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September 2016 - by Jaime Martin Losa, eProsima CEO.

In the last months Fast RTPS has become the default Open Source ROS2 communications engine and it has been tested intensively by many robotic companies.

We were willing to try by ourselves the features of ROS2 in real robots, preparing some proofs of concept to have some fun, and here is what we are doing:

Autonomous Navigation & Cloud Video Processing using an ERLE Rover.


erle roverThe ERLE Rover is an outdoor vehicle powered by ROS. It comes with the ERLE Brain, a Raspberry PI with ROS inside, a wireless connection and a basic video camera.

We wanted to use a video processing algorithm to detect the borders of a race track for the Rover and drive the car autonomously. We used a simple camera to get video, and because the Raspberry PI is not a very powerful computer, we send wirelessly the video to a high end server that process it and send the navigation commands back to the ROVER

Let's see the Rover Video:

 

 

 The classic: Turtlebot Autonomous Navigation

turtlebotTurtlebot is a classic example of ROS: TurtleBot is a low-cost, personal robot kit with open-source software (Ubuntu and ROS). With TurtleBot, you’ll be able to build a robot that can drive around your house, see in 3D, and have enough horsepower to create exciting applications.

In this case, we mounted an Intel NUC computer with a core i5 on the turtlebot and a 3D camera, and we prepared a track with cardboard walls and obstacles.

The Robot explores its small world and creates autonomously a 3D map of the environment. Afterwards we can send navigation orders simply specifying the destination using a wireless link, and the Turtlebot find the best route to get there. Cool, uh?

And here it is:

 

 

PhantomX Reactor Arm Robot: The (mini) industrial example

arm robotWe got an PhantomX Reactor, a small robotic arm. It is a research robot for teaching and demonstration purposes, but with a considerable strength for its size. And yes, you can send commands to the arm using ROS Tools.

We prepared a simple pick-and-place demo to illustrate the concept using candies. The robot can pick the candies and places them in a different place.

Let's see the arm robot in action:

 

 

eProsima: The Kids and their Robots

robotic teamYes, we are having a lot of fun here at the company preparing these demos. Our engineers have returned to their childhood playing with these robots. :)