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ROSbot 2.0 & ROSbot 2.0 PRO

Overview

ROSbot is a 4x4 drive autonomous mobile robot platform equipped with LIDAR, RGB-D camera, IMU, encoders, distance sensors available in two version: 2.0 and 2.0 PRO. Powered by ROS.

ROSbot is an affordable robot platform for rapid development of autonomous robots. It can be a base for custom service robots, inspection robots and robots working in swarms. Both version integrates:

  • 4-wheels mobile platform containing DC motors with encoders and an aluminum frame
  • Orbbec Astra RGBD camera
  • MPU 9250 inertial sensor or BNO055 (accelerometer + gyro)
  • rear panel providing interfaces for additional modules

ROSbot is available in two options which next to features mentioned before also include:

ROSbot

  • CORE2-ROS controller with Asus Tinker Board with Rockchip RK3288 up to 1,8GHz, 2GB DDR3 RAM and 32 GB MicroSD.
  • RPLIDAR A2 laser scanner

ROSbot PRO

  • CORE2-ROS controller with UpBoard UP with Intel® ATOM™ x5-Z8350 Processors 64 bits up to 1.92GHz, 4GB DDR3L RAM and 32GB eMMC.
  • RPLIDAR A3 laser scanner

If you do not own ROSbot yet, you can purchase it here.

Gazebo Simulation Model

You can also test the performance of ROSbot using our simulation model in Gazebo environment. It is available here, at our GitHub page.

ROSbot gazebo

You can find free ROS tutorials dedicated for ROSbot under this link. They will guide you through different aspects of programming autonomous vehicles in ROS

Hardware guide

Specification

ROSbot dimension
AttributeDescription
Dimensions with camera and LiDAR200 x 235 x 220mm / 7.87 x 9.25 x 8.66in [L x W x H]
Dimensions without camera200 x 235 x 146mm / 7.87 x 9.25 x 5.74in [L x W x H]
Dimensions without camera and LiDAR200 x 235 x 106mm / 7.87 x 9.25 x 4.17in [L x W x H]
Weight2,84kg / 100oz (with camera and LiDAR), 2,45kg / 86oz (without camera and LiDAR)
Wheel diameter / Clearance / Wheelbase85mm / 22mm / 105mm
Chassis materialPowder-coated aluminum plate, 1.5mm thick
Maximum translational velocity1.0 m/s
Maximum rotational velocity420 deg/s (7.33 rad/s)
Maximum load capacityUp to 10kg / 352oz *not in continuous work
Battery life1.5h - 5h

Components

Side scheme

Back

Components description

ComponentQuantityDescription
Infrared distance sensor4VL53L0X Time-of-Flight distance sensor with up to 200 cm range, more details
CORE21Real-time controller based on STM32F407 microcontroller.
DC motor4Xinhe Motor XH-25D, Motor used: RF-370, 6VDC nominal, 5000rpm, no load speed at the output shaft: 165 rpm, stall torque: 2.9 kg*cm, stall current: 2.2A, gear ratio: ~34 (exact ratio is 30613/900), encoder: magnetic, 48ppr, 12 poles
IMU sensor1Powerful 9-Axis Accel/Gyro/Magnetometer sensor with MPU-9250, more details or Intelligent 9-axis absolute orientation sensor BNO055, more details
RGBD camera1Orbbec Astra with RGB image size 640x480 and depth image size 640x480.
Batteries3Li-Ion 18650 protected, rechargeable batteries, 3500mAh capacity, 3.7V nominal voltage. Note: Device may be shipped interchangeably with similar batteries.
Antenna1Connected directly to the ASUS Tinker Board Wi-Fi module. Uses an RP-SMA(m) <-> I-PEX MHF4 cable to connect the antenna with SBC.

In ROSbot 2.0:

ComponentQuantityDescription
SBC1ASUS Tinker Board with 2 GB RAM, Rockchip RK 3288 with 4x 1.80 GHz as CPU and a ARM Mali-T764 MP2 as a GPU and 32 GB MicroSD. The SBC runs on Ubuntu-based OS, customized to use ROS.
LIDAR1RpLidar A2, 360 degree and up to 8m range, more details

In ROSbot 2.0 PRO:

ComponentQuantityDescription
SBC1UpBoard with 4 GB RAM, Quad-Core Intel Atom Z8350 1,92 GHz as CPU, a Intel® HD 400 Graphics as a GPU and 32GB eMMC. The SBC runs on Ubuntu-based OS, customized to use ROS.
LIDAR1RpLidar A3, 360 degree and up to 25m range, more details

Block diagram

Graphic representation of ROSbot 2.0 (PRO) components and connections between them.

