About

“He’s just this guy, you know?”

The primary project I talk about here is my ROS based robot built on a Parallax Arlo platform.
If you want to know more about that start here:
Arlobot Build Index or check out some of my videos.

I am an active member at DevICT where I recently participatd in a Game Jam (I was part of the “What’s Up Chuck?” team) and I am a member at MakeICT.

I am also currently enrolled in online classes to finish my Bachelor’s degree at Fort Hayes State University.

Computers have been my hobby and passion since childhood. My hobby is to experiment with computers. My goal here is to share some of my projects for those who are interested and who may want to try some of these things themselves.

I love explaining things and teaching, so if you want more direction on how to make something work do comment and I will elaborate.

I have a full time job, but if you think I’m brilliant and want to pay me good money to experiment with computers for your company then feel free to contact me. 🙂

If you want a little background:
I am a Unix System Admin by trade.
I am working on a degree in Web Development.
I am teaching myself JavaScript.
And I like to play with computers.
In short, I am a jack of all (computer) trades, and master of none.

If you are wondering about the name see Of ????????? and Froods

Published by

Chris

He's just this guy, you know? Chris aka ChrisL8 aka the Hoopy Frood aka the Ekpyrotic Frood is a full time Unix Admin who likes to play with everything technology on the side. I mostly build robots here, but I also dabble in web development.

14 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hey There,

    I’m interested in your build of the Arlo bot. I’m looking to build (or buy) a platform to use with ROS to replace my Turtlebot2.

    My turtlebot has problems operating on the carpet in my apartment. I have upgraded to a laptop (the netbook didn’t cut it), and added 1 robot arm and plan to add another. So I have exceeded it’s weight limit. The worst problem, is that it often does not go straight when it should. I think this is related to carpet fibers getting caught on rollers that are used to balance the turtlebot.

    So now I’m looking for a new ROS-capable platform, with more power and weight limits. I’m considering doing a build just like yours, to leverage your work, and also to contribute.

    So how’s it going with arlo?
    budyd

    1. It is going great with Arlo! Your reasoning for switching is exactly why I went with the Arlo. It has no trouble at all on carpet and various bumps found in a normal house.

      I am having a lot of fun with it and I play with it every day that I find time!

  2. Hi Chris,

    Great project!! and thanks for sharing it with all. I am planning to build the ArloBot using this guide. I read the guide and so far the hardware part I understood except for the wiring part and how to do wiring between different components eg. Arlo power distributor board and H25-B motor propellor connections. I am fairly new to electronics and it would be great if you can also post a tutorial for the wiring part specially which wire goes to which part of the board. This would be a great help for a complete beginner to start with. I do have an experience of working with ROS on the turtlebot but there is nothing like building your own robot and learn while doing so. I may need your help along the way and hope you can help me. I will be ordering the parts as described by you soon but just wanted to make sure if you can help me with the circuit wiring.

    Thanks

    Alex

  3. Great post and project. I will be ordering parts soon. Two questions, how do I launch the robot model. When using robot_model.launch, I get errors (see below). Also, can the web interface be used with the simulated robot? Thanks.

    viki@c3po:~/catkin_ws/src/ArloBot/src/arlobot/arlobot_bringup/launch$ roslaunch model_robot.launch
    … logging to /home/viki/.ros/log/6d1a354a-62dc-11e5-8ad3-080027d41247/roslaunch-c3po-2640.log
    Checking log directory for disk usage. This may take awhile.
    Press Ctrl-C to interrupt
    Done checking log file disk usage. Usage is <1GB.

    started roslaunch server http://c3po.local:54807/

    SUMMARY
    ========

    PARAMETERS
    * /robot_description: <?xml version="1….
    * /robot_state_publisher/publish_frequency: 5.0
    * /rosdistro: indigo
    * /rosversion: 1.11.13

    NODES
    /
    robot_state_publisher (robot_state_publisher/robot_state_publisher)
    rviz (rviz/rviz)

