Integrating the Hokuyo URG Lidar with ROS

The Hukuyo URG is a lightweight, affordable USB powered lidar sensor. It outputs a single planar scan with 240º scanning range at 0.36º angular resolution and scan rate of 100ms/scan. This sensor can be used for, amongst other things, indoor mapping or collision avoidance. There is presently no pre-compiled driver available for ROS kinetic so…Read more Integrating the Hokuyo URG Lidar with ROS

Integrating the Intel RealSense D435 with ROS

The Intel RealSense D435 is the latest RGBD camera available from Intel,  and is an upgrade from the Intel R200 camera already discussed in a previous post. The D435 is a stereo depth camera that is designed to work both indoors and outdoors. The 3D reconstruction is constructed using active Infrared (IR) stereo. The camera is…Read more Integrating the Intel RealSense D435 with ROS

Step-by-step setup of a new laptop for robotics

Setting up a new laptop for robotics can be time consuming. This post will focus on using the Dell Alienware 15 R4 laptop.  With its Intel i9 processor and Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics card, it's the perfect laptop for robotics or computer vision projects. Setting up the laptop comprises of two main steps: installing Ubuntu…Read more Step-by-step setup of a new laptop for robotics

Troubleshooting: Rosbuild to Catkin migration

Migrating from Rosbuild to Catkin can be accomplished using the ros-industrial catkinize script as described in Quickly migrating from Rosbuild to Catkin. Although this script attempts to replace rosbuild commands with catkin ones, some errors arise when compiling using the catkin_make command. This troubleshooting guide covers steps to take after catkinizing a package. Update messages…Read more Troubleshooting: Rosbuild to Catkin migration

How the Intel RealSense R200 camera works

The Intel RealSense R200 is a USB powered long range stereoscopic camera that can be used for robotics and HCI computer vision applications. About the camera The camera consists of two infrared and one full HD colour imaging sensors, as well as an infrared laser projection system. As a result, the camera provides three video…Read more How the Intel RealSense R200 camera works

ROS performance testing: C++ vs Python

ROS supports both Python and C++ programming languages, however, using Python can come at a performance cost. I did an experiment to test this by writing four combinations of publisher to subscriber and then checking whether the real loop rate (of the publisher) is equal to the actual loop rate of the subscriber. The combinations…Read more ROS performance testing: C++ vs Python

Getting started with ROS nodelets

ROS nodes communicate using TCP/IP protocol which might be too slow for applications that require sending large amounts of data (like 3D point clouds or video streams). For processes running on the same computer, a pointer to the data can be sent rather than sending the data itself over TCP/IO. The Intel RealSense Robotics Development…Read more Getting started with ROS nodelets