Block diagram

Rear panel description

Rear panel description

ComponentQuantityDescription
Antenna connector1Wi-Fi antenna RP-SMA socket. Required for Wi-Fi connectivity.
USB2USB 2.0 host ports from SBC.
HDMI1HDMI output from SBC.
Power switch1Turns ROSbot completely ON or OFF.
LEDs6LR1(yellow), LR2(blue), L1(red), L2(green), L3(green), PWR(red), more details here.
Reset button1Button used for reset CORE2.
hBtn2hBtn1, hBtn2 - programmable buttons.
Outputs for servo6Servo output with PWM, more details here.
USB serial1USB serial port used for debugging the firmware on CORE2-ROS controller.
Charging connector16-pin connector for charging internal Li-Ion batteries.
DC power input1DC for working with external 12V power supply. Use the power supply included with charger or any 12V, min. 5A power supply with 5.5/2.5mm plug (center-positive).
Time-of-Flight distance sensor2VL53L0X Time-of-Flight distance sensor with up to 200 cm range, more details here.
hExt112xGPIO, 7x ADC, SPI, I2C, UART, more details here.
hSens14 xGPIO, ADC, UART, more details here.
hCfg1The button no longer has any functionality.

Power supply

ROSbot is powered from an internal, rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack that contains 3 Li-Ion cells, connected in series. This type of connection is called “3S”. The schematic below explains how the cells are wired together and with the charging connector (on ROSbot side).

Battery connections

The BAT+ and BAT- are the power connections and the “bal Bxx” wires are used to monitor the voltage on each cell. It is strongly recommended to keep equal voltages on each cell during the charging process. The charger included with ROSbot can charge batteries in the described way and, thanks to that, the long life of the battery set is possible.

The nominal voltage of each cell is 3.7V but the useful range is 3.2V to 4.2V.

Important - discharge indicator If only the right firmware is preloaded to the internal controller (CORE2), the LED1 is programmed to indicate the power status:

  • the LED1 is on when the robot is turned on
  • the LED1 is blinking when battery is low – please charge immediately!

Please make sure that the user firmware always contains the function that monitors the supply voltage level. Deep discharging of batteries may decrease their lifecycle. Discharging to the voltage lower than 3.0V/cell can also trigger the over discharge protection. If the voltage is too low, turn ROSbot off and charge batteries as soon as possible.

Charging ROSbot

Charging kitThe ROSbot kit contains the Redox Beta charger. It is an universal charger, suitable for charging NiCd, NiMH, Li-Po, Li-Fe, Li-Ion and Pb (AGM, VRLA) batteries. ROSbot shall be charged using an included charger and cable.

Charger kit includes:

  • Redox Beta charger
  • AC/DC power adapter 100...240V to 12V 5A with 5.5/2.5mm plug on the 12V side
  • a cable to connect charger with ROSbot charging port

Quick charging guide:

  1. Connect the power adapter to the charger and the output cable between charger and ROSbot (2 connectors on charger side, 1 black connector to ROSbot charging port).
  2. Use red and blue buttons to select “LiPo BATT” mode and press [Start].
  3. Use arrows to select “LiPo CHARGE” mode.
  4. Press [Start] - the current value should start blinking. Use arrows to set the current to 1.5A.
  5. Press [Start] again - the voltage value should start blinking. Select “11.1V(3S)” using arrows. The picture below shows the desired result.
  6. Press and hold [Start] for 2 seconds. The charger should now ask for confirmation. Press [Start] again. The charging process should begin now.
  7. When the charging will be finished (after about 3 hours), the charger will generate a loud “beep” sound and will finish charging at the same time.

Charge config

If you need more information about charging, please read the Charging manual for ROSbot in PDF format.

Notes

  • You can change charging current to maximum 3A. Please note that a regular charging with the maximum current can shorten the battery life.
  • If you are going to use ROSbot stationary for a long time, you can use ROSbot with charger or power supply connected all the time. Please see the Charging manual for ROSbot for details.
  • In case you need to replace batteries, use only 18650 Li-Ion batteries, with the capacity in a range of 1800...3500mAh and with a protection circuit! Using unprotected batteries may result in serious injuries or fire.
  • Unplug charging connectors carefully. You shall not unplug the charger connectors holding the wires. The balancer connection on ROSbot side has a latching tab (see photo below) that must be pressed before unplugging. On the charger side there is no latching tab but you should also unplug this connector holding the white plug.

