echo “export TURTLEBOT_3D_SENSOR=kinect” >>
To set the robot drive mechanism to use the Roomba,
you’ll need to connect to the iRobot Create’s Open Interface
included with Turtlebot:
echo ”export TURTLEBOT_BASE=create” >> ~/.bashrc
Set the robot’s navigation protocol:
echo “export TURTLEBOT_STACKS=circles” >> ~/.bashrc
Set the communication interface to talk to the USB port
on the TS-7970:
echo “export TURTLEBOT_SERIAL_PORT=/dev/ttyUSB0” >>
Once again, before you go on, you may want to refresh
the ROS environment variables for your bash session to make
sure all of these new settings are applied:
echo “source /opt/ros/kinetic/ setup.bash” >> ~/.bashrc
Install Kinect Drivers
Our robot uses a Microsoft Kinect to see in 3D and
infrared. To use the Kinect, you need to install its driver from
the ROS repositories:
sudo apt-get install ros-kinetic-openni-camera
sudo apt-get install ros-kinetic-openni-launch
git clone https://github.com/avin2/SensorKinect
tar xvjf SensorKinect093-Bin-Linux-x64-v5.1. 2.1.tar.bz2
sudo ./ install.sh
roslaunch openni_launch openni.launch
Testing Your Build
Let’s test the outcome of what we have! Now that all of
the software configurations have been completed, you can
build up your robot.
First, make sure all of your connections are made and
both the external battery and the Roomba battery are
- Connect the Kinect to the 12V external battery and
12V regulator, and the USB to the TS-7970.
- Connect the serial to USB cable to the SBC, and the
other end to the six-pin mini DIN serial port on the Roomba.
- Connect a physical USB cable for Console (this can be
removed once you have finished the initial movement tests).
- Connect 12V power to the TS-7970.
- Turn 12V power on.
Refer back to Figure 1.
Once you get to a prompt, you can launch a simple
test program using the following commands that will allow
you to verify communication between the TS-7970 and the
$roslaunch turtlebot_bringup minimal.launch --screen &
$roslaunch turtlebot_teleop keyboard_teleop.launch
A new prompt should come up with a list of buttons to
press on the keyboard to make the robot move. If the robot
is not moving as you anticipated, check your connections
to the TS-7970, the Roomba, and verify the software
installation/configuration steps above.
When the robot is moving correctly, kill that process
using CTRL+C, and run the “Follow” mode of the robot to
make use of the sensors and mapping data described here.
You should now have a fully functional robot!
Put this launch command in your startup scripts and
your robot will be able to come to life automatically when
power is applied:
$roslaunch turtlebot_follower follower.launch
Watch as your new creation comes to life and starts
following you like a lost puppy! Walk towards it, and your
robot will move away from you. Step back or walk away
slowly and the robot will start to follow you. Dance with it,
have it chase your friends, or eventually fetch you a soda!
Now that you have a functioning robot that knows how
to follow humans, you can add on to the ROS software
Give your robot speech and facial recognition and tell it
to go chase your feline friend. Or, hook it up to your smart
home and have your robot automate your lights and tell you
what the temperature is.
You can go as far as attaching a robotic arm and
installing object recognition to actually go and grab you a
soda from the kitchen.
Congratulations! You now have the start of a fully
configurable robot. Have fun! The possibilities only end
where your imagination does! SV
56 SERVO 09/10.2018