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ROSbot XL - quick start

ROSbot XL is a universal, ROS 2-native autonomous mobile robot platform dedicated for R&D, rapid prototyping and custom robot development for indoor use cases.

This is a quick start guide. Would you need a manual instead?

If you don't have one, you can get it here.


What's in the box:

  • ROSbot XL
  • Wi-Fi 2.4GHz / 5GHz antenna
  • USB-C charger
  • Ethernet cable
  • a set of regular (pneumatic) wheels
  • Allen keys 2.5mm and 4mm

Additionally, to launch a robot for the first time you will need:

  • USB-HDMI cable, mouse and keyboard

Connecting the battery

The robot is shipped with the battery disconnected. You need to connect it before the first use:

  • Unscrew the battery cover using 2.5mm Allen key. The battery cover is located at the bottom of ROSbot XL.
  • After opening you will see the 4-pin, white connector (plug) and the socket. Insert the plug into the socket.
  • Install the battery cover back to its place.

The robot is now ready for the next steps.

Installing the System Image for ROSbot

ROSbot XL comes with 3 SBC options, setup instructions vary slightly between them, so please select your version below.


ROSbot XL comes with a pre-installed ROS Humble OS image. If you have just received your brand new ROSbot XL, you can skip this step.

In some situations, you may need to restore the ROSbot system to its default settings:

  • If the system is accidentally damaged,
  • To update the OS to the latest version with supported documentation,
  • To erase all user changes and revert to factory settings.

For instructions on how to reinstall the operating system, please refer to the OS reinstallation guide.

Accessing ROSbot's Linux terminal

To perform the initial network configuration, you need to access ROSbot's Linux terminal first. There are two options:

Option 1: Using display, mouse and keyboard

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

  1. Plug in a display with HDMI, mouse and keyboard into the USB port in the rear panel of ROSbot.
  2. Turn on the robot and wait until it boots.
  3. Open Application Launcher (Husarion Logo in top-left corner) > System Tools > Terminator app.

using etcher for flashing ROS system image


ROSbot's graphical desktop environment requires about 3 minutes to start during the first boot. The following ones require only about 1 minute after power on.

Option 2: Using an Ethernet port

  1. Turn on the robot and wait until it boots.

  2. Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into your computer and another one into the robot's Ethernet port.

  3. Set a static IP address on your computer for its Ethernet card in a subnet, eg:

    • IPv4:
    • mask:
  4. To connect with ROSbot via ssh, type in your terminal:

    ssh husarion@

    The default password for user husarion is also husarion.

Connecting ROSbot XL to your Wi-Fi network

Find available Wi-Fi networks with this Linux command:

nmcli dev wifi

ROSbot XL is using netplan instead of a graphical Wi-Fi manager. It allows you to have all physical network interfaces configured from a single text file.

To connect your ROSbot to a Wi-Fi network, edit /etc/netplan/01-network-manager-all.yaml file, e.g. with nano:

sudo nano /etc/netplan/01-network-manager-all.yaml

And modify lines 22-23 by replacing "PLACE_YOUR_WIFI_SSID_HERE" with your SSID (Wi-Fi network name) and "PLACE_YOUR_WIFI_PASSWORD_HERE" with your Wi-Fi password:

version: 2
renderer: NetworkManager


name: eth*
dhcp4: no
dhcp6: no
optional: true


# standard Wi-Fi config (client)
# ========================================
dhcp4: true
dhcp6: true
optional: true

# access point Wi-Fi config
# ========================================
# wlan0:
# dhcp4: no
# dhcp6: no
# addresses:
# -
# access-points:
# "rosbotap":
# band: 5GHz
# mode: "ap"
# password: "husarion"

then save the file (with ctrl+o if using nano) and apply the new network setup:

sudo netplan apply

You can check to which Wi-Fi network your ROSbot is connected by using this command:

sudo iwgetid

If your Wi-Fi network setup is more complex (eg. if you want to connect to Eduroam based Wi-Fi that is popular in many universities), visit netplan configuration examples.


sudo ifconfig

to find your IP address (for wlan0 network interface). Save it for later.

Remote access

OPTION 1: in a local network

While ROSbot is connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can access it by using its IPv4 address by SSH:

ssh husarion@ROSBOT_IP

OPTION 2: over the Internet (VPN)

If LAN access is not enough you can access the ROSbot over the Internet thanks to Husarnet. The full guide on how to do it is here.

ROSbot ROS packages

At this stage you should have your ROSbot up and running, with a remote (LAN or VPN) connection from your laptop.

You can run ROSbot's ROS packages natively on your ROSbot's host OS, by just cloning and building rosbot_xl_ros repo. You will find a ROS 2 API for the ROSbot XL here.

Instead of installing ROSbot XL ROS packages natively, it is more convenient to use Docker images for that.

Pulling basic docker images for ROSbot

Access your ROSbot's terminal and run:

docker compose pull

To flash the right firmware, open ROSbot's terminal and execute the following command:

docker stop rosbot-xl microros || true && \
docker run --rm -it --privileged \
--mount type=bind,source=/dev/ttyUSBDB,target=/dev/ttyUSBDB \
husarion/rosbot-xl:humble \ -p /dev/ttyUSBDB

Running the ROSbot Docker image

To launch basic ROSbot XL ROS 2 nodes, paste the following command in the ROSbot's terminal:

docker compose up -d

At this point, ROS nodes from the containers are available on the level of the host operating system.

To ensure that ROS topics are visible, restart the currently running ROS daemon:

ros2 daemon stop

Check available ROS topics:

ros2 topic list

ROS2 topic list

Manual ROSbot driving with teleop_twist_keyboard

Now launch a teleop_twist_keyboard ROS node for manual ROSbot control:

ros2 run teleop_twist_keyboard teleop_twist_keyboard

After running the command, you will see the usage instruction:

list of ROS2 topics at ROSbot XL

Reference projects

Now you know how to run core ROSbot XL ROS nodes.

Running ROS natively is fine for relatively small projects. For more complex ones, the full dockerized setup is a better approach.


Next demos start ROSbot's containers with different configurations, so remember to stop the basic setup first:

docker compose down

Find available projects below:

rosbot-xl-gamepadControl the robot manually using a Logitech F710 gamepad
rosbot-xl-mappingCreate a map (using slam_toolbox) of the unknown environment with ROSbot controlled in LAN or over the Internet
rosbot-xl-navigationAutonomous navigation (using navigation2) on a map created with the rosbot-xl-mapping demo linked above.

Here is a map example generated with the rosbot-xl-mapping project which can be used in the rosbot-xl-navigation.

map example