Latched connector

Software

Software for ROSbot can be divided into 2 parts:

  • A low-level firmware that works on the real-time controller (CORE2). It can be developed using Visual Studio Code IDE.
  • OS based on Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04, which runs on the SBC (ASUS Tinker Board or UpBoard) and contains all components needed to start working with ROS or ROS2 immediately. The microSD card or MMC memory with OS is included with each ROSbot. The OS has been modified to make the file system insensitive to sudden power cuts.

ROS/ROS2 API

Below are topics and services available in ROSbot:

TopicMessage typeDirectionNode            Description        
/mpu9250rosbot_ekf/Imupublisher/serial_nodeRaw IMU data in custom message type
/range/flsensor_msgs/Rangepublisher/serial_nodeFront left range sensor raw data
/range/frsensor_msgs/Rangepublisher/serial_nodeFront right range sensor raw data
/range/rlsensor_msgs/Rangepublisher/serial_nodeRear left range sensor raw data
/range/rrsensor_msgs/Rangepublisher/serial_nodeRear right range sensor raw data
/joint_statessensor_msgs/JointStatepublisher/serial_nodeWheels rotation angle
/batterysensor_msgs/BatteryStatepublisher/serial_nodeBattery voltage
/buttonsstd_msgs/UInt8publisher/serial_nodeUser buttons state, details in User buttons section
/posegeometry_msgs/PoseStampedpublisher/serial_nodePosition based on encoders
/odom/wheelnav_msgs/Odometrypublisher/msgs_conversionOdometry based on wheel encoders
/velocitygeometry_msgs/Twistpublisher/serial_nodeOdometry based on encoders
/imusensor_msgs/Imupublisher/msgs_conversionIMU data wrapped in standard ROS message type
/odomnav_msgs/Odometrypublisher/rosbot_ekfOdometry based on sensor fusion
/tftf2_msgs/TFMessagepublisher/rosbot_ekfROSbot position based on sensor fusion
/set_posegeometry_msgs/ PoseWithCovarianceStampedsubscriber/rosbot_ekfAllow to set custom state of EKF
/cmd_velgeometry_msgs/Twistsubscriber/serial_nodeVelocity commands
/configrosbot_ekf/Configurationservice server/serial_nodeAllow to control behaviour of CORE2 board, detaild in CORE2 config section

User buttons

User button message is published only once when button is pushed. In case when both buttons are presse at the same time, two messages will be pubilshed. Possible values are:

  • 1 - button 1 pressed
  • 2 - button 2 pressed

CORE2 config

Config message definition rosbot_ekf/Configuration:

string command
string data
---
uint8 SUCCESS=0
uint8 FAILURE=1
uint8 COMMAND_NOT_FOUND=2
string data
uint8 result

Available commands:

SLED - Set LED state, data structure is LED_NUMBER LED_STATE, where:

LED_NUMBER is number of LED, could be 1, 2 or 3

LED_STATE is desired LED state, could be 0 to set LED off and 1 to set LED on

EIMU - Enable/disable IMU, possible values:

'1' - enable

'0' - disable

RIMU - Reset IMU (for Kalman related odometry)

To reset IMU MPU9250 call with empty data field.

EJSM - Enable/disable joint state message publication, possible values

'1' - enable

'0' - disable

RODOM - Reset odometry

To reset odometry call with empty data field.

CALI - Odometry valibration (update coefficients), data structure is: X Y, where

X - diameter_modificator value

Y - tyre_deflation value

EMOT - Enable/disable motors, possible values:

'0' - disconnect motors

'1' - connect motors

SANI - Set WS2812B LEDs animation This functionality is not default for ROSbots. It requires WS2812B LED stripe connected to servo 1 output on ROSbot back panel and rebuilding firmware with custom configuration.

To enable the WS2812B interface open the mbed_app.json file and change the line:

"enable-ws2812b-signalization": 0

to

"enable-ws2812b-signalization": 1

Possible values:

O - OFF

S <hex color code> - SOLID COLOR

F <hex color code> - FADE IN FADE OUT ANIMATION

B <hex color code> - BLINK FRONT/REAR ANIMATION

R - RAINBOW ANIMATION

External documentation

System reinstallation

In some cases you will need to restore ROSbot system to its default settings:

  • in case of accidential damage of the system,
  • to update the OS (it can be udpated remotely, but flashing the microSD card can be easier sometimes),
  • to clear all user changes and restore factory settings.

This process will differ depending on ROSbot version that you have.

