Best ROS Tutorial for Engineering Students

The usage of robots is increasing day by day from manufacturing industries to space exploration everywhere robots play a major role. Apart from the hardware, the software also has a huge part in the development of robots. ROS is one such software suite that helps developers to create and exchange codes. 

The robotics industry is already booming and it is going to grow more in the coming years thus developing the required skill will help you to secure a better future in robotics. This article gives you a generalized idea of what is ROS, advantages of ROS, and some best ROS tutorials for engineering students.

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What is ROS?

ROS aka Robotics Operating System is open-source software that consists of a set of libraries that is used to develop robot applications. The motto of ROS is to create a robotics standard so that you no need to create a software again from scratch while developing a new robotics software. 

Advantages of ROS

1. ROS is general - You can use the same base code for different kinds of robots - aerial robots, robotic arms, mobile bases, and many more. After learning how communication is done between the nodes of the program you can create new parts of applications easily. Therefore, if you are planning to switch to a different robot you need to start again from scratch.

2. ROS packages for everything - ROS contains the packages for everything. Do you need to plan a trajectory for a robot? There is a package for that. Do you want to control a drone using a joystick? There is also a package for that. If you research online for some time you can find packages for almost all the robotics applications.

3. ROS is language-agnostic - In ROS you can easily communicate between various languages. For instance, you can communicate between python nodes and C++ nodes without any restrictions. Also, many ROS libraries allow you to use other languages since ROS is mainly focused on C++ and python.

4. ROS has great simulation tools - It is not possible to develop all the robots in real life, thus you need simulation tools. Gazebo and Riviz are such tools that can be used with the help of ROS. With Gazebo you can easily create physical constraints to the environment thus you will be able to get the output similar to the real one. 

5. Control multiple robots with ROS - You can develop independent robots with its own ROS system and also establish communication between each other using ROS. 

6. ROS is light - ROS doesn't require more space or resources. Thus, you can easily install and start a new project within a few minutes. Also, ROS can be used on embedded computers like Raspberry pi and tinker board.

7. ROS is open source - The main advantage of ROS is that it is open-source. The core packages in ROS are released under a BSD license. Thus you can modify and use the code for commercial purposes. 

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How to install ROS?

Before getting started with ROS you need the following prerequisites:

  • Working knowledge of C++ and Python programming
  • Hands-on experience of the Linux shell

In this ROS tutorial, we are going to learn how to install ROS in Ubuntu. ROS has various distributions that include:

  • ROS Box Turtle
  • ROS C Turtle
  • ROS Diamondback
  • ROS Electric Emys
  • ROS Fuerte Turtle
  • ROS Groovy Galapagos
  • ROS Hydro Medusa
  • ROS Indigo Igloo
  • ROS Jade Turtle
  • ROS Kinetic Kame
  • ROS Lunar Loggerhead
  • ROS Melodic Morenia
  • ROS Noetic Ninjemys

Step 1 - Add the ROS repositories to the Ubuntu sources.list and update the packages

Step 2 -  Here you will get three options 

  • ROS Base - it is a basic package recommended for embedded computers
  • ROS Desktop - it comes with a graphical interface to visualize what is happening behind the scenes
  • ROS Desktop full - it installs everything including 2D/3D simulators and 2D/3D perception

Step 3 - Install ROS Dependencies

Similarly to ubuntu repositories, you need to update rosdep sometimes:

Step 4 - Configuring environment

This is the important step we have already installed the ROS and its dependencies. Now it is time to configure the environment. 

Step 5 - Test it

After setting up everything try out some ROS commands to make sure the installation has finished successfully. 

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Best ROS Tutorial for Engineering students

As previously mentioned with the advancement in technologies it is clear that soon most of the industries would start implementing automation to improve their efficiency. And ROS is going to play a huge role in that. Thus to secure yourself a better career we at Skyfi Labs developed a ROS course for engineers. 

In this ROS tutorial, you will get the opportunity to learn directly from industrial personalities in live online classes. As part of this ROS tutorial, you will learn to develop ROS packages, create .msg/.srv files, plot data, learn to develop a publisher node using python, and many more. You will also learn to build and simulate your own robot with ROS and Gazebo. 

After completing the course you will have a strong understanding of industrial automation procedures using ROS. You will also be awarded a smart certificate after the successful completion of the course.

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Best ROS Tutorial for Engineering Students
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2021-03-07

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