Monthly Archives: May 2014

Arduino Micro /Leonardo and rosserial Hello World possible link problem?

Yesterday I’ve had to learn something the hard way. Please have a look at the following code of the rosserial “hello world” arduino example:

Nothing special, right? So compiling it – uploading everything on the arduino works like a charm.

But starting it   rosrun rosserial_python /dev/ttyACM0 crashes with:

which can be easily explained by normal users missing permission to access the /dev/ttyACM0. So I advice running it as root, which leads you to customize roots .bashrc including the source /home/yourUser/yourWorkspacePath/devel/setup.bash and the environment variables like ROS_HOSTNAME and ROS_MASTER.

So after that, running it again with root permissions, you’ll get another error message:

So – rosserial tries to connect to your /dev/ttyACM0 using 57600 baud and fails. The error message is kind of misleading – of course there is some syncing issue, and it has nothing to do with your ROS version… …but with your arduino!

Since the arduino micro / leonardo uses USB for and its build in serial-controller both for programming and communicating, rosserial needs the information to access the device not in the for arduino usual serial way but with USB. So simply adding

before the rest of the code, will tell ROS to do so.



Ultrasonic Sensor HC-SR04 as a ROS Range publisher

I’ve taken a HC-SR04 like shown below and connected it to the CubieTruck as a rosserial publisher.



Instead a of a simple  std_msgs::String str_msg;  I’ve implemented a  sensor_msgs::Range range_msg; which after starting the arduino in ros with rosrun rosserial_python /dev/ttyACM0 shows up in  rostopic echo /ultrasound like this:

So with that, its possible to visualize everything using rqt_plot:


which is pretty nice for my first arduino micro ros project and less than an two hours of work 🙂

For further information see here


Raspberry Pi Robot #2

I’ve connected the [amazon &title=Raspberry Pi&text=Raspberry Pi] to an L298N and two 6V DC Motors, which have been in the Makeblock Starter Kit. I’ve had some issues with the WPA2 Enterprise TLS Network, which is why there is an cable attached.


I’ve also written a small geometry/Twist controller for ROS-compatibility,for controlling the robots movement with keyboard interop like I did before.

Before I dismantle this little robot, I’ve like to share a little video:

As soon as possible I will use the arduino micro and the two 250rpm stepper motors – for that I am planning to use a Arduino Motor shield that I’ve already ordered.

Howto use CubieTruck and NetworkManager to do WPA2 Enterprise TLS

Last days the [amazon &title=CubieTruck&text=CubieTruck] made me struggle with its Network behavior. It continuously refused to connect to any WLAN, didn’t allow the Usage of the NetworkManager GUI, and confused me a lot.

Some things that might help you:

Wlan isn’t enabled by default – or at least it wasn’t for me.

Load the driver

In case you don’t want to do that everytime the [amazon &title=CubieTruck&text=CubieTruck] needs wifi consider adding a new line with ‘bcmdhd’ (no quotes) to /etc/modules

I needed to install the linux firmware:

and reboot

3. bring the wlan0 device up and scan if your wlan is available

Check if the /etc/network/interfaces file looks something like that:

No additional lines, or the NetworkManager will struggle with your devices, showing them as “not managed” or “disconnected”.

So by default lubuntu 13.04 image, no Network manager has been running by boot, so I’ve fixed that by adding following line to my /etc/crontab:

(sure there are other ways – especially because it’s a system service)

So after reboot – using the [amazon &title=CubieTruck&text=CubieTruck]-GUI its faces you with a “Network Manager not running”.

Screenshot[amazon &title=CubieTruck&text=CubieTruck]

So the small Icon on the taskbar isn’t able to find the network manager.
I could not fix that other than by opening an LXTerminal and:

which leads me to a nice WLAN GUI and made it possible to use WPA2 Enterprise with TLS 🙂

Howto control CubieTruck onboard LEDs

Today I wanted to know, what this little blinking lights on my [amazon &title=CubieTruck&text=CubieTruck] mean.

There are four, which you find out if you use:

blue:ph21:led1 green:ph07:led4 orange:ph20:led2 white:ph11:led3

(or just look at it while it is running, usually it blinks a lot)


So if you want to know what each blink means you can ask the [amazon &title=CubieTruck&text=CubieTruck] like that:

So by default the

  • green LED is indicating if there is any read write with the SD Card
  • blue LED is heartbeating
  • orange LED is CPU0 load
  • white LED is CPU1 load

In case you want to turn off the LEDS, use this code:

See here for more information.