatar image

updated 2014-01-28 17:14:25 -0500

ngrennan gravatar image

I am building a hobby robot from a old powered wheelchair. For the brains I have built a mini PC (intel core i3). For the motor controllers I am using two 25amp pololu simple motor controllers that can controlled over USB. I have a USB video camera that I'll use as well as a high power wifi radio. I consider myself to be a beginner at the software side of robotics. I have programmed some with the arduino compiler and visual basic. For right now I would like to be able to control the robot remotely and see what it sees. Just something to play around with until I can program more complex actions. My question is, is ros the best route for me to start from scratch with?

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answered 2012-11-29 04:57:36 -0500

joq gravatar image

updated 2012-11-29 04:58:11 -0500

ROS is almost certainly a good choice. Many hobbyists use it effectively.

Whether it's your best option is for you to decide. Most of us here use it heavily and like it, so our responses will tend to favor ROS.

You should understand that ROS is complex. It provides many useful features, but learning it will take a while.

As @dornhege said: work through the beginner tutorials. They will give you a clear understanding of the basics. If you like what you see, you'll be well on your way. If you don't, you'll know to look elsewhere.

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answered 2012-11-28 22:34:49 -0500

packrat gravatar image I have only used the serial TTL communication side of these in connection with an arduino. For my new build of this robot I wanted to use the USB interface. You said I should be able to use ros. I believe I have installed ros under Ubuntu 12.04, but I'm not really sure where to start. Thanks for any help you can give me:-)

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Please do not create answers for discussion or comments. This is not a forum. Instead, either edit your original post or use the comment functionality.

dornhege gravatar image dornhege  ( 2012-11-28 22:42:39 -0500 )edit

If you have arduino code running, there is rosserial, which allows you to easily connect an arduino with ROS. You should be able to control your robot via the arduino then. Camera drivers and generic teleop nodes are also available. Start with the beginner's tutorials on

dornhege gravatar image dornhege  ( 2012-11-28 22:43:53 -0500 )edit

answered 2012-11-28 14:01:49 -0500

Mac gravatar image

I don't know about your motors; assuming there are ROS drivers (or that you can write your own; you say they're "controllable over USB", which means the answer is almost certainly yes), then the answer is "yes, absolutely".

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Asked: 2012-11-28 13:09:10 -0500

Seen: 457 times

Last updated: Nov 29 '12