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

Pito Salas ros.discourse at gmail.com
Sat Jun 24 21:18:28 UTC 2017

Hi there (name?)

Thanks for lots of good insights Comments inline:

> Seems like with a budget that can barely afford two small robots, you're asking for too much here.
> I would suggest using more leverage (e.g a bigger community which already has a lot of resources.. like a Turtlebot 2), or reducing some scope. If you make a 'robot' with an arduino and a servo, im sorry but that's not really a robot course. it's a course on servo actuation. It's got to be a bit more complex than that.

I assume you mean the ROS community vs. the arduino one? Yes, I totally agree, thats why I am starting to participate here! Do you consider Turtlebot3 a good candidate? Because thats the one I was digging deeper on. (I thought the 2 was discontinued?)
> I highly recommend demonstrating kinematic chains (e.g arms), different drive types of robots, different types of sensors, and different types of algorithms which can navigate, move, and orchestrate the robot.

> Just keep in mind, please, that a robot is a SYSTEM as much as an entire laptop is a system. This also means a microcontroller inside a mouse, is not a laptop. (which is what is proposed by only using something as small as a microcontroller and a servo.

Of course: I am well aware of that :)

> Given also that the students learn from the teacher, I recommend getting a lot more knowledgeable real fast before they come along.

Working on it. But I dont exactly agree with your model. I think the teacher creates the environment to allow students to learn and to teach themselves. Also by the way note that this is more of an independent study course.

> So, you need a super community supported robot/system (you HAVE to use ROS here, given the above constraint). I've answered that for you.

I think ROS is amazing, I agree, especially because of the community. (The software architecture of ROS itself seems to me a little overly complex but thats just my first impression. I know I have to get deeper.)

> Also, don't bullshit around on anything that's not a full computer. ROS works best on an Ubuntu 16.04/14.04 operating system and not on an ARM device. You'll want to not be constrained by performance when picking and choosing modules. it will cost you a lot more in time and grief than the difference in price between a RaspBerryPI and a $700-800 intel NUC/mini-ITX form factor computer.

Good advice. I heard elsewhere also that Pi was underpowered for the job. Intel Joule?

> With a platform like this, you don't have to worry about where to go next. Software on a proper computer will take you to the sky and limit of research in robotics (mostly). Given you're teaching introductory ROS, a platform like this could easily give you 4 semesters of course data, and with thought, 2-4 more.

> At least give the students a fighting chance. If you get the kids (If they're graduate level) working on an mBot to do 'research' or 'learn on', the mBot is nothing like the robots in industry or used in academia, you aren't setting them up for a future or helping them out by showing them whatever you're coding on an mBot.

My thought (maybe wrong) was this: a simple, successful experience, where they confront face to face the fact that a robot interacts with the real world and wont just do what you tell it, i.e. even drive in a straight line. Do you not buy that?

Thanks much. So in summary, I wonder about your opinion about the Turtelbot3 with the Joule. And of course I am keen to continue the discussion to learn more from you!



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