    ROS_MASTER_URI=http://localhost:11311

    core service [/rosout] found
    process[robot_state_publisher-1]: started with pid [2661]
    process[rviz-2]: started with pid [2686]
    [ERROR] [1443113511.059964620]: The STL file 'package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl' is malformed. According to the binary STL header it should have '22482' triangles, but it has too much data for that to be the case.
    [ERROR] [1443113511.060038561]: Failed to load file [package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl]
    [ERROR] [1443113511.063765851]: Could not load model 'package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl' for link 'front_caster': OGRE EXCEPTION(6:FileNotFoundException): Cannot locate resource package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl in resource group Autodetect or any other group. in ResourceGroupManager::openResource at /build/buildd/ogre-1.8-1.8.1+dfsg/OgreMain/src/OgreResourceGroupManager.cpp (line 756)
    [ERROR] [1443113511.063934789]: Could not load model 'package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl' for link 'front_caster': OGRE EXCEPTION(6:FileNotFoundException): Cannot locate resource package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl in resource group Autodetect or any other group. in ResourceGroupManager::openResource at /build/buildd/ogre-1.8-1.8.1+dfsg/OgreMain/src/OgreResourceGroupManager.cpp (line 756)
    [ERROR] [1443113511.064515285]: Could not load model 'package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl' for link 'rear_caster': OGRE EXCEPTION(6:FileNotFoundException): Cannot locate resource package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl in resource group Autodetect or any other group. in ResourceGroupManager::openResource at /build/buildd/ogre-1.8-1.8.1+dfsg/OgreMain/src/OgreResourceGroupManager.cpp (line 756)
    [ERROR] [1443113511.064675386]: Could not load model 'package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl' for link 'rear_caster': OGRE EXCEPTION(6:FileNotFoundException): Cannot locate resource package://arlobot_description/meshes/28971-Caster-Wheel-Kit-v1.0.stl in resource group Autodetect or any other group. in ResourceGroupManager::openResource at /build/buildd/ogre-1.8-1.8.1+dfsg/OgreMain/src/OgreResourceGroupManager.cpp (line 756)
    [rviz-2] process has finished cleanly
    log file: /home/viki/.ros/log/6d1a354a-62dc-11e5-8ad3-080027d41247/rviz-2*.log

      1. Even without that .stl file working, the model should work, but for me I just get a pile of objects all originating from 0.0.0, which, according to the model_robot.launch file is what happens if the robot_state_publisher isn’t working.
        I have to admit I have not launched the static model in months, but it should work, since it is the same model I use in the live view.
        I suspect something isn’t right with some links. I’ll post an update if I get it working.

  4. I just picked up a Xbox 360. I’m unable to get video in linux. When I run freenect-glview I can control the motor and set the leds — just no video, all black. I am able to see video from windows. Any ideas?

      1. yes and no. I was running Ubuntu 14 in VirtualBox and I couldn’t get it to show video. I’m guessing it’s some sort of driver conflict. But, I loaded up Ubuntu 14 on a disk an ran it natively and everything worked fine. No the result I was hoping for but I won’t be running the kinect under VirtualBox so its not the end of the world. Thanks for the response

  5. Hi Chris,

    I’m have some problems getting any kind of motion. I am able to successfully run the calibration: left wheel spins and then down, then the right. But, when I load the Propeller firmware, I’m not getting any success. For a little while I was able to send serial commands, e.g. d,0.100,0.000 and so forth and it worked, but then it quit. If I run the minimal launch the serial connects and I get plenty of status from the Propeller. I tried send cmd velocity via ROS but no dice. I’m running a barebones system, just a Atom mini ITX board and Propeller board, so I disabled all of the sensors. I’m pasting in the serial output from a minimal launch. Maybe you’ll see something. Thanks. Is it possible to pub a serial message using rostopic? I couldn’t figure out the syntax.

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  6. In my previous post, I apparently modified the wrong header file to turn off the sensors (the one in the repo vs the one that SimpleIde looked at). I fixed that so not the sensors aren’t preventing motion, but now only a single (left) wheel turns when I send a serial command. I created a simple program based on the libarlodrive.c to drive the wheels forwards, backwards, and rotate left/right, so I know the motors are ok. I’d appreciate any ideas on how to track down why the right motor doesn’t move. Thanks.

    1. Does the Web site work? If so can you bring up the “Remote Control” page and see what all of the parameters say? It could still be trying to “escape” or avoid a phantom obstacle from a misconfigured sensor.
      Post or send me a screens hot if you need to.
      Also you can try running the …Metatron/blob/master/scripts/direct2PropSerialTest.sh and send lines from the direct2PropSerialTestLines.txt and see what the output is.

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