Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ROS Autonomous Bot (Clerkbot) - Distributed Network - WiFi Teleop Keyboard

During the month of May I had been using a wired setup for the Clerkbot and it was becoming increasingly difficult to get the map of classrooms in Nirma. The penultimate goal of the setup is to have a fully autonomous robot. The previous thought when setting up the robot, was that the NVIDIA board is powerful enough for the ROS setup. But it is not and it would have been better if we would have got hands on with the Jetson TX1. It is more powerful and is also used by the MIT autonomous racing team also.

The Jetson TK1 is just and just powerful enough to run a ROS based setup albeit by degrading the quality of the autonomous setup. I had to make the planner frequency and the resolution of costmaps to the lowest values possible. If anyone is trying to make a ROS based robot, I would not recommend the Jetson TK1. Or it may just be possible that being an amateur C++ programmer, I made a computationally expensive node for the odometry publisher and the tf publisher. This makes the system very unstable. Nonetheless, I did manage to get a distributed setup on the Clerkbot. In a distributed system, the onboard computer has the navigation setup -  GMapping Node for the map creation, Odometry publisher and the RPlidar node. The base computer contains the brains of the setup - The navigation planner and localization data will be forwarded to the Jetson TK1 from WiFi and therefore the overall setup gets 'Distributed' between the Jetson TK1 and base computer. I put in a  WiFi router to provide for the wireless data transmission between the two setups.
Here's a youtube video of the setup:

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