ROSbot 2.0

  1. Extract SD card from ROSbot, by pushing card carefully until it is released back by card holder, thel pull it out. You can find SD card slot on ROSbot right side. SD card side view
  2. Download image for Raspberry Pi/Tinkerboard from here, you can choose ROS Melodic, ROS Noetic or ROS2 Foxy.
  3. Extract downloaded image (For this process we recommend using 7zip)
  4. Flash the extracted image onto SD card (For this process we recommend using Etcher but any image writing tool will be good):
  • If you want to replace the included card, remember that you need to use at least 16 GB capacity and 10 speed class micro SD card.
  • Download Etcher and install it.
  • Connect an SD card reader with the SD card inside.
  • Open Etcher and select from your hard drive .img file that you extracted.
  • Select the SD card you wish to write your image to.
  • Review your selections and click 'Flash!' to begin writing data to the SD card.
  1. Insert SD card back to ROSbot
  2. Proceed to Connect ROSbot to your Wi-Fi network section.
  3. Also, it's recommended to flash firmware before working with ROSbot:
cd ~
./flash_firmware.sh

ROSbot 2.0 PRO

Before you begin, you will need:

  • USB drive (at least 8GB)
  • Mouse, keyboard and USB hub
  • Display with HDMI cable
  1. Download Ubuntu installation image for UpBoard from section Downloads, you can choose ROS Melodic, ROS Noetic or ROS2 Foxy.

  2. Flash Ubuntu on USB drive (For this process we recommend using Etcher but any image writing tool will be good):

  • Download Etcher and install it.
  • Plug in USB drive into your computer.
  • Open Etcher and select from your hard drive .iso file that you downloaded.
  • Select the USB drive you wish to write your image to.
  • Review your selections and click 'Flash!' to begin writing data to the USB drive.
  1. BIOS settings:
  • Plug keyboard and monitor to USB and HDMI ports on ROSbot rear panel.
  • Plug in USB drive into second USB-A port on the rear panel.
  • Turn the robot on and press the "Esc" key during booting.
  • You will see blue window with "Enter Password" text. Press "Enter".
  • Go to "Boot" tab and change "Boot Option Priorities" to place USB drive at first order. Save & Exit.
  1. OS installation:
  • After Restart chose the "Install Ubuntu" option (remember to choose an option with erasing the memory before OS installation).
  • Connect your ROSbot to internet during the installation.
  • Proceed to Connect ROSbot to your Wi-Fi network section.
  1. Flash the firmware for STM32 microcontroller:

    cd ~
    ./flash_firmware.sh
  2. Enable SSH server:

    service ssh restart
  3. [Optional] Connect to Husarnet VPN network.

  • Get your Husarnet Join Code
info

You will find your Husarnet Join Code on your account at Husarnet Dashboard:

  1. Log in to https://app.husarnet.com/
  2. Select or create a network
  3. Click [Add element] button and select a Join Code tab.

Join Code looks like fc94:b01d:1803:8dd8:b293:5c7d:7639:932a/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Execute in the ROSbot's terminal:

    sudo systemctl restart husarnet
    export HUSARNET_JOINCODE=fc94:b01d:1803:8dd8:b293:5c7d:7639:932a/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx #place your own Husarnet Join Code here
    sudo husarnet join $HUSARNET_JOINCODE my-rosbot-pro
  • Connect your laptop to the same Husarnet network (instructions for other OSes are here):

    curl https://install.husarnet.com/install.sh | sudo bash
    sudo systemctl restart husarnet
    export HUSARNET_JOINCODE=fc94:b01d:1803:8dd8:b293:5c7d:7639:932a/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx #place your own Husarnet Join Code here
    sudo husarnet join $HUSARNET_JOINCODE my-laptop
  • Now your laptop and robot are in the same VPN network. You can access your ROSbot from anywhere. Eg. with SSH:

    johny@my-laptop:~$ ssh husarion@my-rosbot-pro

    Last login: Wed Mar 9 05:56:08 2022 from 10.5.10.139

    Documentation: https://husarion.com/manuals/

    husarion@my-rosbot-pro:~$ ls
    Desktop firmware.bin Music python-periphery Videos
    Documents flash_firmware.sh Pictures stm32loader
    Downloads husarion_ws Public Templates

Connect ROSbot to your Wi-Fi network

At first ROSbot need to be connected to your Wi-Fi network.

Option 1: Using display, mouse and keyboard

ROSbot is basically a computer running Ubuntu, so let's open it like a standard PC computer.

  1. Plug in a display with HDMI, mouse and keyboard into USB port in the rear panel of ROSbot.
  2. Turn on the robot and wait until it boots.
  3. Connect to a Wi-Fi network using Ubuntu GUI
  4. Open Linux terminal and type ifconfig to find your IP address. Save it for later.

Option 2: Using Ethernet adapter

In the ROSbot 2.0 set there is one USB-Ethernet card.

