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Thread: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

  1. #11
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    The Create has an IR beacon sensor on it that you can get to. Basically, just two detectors on either side of an optical baffle. It's been a while since I looked at the Create stuff, but I'm pretty sure you can read it with the serial protocol. Their charger base has an IR beacon that the Create seeks -- exactly like Camp's Springy-Thingy grab toy.

  2. #12
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    Quote Originally Posted by lnxfergy View Post
    We love our Creates here at Albany (currently have 6). The support a ridiculous payload and can run for a very long time (even when powering a Kinect). We actually use the brown drivers (http://www.ros.org/wiki/irobot_create_2_1) although WG is working on another set of drivers that have diagnostics, a dashboard, etc for their turtlebot (http://www.ros.org/wiki/create_robot).
    -Fergs
    Hey Fergs,

    So I just got my Create and fired up the Brown ROS node and presto! I can move the bot, change the color of the LEDs etc. However, how do I turn off the annoying "Star Wars" sounds it makes when it moves???

    --patrick
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

  3. #13
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pi Robot View Post
    Hey Fergs,

    So I just got my Create and fired up the Brown ROS node and presto! I can move the bot, change the color of the LEDs etc. However, how do I turn off the annoying "Star Wars" sounds it makes when it moves???

    --patrick
    Stars wars noise? There is a really annoying beeping sound at startup when you initially connect (I haven't explored how to kill that) -- but once you've connected, you shouldn't have any sound. Are you referring to the sound of the motors running (it's a bit loud).

    -Fergs

  4. #14
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    Holy cow--those are noisy motors! So much for using the Create as a surveillance robot...

    --p
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

  5. #15
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pi Robot View Post
    Holy cow--those are noisy motors! So much for using the Create as a surveillance robot...

    --p
    Interestingly, none of us brought up noise in our evaluations above.......

    -Fergs

  6. #16
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    I'll have to compare it side by side with Pi Robot tonight on my regular carpeted testing area (a.k.a. the living room). Right now I'm in an office with laminated (fake wood?) floors. I was just expecting something quieter compared to our old Roomba since the Create doesn't have a vacuum cleaner running inside and it is much newer.

    --patrick
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

  7. #17
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    So the good news that the motor noise is not quite so loud in a carpeted room, though it still caused the cats to scatter (I'm not kidding, and they have spent their whole lives around robots). Also, it seems to be worse at very slow speeds--the "screeching" pretty much goes away above speeds of 200 or so (using the units of the Brown ROS package).

    --patrick
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

  8. #18
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    Quote Originally Posted by lnxfergy View Post
    I have successfully built maps using the Hokuyo and a Create -- and that is here in our featureless, oversized hallways (so maps should be much better in an apartment/home setting). You should get quite a bit of runtime even with the Kinect, I didn't exactly measure, but I think I had it running for upwards of 3hrs with the kinect and a moderate amount of driving.
    -Fergs
    Hey Fergs,

    So I have my Create spinning around the living room with a Hokuyo laser and using gmapping, move_base, etc (launch file below) and I am not getting very good mapping info. Basically, I'm not getting a map at all because the occupancy grid keeps jumping all over the place. Do you have any hints on move_base parameters you had to set for the Create to get decent maps? Also, I seem to have forgotten whether or not I have to run the fake_localization node with gmapping. It doesn't seem to make much difference anyway.

    Here is my launch file:

    Code:
    <launch>
        <!-- Make sure simulated time is off -->
        <param name="/use_sim_time" value="False" />
        
        <!-- Load the robot model -->
        <param name="robot_description" command="$(find xacro)/xacro.py '$(find pi_k
    inectbot)/urdf/kinectbot.urdf.xacro'" />
    
        <!-- Use the joint state publisher and robot state publisher so we can see t
    he robot in RViz. -->
        <param name="/use_gui" value="False" />
        <node name="joint_state_publisher" pkg="joint_state_publisher" type="joint_s
    tate_publisher" /> 
        <node name="robot_state_publisher" pkg="robot_state_publisher" type="state_p
    ublisher" />
        
