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Robot Operating System (ROS) Command Cheat Sheet | SharpRobotica.com - Sharp ideas for the software side of robotics

Robot Operating System (ROS) Command Cheat Sheet

datePosted on 18:32, July 15th, 2010 by Billy McCafferty

So far, I have found ROS to be logical, concise and easy to use (after going through all of the tutorials and practicing with it a bit). Honestly, I’ve found it to be more intuitive and tractable (i.e., more enjoyable to work with) than Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio; albeit, I have not yet used the 2008 R3 release and intend on giving Microsoft RDS a more concerted and focused go around. While both RDS and ROS support messaging design patterns, so far I’m leaning towards ROS as a better enabler for cleanly separating components (e.g., ROS package) from the messaging middleware.

One of the most daunting tasks of getting up to speed with ROS is learning and understanding the plethora of available commands and sequences of commands for performing common tasks. Fortunately, the ROS documentation – which is continually improving at a very fast rate – now includes a comprehensive cheat sheet for referencing ROS commands. Since I began using ROS, I’ve been maintaining my own cheat sheet which describes (my) most commonly used commands, descriptions of use, and example invocations (unsurprisingly, there is a lot of overlap with ROS’ cheat sheet).

With my spreadsheet, I’ve also begun keeping track of common sequences of commands within my cheat sheet as a quick means to look up what series of commands are necessary to perform a common task, such as creating a new service from an existing one. This kind of information is certainly available via the ROS documentation, but keeping it consolidated has been a great help in reducing searching around for it. Finally, I also like to keep track of a glossary of common terms and other useful ROS info.

As it has for me, you may find my ROS cheat sheet (an OpenOffice spreadsheet) as a useful starting point for maintaining your own list of common-sequences-of-commands and other at-your-finger-tips information for quickly navigating through ROS capabilities.

Enjoy!
Billy McCafferty

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3 Responses to “Robot Operating System (ROS) Command Cheat Sheet”

  1. Jason Watts on July 15th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Billy,

    As a parent of an 11 year old with a growing desire to get into robotics, I will be watching this series with some interest – although I am pretty sure it is not the best starting place.

    How did you get into this in the first place, and do you have any recommendations (links, books) that would be a good starting place? Where can I learn about what hardware would be accessible to my son and I? Do you belong to any local robotic clubs and are they newbie friendly?

    Thanks,

  2. Billy McCafferty on July 16th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Jason,

    I wrote a post about this a couple of years ago at http://devlicio.us/blogs/billy_mccafferty/archive/2007/01/16/getting-started-in-robotics-and-blog-tagged.aspx. I think the Lego Mindstorm NXT is by far one of the best places to start. It’s very easy to use out of the box but allows you to also use it with a robot OS: Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. So it’s a great platform for getting into robotics and progressing, accordingly.

  3. jigolo on April 25th, 2011 at 12:29 am

    I think the Lego Mindstorm NXT is by far one of the best places to start. It’s very easy to use out of the box but allows you to also use it with a robot OS: Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. So it’s a great platform for getting into robotics and progressing, accordingly. xss

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