  1. Turn on the robot and wait until it boots.
  2. Plug in Ethernet adapter (included in set) to USB port in the rear panel.
  3. Plug in one end of the Ethernet cable into your computer and the other one to the adapter.
  4. To connect with ROSbot via ssh, type in your terminal application: ssh husarion@192.168.0.1 and password husarion.
  5. Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  • In the terminal, type nmtui and press Enter. You should see:

  • Go to Active a connection and tap Enter

  • Chose you Wi-Fi network and tap Enter one more time. Enter your password, confirm it and tap Esc to get back to main menu.

  • Use Quit to close nmtui.
  1. Type ifconfig to find your IP address. Save it for later.

Access ROSbot terminal using wireless connection

Connecting over LAN network

The most convenient way to work with ROSbot on daily basis is to do that over Wi-Fi. Connect your laptop to the same Wi-Fi network as ROSbot and type in the terminal:

ssh husarion@<ROSBOT_IP> where <ROSBOT_IP> is the IP address obtained in the previous steps.

FOR WINDOWS USERS:

If you are Windows user you might like to connect to your ROSbot by using the Remote Desktop Connection:

Press WinKey + r then type mstsc.

You will see a window appear:

Windows RDP

Type in your device IP address and click connect.

You will see the ROSbot desktop, from the top menu, choose the Applications -> Terminal.

Connecting over the internet (optional)

Not always your laptop and ROSbot can be in the same LAN network. To overcome that obstacle use VPN. Husarnet is a recommended VPN for ROSbots. It's preinstalled on ROSbot so you need to install that on you laptop.

To connect your laptop and ROSbot over VPN:

  • In the Linux terminal on your laptop (Ubuntu OS is recommended) to install Husarnet type: curl https://install.husarnet.com/install.sh | sudo bash to install Husarnet. If the process is done type sudo systemctl restart husarnet
  • In the Linux terminal of your laptop and in the Linux terminal of your ROSbot to configure network type: sudo husarnet websetup and open the link that will appear in a web browser. The link should look like that: https://app.husarnet.com/husarnet/fc94xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and add your devices to the same network. You will need to do that step both for ROSbot and for your laptop.

At this point your laptop and ROSbot should be in the same VPN network. To access your ROSbot from a level of your laptop over the internet just type in the terminal:

ssh husarion@<HOSTNAME_OF_YOUR_ROSBOT>

To get more information about using Husarnet visit this tutorial

Low level firmware installation

In the heart of each ROSbot there is a CORE2 board equipped with STM32F4 family microcontroller. The board is responsible for real time tasks like controlling motors, calculating PID regulator output or talking to distance sensors. High level computation is handled by SBC (single board computer) - ASUS Tinker Board (in ROSbot 2.0) or UP Board (in ROSbot 2.0 PRO).

In order to use ROSbot you have to flash ROSbot's CORE2 board with low level firmware.

I. Mbed firmware

This firmware version is based on ARM's Mbed OS system. If you're interested in learning more about using Mbed OS check our tutorial Using CORE2 with Mbed OS. We recommend you also to look at the ROSbot's Mbed firmware GitHub page.

SSH to ROSbot over LAN network or VPN to get access to it's Linux terminal.

Navigate to home folder:

cd ~

And run a specially prepared script:

./flash_firmware.sh 

Required ROS packages - rosbot_ekf

In order to use mbed firmware the rosbot_ekf package have to be installed in your ROSbot. The package incorporates a ready to use Extended Kalman Filter that combines both the imu and encoders measurements to better approximate the ROSbot position and orientation. The package also contains custom messages that are required by the new firmware. To install the package please follow the steps below.

To launch rosserial communication and Kalman filter for mbed firmware run:

roslaunch rosbot_ekf all.launch

For PRO version add parameter:

roslaunch rosbot_ekf all.launch rosbot_pro:=true

Launching example on ROS2 Foxy

The example allows to build a map and navigate to user defined destinations.

To run on ROSbot 2.0:

ros2 launch rosbot_description rosbot.launch.py

To run on ROSbot 2.0 PRO:

ros2 launch rosbot_description rosbot_pro.launch.py

To run the simulation:

ros2 launch rosbot_description rosbot_sim.launch.py

ROS tutorials

ROS (Robot Operating System) provides libraries and tools to help software developers create robot applications. It provides hardware abstraction, device drivers, libraries, visualizers, message-passing, package management, and more. It's very powerful and functional tool dedicated to design robots. We created the set of ROS tutorials dedicated for this platform to make it easier to familiarize yourself with these frameworks.

All helpful documents and links in one place: