[ros-users] Turtlebot stack on Roomba (need help)

Gonçalo Cabrita goncabrita at gmail.com
Sun May 15 20:48:33 UTC 2011

Hi Jan,

Here at the lab we also use Roombas instead of Creates. I have browsed the turtlebot stack but I haven't tried it with the Roombas yet. We also got a couple of Kinects last week but I haven't had the time to go around and plug them to the Roombas.

My first shot in the dark would be the fact that some of the stuff in the navigation stack requires a laser scan to work properly, so in order to use the kinect you need to also use a very cool node that comes with the turtlebot stack that grabs de point cloud from the kinect and publishes a laser scan. There are some launch files that show exactly how to do that.

I wrote the roomba_500_series and I used the standard names in ROS, in that regard it should be pretty similar to using the turtlebot create driver. If there are some differences you can always do some remapping on the topics or change some frame_ids. However keep in mind that the turtlebot will fuse data from the encoder odometry with data from a gyro by means of a kalman filter, and I'm guessing you don't have a gyro on your Roomba, so another thing to keep in mind when using the turtlebot launch files.

I will try to run the turtlebot stack on a Roomba with the Kinect tomorrow to see if I can get it to work. In the meanwhile send me the launch files you modified for your setup.

Gonçalo Cabrita
ISR University of Coimbra

On May 15, 2011, at 4:11 PM, Jan Tuennermann wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> I'm trying to get the Turtlebot stack running on Roomba + Laptop +
> Kinect. Most of the things work.
> Unfortunately I cannot get the turtlebot_navigation gmapping_demo
> running. Move_base keeps complaining " Still waiting on map..." and
> gmapping spits out " [target=/odom ]: Dropped 100.00% of messages so
> far. Please turn the [ros.gmapping.message_notifier] rosconsole logger
> to DEBUG for more information." Every once in a while.
> I tried different ways to get in touch with the Roomba. The
> roomba_500_series node is working great for teleoperation and after
> renaming 'base_link' to 'base_footprint' I think I got the tf's
> right because rviz can now show the laserscan. (I also needed to change
> kinect_...   to openni_.. in some places).
> Still I thought the the problem might be related to the roomba_500_series
> stuff interfacing differently than the turtlebot_node. So I cloned that
> node and tried to make it use the Roomba class out of turtlebot_driver
> instead of TurtleBot. This did not work at all. It complained about not
> being able toe read on the port, while connecting appears to work. After
> changing the baudrate it was able to read the desired number of bytes
> but crashed afterwards. I'm using the roostick for connection, maybe
> there are more changed needed to make it work? Anyway, I went back to
> the roomba_500_series node as everything looks fine (except for gmapping
> not working...).
> So I'm running out of ideas.  So maybe someone has some ideas...
> Here a few questions, that might help:
> - Does anyone have the turtlebot stack running on a similar combination?
> - How do I enable that loggin mode, that the mentioned error msg requests?
> - What else does gmapping need that a laserscan to function properly?
> And here some more info:
> roswtf says these are unconnected:
>   * /move_base/local_costmap/obstacles
>   * /move_base/local_costmap/inflated_obstacles
>   * /move_base/TrajectoryPlannerROS/global_plan
>   * /particlecloud
> and this is a bit strange, because I see the nodes running and proper
> connections in rviz:
> ERROR Communication with [/move_base] raised an error: Unable to
> communicate with master!
> ERROR Communication with [/kinect_base_link1] raised an error: Unable to
> communicate with master!
> ERROR Communication with [/kinect_base_link] raised an error: Unable to
> communicate with master!
> ERROR The following nodes should be connected but aren't:
> * /rviz_1305470350119958706->/move_base (/move_base_simple/goal)
> * /kinect_base_link1->/rviz_1305470350119958706 (/tf)
> * /kinect_base_link1->/move_base (/tf)
> * /kinect_base_link->/move_base (/tf)
> * /kinect_base_link->/rviz_1305470350119958706 (/tf)
> thanks a lot in advance
> jan
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