So, what is this ‘ROS’ you
are talking about?
ROS(Robot Operating System) is a collection of libraries, drivers, and other tools for developers
to create software for robotic projects. The
appliances that come with ROS include
visualization, package management, hardware
abstraction, and much more. ROS was originally
developed by Willow Garage. They were a
company in the Bay area of Northern California
who worked on robotics and open source
Step #2: Installing the
After you set up ROS on your computer, you can now
proceed to installing the necessary packages to use the
Neato. In the terminal, cd to the src folder in your catkin
We can now download the neato_robot package
written by the fabulous Mike Ferguson.
Be sure you are connected to the Internet, and type in
echo “source ~/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash” >>
git clone https://github.com/mikeferguson/
What About the Neato?
The Neato robot is an autonomous vacuum cleaner
developed by Neato Robotics. Not only can this robot clean
your floors, it can also be used as an excellent platform for
robotic projects. The Neato has an open USB interface that
can be easily accessed, as well as an intelligently designed
LiDAR. A LiDAR is a rotating laser that scans the
environment, giving the robot the ability to avoid obstacles
and map its path.
(If you don’t have git installed, install it using: sudo
apt-get install git.)
The src directory should now contain a neato_robot
Go back to catkin_ws and run catkin_make.
In this article, we will set up the Neato with ROS Indigo
Igloo, and use a simple program to control the robot using
What You’ll Need:
• Neato XV- 11 (newer versions such as the XV- 21 have
been said to work, as well)
• A laptop running Ubuntu 13. 10 or newer with an
active Internet connection
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• A mini-B type USB cord (the longer, the better)
• Some experience with Linux
Step #1: Installing ROS
On your laptop, go to http://wiki.ros.org/indigo/
Installation/Ubuntu and follow the installation
instructions. After the install has finished, go through the
tutorials — not only will they help you set up ROS on your
system, the tutorials will also give you knowledge you will
need later on. To use your ROS workspace, you will need to
source a setup.bash file every time you start up a terminal.
Reflow Kit V3
ships from the U.S.
To automate this process, running this command will
make sure the bash file is run every time you open a
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Then, re-open the terminal.
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