[ros-users] Use cases for ROS on ARM based computers

Bil Morris bill at iheartengineering.com
Sun Jan 27 04:27:26 UTC 2013

On 01/26/2013 09:01 PM, Robert Teeter wrote:
> Gentlemen

> The reason the the ros-sig-arm mailing list came to be because of the
> large group of people that wanted to have ROS on their ARM computers. 
> I contacted several people at Willow Garage about information and
> direction about putting ROS on a Raspberry Pi system as it seem to be
> the best solution for what I was doing.  I also found out that a lot
> of other people with the same and some different ARM systems were also
> interested.  So a single point of contact mailing list was created to
> support that effort.  You have asked why we just did not use the
> existing embedded mailing list for our questions. The major answer to
> that question is one that we do not have an embedded system for ROS. 
> We are using an existing operating system that ROS runs on top of just
> like the supported platform of Ubuntu.
Even though the Raspberry Pi and other ARM systems use Debian/Ubuntu,
they are still embedded systems.

ARM based systems have many of the same compilation issues that you
would have trying to get ROS running on a MIPS based router running
OpenWRT. The power management required for shutting down a PC embedded
in a car are the same as with a Rasberry Pi attached to a Quadrotor.
> So all we need to do is compile the ROS modules and place them into a
> distribution tree so that all the users of the release have somewhere
> to download from.  In fact the Fuerte release was operational on the
> Raspberry Pi/Raspbian platform before the mailing list was started. 
> The list was created on Jan 21 and at this point has over 70 posts
> about the ros-sig-arm subject.  We are also using the list to organize
> the building of the necessary repository trees with Willow Garage and
> to also add the items we need for OS ROS support in our own OS release
> trees.  We are not out to ignore any other groups it just that what we
> are doing seem so different from what other groups were doing.

There are probably more differences between an ARM based system running
OpenEmbedded (opkg) and and ARM based machine running Debian than there
are with a MIPS based machine running Debian.

I prefer seeing both lists merged even if in the short term the ARM
related topics flood out everything else in the Embedded SIG, I believe
there will be long term benefits to having discussion centralized.

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