I Am Moving On Or?

 
#1

So, long story short I am learning/moving on to ROS (Robot Operating System)... Ez Robot is still the easiest and greatest software on the market especially for the beginner. I will always push it when people ask me "where should I start". However, I have hit the wall and want to go further, After seeing what Willow Garage's PR2, Xaxxon's ROV and ClearPath's TurtleBot can do using RVIZ and SLAM I am willing to undertake the steep learning curve to to accomplish the same (well as much as possible). Just google if you want to see what these bots are capable of. I have been messing with uBuntu and ROS for the last few weeks and I am beginning to make some serious progress with it...
One of my serious goals is 3d mapping and indoor navigation... ROS does this superbly... I have bought myself a ASUS Xtion Pro and I already have a laptop running uBunto and ROS and an iRobot Create. So now I have a cheap Turtlebot capable of 3d indoor mapping (real time), obstacle avoidance and target navigating...
Yes, I could have learned C# and written add on controls for EZ Robot, but there is no way I have the programming ability to come up with something like SLAM (simultaneous location and mapping). I just do not have the programming skills of guys like DJ and d,cochran,,,, So unless DJ has a rabbit up his sleeve regarding indoor nav the only way I am going to accomplish this is to torture myself learning ROS and do it myself... To be honest I have always felt a bit like a fraud using ez robot... I mean when people ask me or say "how did you do that" or "you really are smart, that's amazing".... I can't help but think in the back of my mind... this is not me, this is DJ Sures he's the real genius here...
Anyway, I feel like I hit a cross road and I have to take another route for a while... I am not leaving here and I will will keep my mouth shut about ROS as it has no place here... Besides, no one wants to listen to my ROS ramblings anyway Tongue So when I am one here it is all about ez robot and nothing else...

Not sure why I posted this... maybe just to make myself feel less guilty about moving to the dark side for while anyway... Smile You never know, I'll probably get overwhelmed with ROS and come crawling back here with my head hung in shame... Grin

#2

Grab yourself the Roomba 980. Its got slam and iOS and Android apps to run it.

#3

Hey DOC LOL.... Those are seriously expensive... and the Canadian dollar sucks to boot...

#4

Richard R I for one am interested in rod. What controller are you using? Arduino platform?

#5

Hey Richard. ROS is great and SLAM is awesome. Add to that something like A* for path calculation and path finding, your indoor navigation is done.

I am doing a lot of this also with Rafiki. It uses the best technology that I could afford and allows communication between multiple controllers. For example, I want to have a robot that does these advanced features but also is able to be expanded with different sensors and has an easy to program user interface. To accomplish this goal, I am using the V4 to allow users to add what they want to the robot. It also allows the user to customize the programming as needed for use of these sensors or allow the robot to do different things without having to know ROS or any more difficult to learn programming language. SLAM and A* run on a different controller in the robot. The robot also has a central controller which coordinates everything and sends the information back to the EZ-B and EZ-Builder for the user to do what they want to do with it.

I see this as the best of both worlds personally. Serial communication between these devices is adequate and still allows the user to use EZ-Builder while still providing extensive capabilities that I don't want the user to mess with.

Anyway, just a thought. I don't see it as an either or situation. I see it as a "use the best option available for the function that you want to perform" type of situation. It is different if it is something you are developing for yourself and I understand that for sure. I probably would still do it the same if it were just for me but I am using linux on single board computers instead of a pc or tablet. These boards have GPIO ports and serial ports and can communicate information back to the V4 easily.

Anyway, have fun dude. You have my email and keep in touch.

#6

@kamaroman68 For the turtlebot you only need a laptop and the ASUS Xtion Pro 3d camera (or kinect)... The laptop running ROS plugs directly into the iRobot roomba or Create base so no need for a microcontroller. There is a Create control Package for ROS... I am sure down the road I will need to use a microcontroller of some sort for other projects... As David mentioned he is able to interface ez builder and the ezb... and also like he says "it's the best of both worlds"....

#7

Thanks David... I am sure I will need to consult you at some point.... I figured as much that you were using slam in one form or another for Rafiki... I wish I could be a fly on the wall with what you are doing... However, once I get Turtlebot working I should have a pretty good grasp of ROS....

#8

Thanks for the reply Richard. I at one time expressed great interest in the pr2 robot. How do you go about interfacing motor control into ros? I was under the impression it was a computer that spoke to an I/o type board hence the arduino question. I don't think computer outputs could handle the motor current draw. Thanks again

#9

Richard, check out the new Thinking Cleaner WiFi faceplate for the 500-600 Roomba that is selling on Amazon.com. $99 It may be something you could use with the ROS environment. I just dusted off my Ubuntu laptop, downloaded the latest upgrades and now downloading the ROS with GUI. Also just received some low power WIFi UARTs with webpages instead of just ATT commands that I'm going to hook up to the Create-Two.

#10

@Doc I hadn't seen that before... That wifi face-plate is so cool and elegant... I am going to try and get one... I would love to see your wifi setup with the Create 2 when you get it going,,,,
@kamaroman68 I haven't really looked into motor control options for ROS yet.... For now I am trying to get Turtlebot up and running so I can grasp the basic concepts first. However, I do imagine having to write some basic code in C++ or python and using something like an arduino down the road in order to drive a sabertooth or Romeo controller.... I'll cross that bridge when I get there...