ROS Training Lab

The development of Drones, AUV’s, Robots, Sensors and Artificial Intelligence, are creating the technology jobs of the future.  This page is sponsored by Palm Beach Drone to promote the healthy development of S.T.E.M. educational programs that will foster those who wish to learn applicable tech skills.

Common Threads In The Industry

Micro-Controller Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s) are used as Control Boards for all remotely controlled devices.  These come in different designs that suit specific purposes, like flight controllers, or Arduino boards set to control motors and actuators, etc.  Arduino boards are a favorite of the Robotics community, because they are inexpensive, small and based upon years of open source development.  Visit https://www.arduino.cc/ for some great ideas and info.  Suggested projects can be found here https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub

Arduino based robotics projects can be fun and educational, so we encourage any engineering minded person to visit these other marketplaces & websites for additional ideas on sensors, devices and low end computational components:
https://www.adafruit.com/
http://www.robotshop.com/en/

https://www.sparkfun.com/categories/31  Robot parts
http://www.trossenrobotics.com/ 
http://www.openrobothardware.org/

3DRobotics has one of the most widely used flight control platforms including the 3DR PixHawk,  the Open Source PX4 software that can run on it, and it’s predecessor the Ardupilot DJI introduced it’s own flight control platform which includes the A3A2, Wookong-M and Naza-M controllers for aerial systems. Each manufacturer has it’s strengths and weaknesses, but these 2 companies dominate the consumer Small UAS flight controller market.    DJI systems are more proprietary than 3DR’s

Robotic Operating System (R.O.S.) is the Open Source Programming Environment that has evolved to enable engineers all over the world to share robotic design files, data, experience and knowledge.  ROS is a collection of designs, algorithms, routines and programming logic that can be applied by anyone who is willing to learn how to integrate, and hopefully contribute to, the open source modules.  ROS Works on Autonomous Aerial Drones, marine AUV’s and Robots alike.

Robots that use ROS include

pepper
Pepper, the greeter at Softbank Wireless in Japan

Care-O-bot_4
The Care-O-Bot from Germany and many other notable robots like

Willow Garage pr2     the Willow Garage PR2

But there are so many small projects that don’t cost a million dollars to build that can be used as a training laboratory, like the Lego NXT or just a simple kit from Erle like the Spider which retails for around $700.
ErleSpider

Check out http://erlerobotics.com/docs/Robots/index.html  for a complete list of the Erle kits you can purchase or assemble that work with R.O.S.

or how about a $1100 base for an R2D2 style robot from Clearpath Robotics?  The Turtlebot is available in kit form starting at $1,100, and going up to $2,500 for a better equipped system.  You can then add just about any sensor or sub-component you can imagine to this autonomous capable motorized base.

TurtleBot2 Essentials

Linux is the Open Source Operating System that ROS runs on and Linux is often used on the robot controller as well, so a knowledge of Linux is usually needed to work on these robots.   It is for that reason that we have assembled a page of information that you can refer to, in setting up your own ROS Robotics Lab.

By learning about the tools being developed by the Open Source Robotics Foundation anyone can launch into a successful career in robotics.  Below, we have provided some great advice on how to set up an ROS Lab to our educational partners, and our esteemed clients.  

Click here to enter the Palm Beach Drone ROS Lab Portal.