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ROSbot XL - quick start

ROSbot XL is a universal, ROS2-native autonomous mobile robot platform dedicated forΒ R&D, rapid prototyping and custom robot development for indoor use cases.

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

Unboxing​

What's in the box:

  • ROSbot XL
  • Wi-Fi 2.4GHz / 5GHz antenna
  • USB-C charger
  • Ethernet cable

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

  • USB-HDMI cable, mouse and keyboard

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

warning

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

Option 2: Using an Ethernet adapter​

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

  2. Plug in one end of the Ethernet cable into your computer and another one to the adapter.

  3. Set a static IP address on your computer for its Ethernet card in a 192.168.77.0/24 subnet, eg:

    • IPv4: 192.168.77.27
    • mask: 255.255.255.0
  4. To connect with ROSbot via ssh, type in your terminal application:

    user@mylaptop:/home/user$
    ssh husarion@192.168.77.2

    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:

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
nmcli dev wifi

ROSbot XL is using netplan instead of 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:

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
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:

/etc/netplan/01-network-manager-all.yaml
network:
version: 2
renderer: NetworkManager

ethernets:

all-eths:
match:
name: eth*
dhcp4: no
dhcp6: no
optional: true
addresses:
- 192.168.77.2/24

wifis:

# standard Wi-Fi config (client)
# ========================================
wlan0:
dhcp4: true
dhcp6: true
optional: true
access-points:
"PLACE_YOUR_WIFI_SSID_HERE":
password: "PLACE_YOUR_WIFI_PASSWORD_HERE"

# access point Wi-Fi config
# ========================================
# wlan0:
# dhcp4: no
# dhcp6: no
# addresses:
# - 192.168.100.1/24
# access-points:
# "rosbotap":
# band: 5GHz
# mode: "ap"
# password: "husarion"

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

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
sudo netplan apply

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

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
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.

Type

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
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:

user@mylaptop:/home/user$
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 how to do it is here

ROSbot ROS packages​

At this stage you should have your ROSbot up and running, with 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 package natively it is more convenient to use Docker images for that.

Pulling basic docker images for ROSbot​

Access your ROSbot's terminal and run:

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
docker compose pull

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

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
docker stop rosbot-xl microros || true && \
docker run --rm -it --privileged \
husarion/rosbot-xl:humble \
flash-firmware.py -p /dev/ttyUSB0

Running the ROSbot Docker image (host mode)​

To launch basic ROSbot XL ROS 2 nodes, paste the following command in the ROSbot's terminal (depending on the OS images you use):

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
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:

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
ros2 daemon stop

Check available ROS topics:

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
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:

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
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 access ROSbot XL ROS node from the Linux terminal.

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

warning

Next demos start ROSbot's containers in different configuration, so remember to stop the basic setup at first:

husarion@rosbotxl:/home/husarion$
docker compose down

Find available projects below:

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

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

map example