[ros-users] [Discourse.ros.org] [TurtleBot] Is Turtlebot the right platform for us?

Jay Newman ros.discourse at gmail.com
Sat Jun 24 02:59:30 UTC 2017

I think that the usefulness of the Turtle3 for a beginning robotics course would depend on many things. As somebody who has worked integrating technology into university-level education, I would suggest that ROS *not* be introduced into a beginning robotics course unless this is a graduate-level course.

Part of this for me is the definition of "beginner." The skill level of the students depends on their background. If they are all skilled programmers and understand basic mechanics, then perhaps "beginning robot course" might be a good place to introduce ROS.

ROS does have a lot of code that is available for use by the programmer. However, it is a large and complex system by itself. It could easily take the entire course to explain ROS to students who are not already versed in programming.

With ROS the students are able to program much more complex robots because they don't have to reinvent the wheel multiple times. ROS covers many very difficult subjects like SLAM and navigation. Many sensors already have the code written to use them.

The Arduino IDE comes into play because the OpenCR is a separate board which handles some of the low-level processing of the motors and perhaps some sensors. The OpenCR is not able to run ROS, but it can send and receive ROS messages. Therefore to ROS, it looks like a ROS node and the main computer board doesn't care that it is a separate board.

The other problem is the class' budget. Even the Burger costs quite a bit for many educational budgets. One could make it a requirement that the student buy their own but that is a lot for some students.

I hope this helps.


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