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Accepting inputs from a Playstation 3 Controller via USB

asked 2013-11-11 11:21:40 -0600

Hey everyone! I'm new to ROS and I've been working on a project at university with underwater robotics. I want to implement controlling the robot remotely via a Playstation controller connected to my computer via USB. I'm completely new so I don't know how to get started. Does anyone have any tips on what I should look into?

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answered 2013-11-11 19:26:21 -0600

fergs gravatar image

A new option would be to get a PS4 controller. Currently, these won't work over Bluetooth, but from our testing they are immediately recognized as a joystick by Ubuntu Linux 12.04 when connected over USB. You could then use the standard joy_node (

Note that the button mappings appear to be entirely different from the popular PS3 controller.

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Hi fergs, I took a look at this package and I managed to get the input data from the controller as a joystick (which is really all I need), but for some reason I wasn't able to get the tutorials working. What is the best way to translate that information into something I can use to direct the robot?

jakemorris gravatar image jakemorris  ( 2013-11-11 19:29:13 -0600 )edit

answered 2013-11-11 12:29:53 -0600

Chad Rockey gravatar image

I don't believe there is an official wired PS3 controller, see the complaints here:

ROS does support PS3 controllers over bluetooth:

See here for turtlebot's example launch file:

If you need a wired controller, I would look at something that support's Linux's joystick API:

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Thanks, I was looking for solutions online but I only got the Bluetooth enabled answers. I thought there could be some way to interface it since the controller has a USB port on the back. It looks like Bluetooth is my best option.

jakemorris gravatar image jakemorris  ( 2013-11-11 12:36:41 -0600 )edit

answered 2013-11-11 20:55:53 -0600

updated 2013-11-11 20:56:31 -0600

I am not 100% sure (and I have no time to test), but I think I have used the PS3 controller by connecting it using USB and then just using the regular joystick driver.

/edit: People at this Q/A seem to agree.

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Hi! Sorry if I ask a bunch of questions, because I'm still a newb at this stuff. So I'm trying to do the tutorials using Hydro, so some I'm not sure if some parts of the tutorials are working... For some reason, there is no executable for joy_node when I try to run it. Do you have any insight?

jakemorris gravatar image jakemorris  ( 2013-11-15 13:02:31 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2013-11-11 11:21:40 -0600

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Last updated: Nov 11 '13