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ROS on a custom robot

asked 2013-01-01 07:19:25 -0500

atticdweller gravatar image

I've been working on a robot project using a Rover 5 base and mecanum wheels. I really want to get started controlling it with ROS. Right now I have it running on an Arduino Mega where I send it commands over bluetooth from my computer, being controlled by an Xbox controller.

My question is where can I find good tutorials to get started with ROS. Yes I am familiar with the tutorials on the ROS wiki and found the silent ROS tutorials on youtube. Is there anyone out there that can point me at an awesome ROS class online? I've watched all of ROSCON 2012 and found Bill Smarts class, Mobile Robotics and can't find any of his lectures. Is there anyone that can point me in the right direction getting started with ROS or feel like taking a beginner under their wing to answer all of my silly questions? I'd love to talk on skype with someone thats knowledgable about it.

I'm jrombousky on skype, please feel free to message me about anything with ROS. Thanks for your help!

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answered 2013-01-03 18:24:37 -0500

Bill Smart gravatar image

updated 2013-01-06 11:43:07 -0500

None of the lectures for the class are on-line. In the classes, we didn't really cover ROS all that much. The vast majority of the time was spent on core robotics stuff, like kinematics, localizarion, mapping, and the like. I usually mentioned the associated ROS packages, but not in any depth. Mostly, what you see on the web is what the students got: they did the ROS tutorials, and then started to write some simple code to move a robot about in Stage, and then ported it to a real platform (Turtlebots, in the most recent iteration of the class).

If you're looking for more ROS-specific stuff for your own robot, I'd recommend Patrick Goebel's book, or (as Tully suggested in a comment to another answer) the Homebrew Robotics Club.

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answered 2013-01-02 09:10:07 -0500

Mani gravatar image

updated 2013-01-02 13:33:47 -0500

I think going through online ROS tutorials while watching a couple of video tutorials is enough for becoming familiar with ROS. The next step is actually working with it on a real project. ROS Serial for Arduino has a couple of tutorials. The way that I learned ROS was through tutorials and trial-and-error on a working robot. It may take a couple of searches at the beginning to solve problems, but it becomes smoother as you progress. Do not aim for perfect code at the beginning, instead try to do iterative improvement to a minimal working code. I could be able to find answers to most of my question in this Q&A forum, I bet you will be able to do so as well. Good luck hacking.

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A good resource is the Home Brew Robotics Club where they're actively discussing arduino based robotics on their mailing list.

tfoote gravatar image tfoote  ( 2013-01-02 12:42:54 -0500 )edit

my interest is to learn how to make a totally custom board that is capable of running ros? i mean, make packages and drivers for it too... do you have a clue about it? thanks

VEGETA gravatar image VEGETA  ( 2016-08-10 17:40:22 -0500 )edit

answered 2013-01-08 04:07:32 -0500

atticdweller gravatar image

Thanks for all the advice. I'm ordering Patrick Goelel's book now. I'll follow through the tutorials on the ROS site. Thanks for answering Bill!

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Asked: 2013-01-01 07:19:25 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 08 '13