        <!-- Run the map server with a blank map -->
        <node name="map_server" pkg="map_server" type="map_server" args="$(find pi_r
    obot)/maps/blank_map.yaml"/>
    
       <!-- Run the Hokuyo laser scanner node -->
       <node name="hokuyo" pkg="hokuyo_node" type="hokuyo_node">
          <remap from="scan" to="base_scan" />
          <param name="min_ang" value="-2.0943" />
          <param name="hokuyo_node/calibrate_time" value="true" />
          <param name="frame_id" value="base_laser" />
       </node>
    
        <!-- Launch move_base and load all the costmap parameters for use with the b
    ase_local_planner -->
        <node pkg="move_base" type="move_base" respawn="false" name="move_base" outp
    ut="screen">
            <rosparam file="$(find pi_kinectbot)/params/costmap_common_params.yaml" 
    command="load" ns="global_costmap" />
            <rosparam file="$(find pi_kinectbot)/params/costmap_common_params.yaml" 
    command="load" ns="local_costmap" />
            <rosparam file="$(find pi_kinectbot)/params/local_costmap_params.yaml" c
    ommand="load" />
            <rosparam file="$(find pi_kinectbot)/params/global_costmap_params.yaml" 
    command="load" />
            <rosparam file="$(find pi_kinectbot)/params/base_local_planner_params.ya
    ml" command="load" />
       </node>
    
       <!-- Fire up gmapping -->    
       <node name="gmapping" pkg="gmapping" type="slam_gmapping" args="scan:=base_sc
    an" output="screen">
         <param name="linearUpdate" value="0.1" />
         <param name="angularUpdate" value="0.05" />    
         <param name="xmin" value="-20" /> 
         <param name="ymin" value="-20" />
         <param name="xmax" value="20" />    
        <param name="ymax" value="20" />
        <param name="maxUrange" value="6" />        
      </node>
    </launch>
    And here are my parameter files:

    base_local_planner_params.yaml
    TrajectoryPlannerROS:
    max_vel_x: 0.25
    min_vel_x: 0.075
    max_rotational_vel: 0.6
    min_in_place_rotational_vel: 0.2
    acc_lim_th: 5
    acc_lim_x: 3
    acc_lim_y: 3
    yaw_goal_tolerance: 0.4
    xy_goal_tolerance: 0.075
    controller_frequency: 5.0
    holonomic_robot: false
    path_distance_bias: 0.8
    goal_distance_bias: 0.3
    sim_time: 2.0

    costmap_common_params.yaml
    obstacle_range: 5.0
    raytrace_range: 5.0
    #footprint: [[-0.19, 0.17], [0.19, 0.17], [0.19, -0.17], [-0.19, -0.17]]
    robot_radius: 0.165
    fooprint_padding: 0.01
    inflation_radius: 0.55
    transform_tolerance: 1.0
    observation_sources: base_scan
    base_scan: {sensor_frame: base_laser, data_type: LaserScan, topic: base_scan, ma
    rking: true, clearing: true}

    local_costmap_params.yaml
    local_costmap:
    global_frame: /odom
    robot_base_frame: base_link
    update_frequency: 5.0
    publish_frequency: 2.0
    static_map: false
    rolling_window: true
    width: 4.0
    height: 4.0
    resolution: 0.05

    global_costmap:
    global_frame: /map
    robot_base_frame: base_link
    update_frequency: 5.0
    static_map: true
    rolling_window: false

    Thanks!
    patrick
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

  9. #19
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    I've been playing around with my Create with the Kinect hooked up and powered off the DB25 connector. When recharging the Create, I have been disconnecting the DB25 since I don't want to blow up the Kinect or anything else attached to those pins. I read somewhere about circuit breakers that can be attached to the Create's digital pins to protect the connected components. Does anyone know where to get such a beast? (I tried Googling and struck out.) And the more general question is, do I really need to disconnect the DB25 when recharging?

    Thanks,
    patrick
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

  10. #20
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    Re: Experience with iRobot Create and ROS?

    Which pins are you using on the DB25? It's been a long while since I looked at that connector, but IIRC there are some low current 5V regulated output(s) and some raw 14V-or-so battery outputs. How are you driving the kinect?

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