roboy nervous system
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roboy_de10_nano_soc @ c75ab93


  1. Install dependencies
sudo apt install gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf g++-arm-linux-gnueabihf 
  1. Download and install Intel SoC FPGA Embedded Development Suite (Standard Edition).
  2. Configure the environment using the script


  1. Launch ROS node on FPGA
ssh root@
  • look for Gandalf Data Limited in the following command output in order to find out FPGA's IP, substitute by your network broadcast address

    sudo nmap -nsP
  • if ssh doesn't work, connect the FPGA board to the PC via the USB port (use the one on the ethernet side of FPGA board) and connect to the serial monitor with

    screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200
  • if the board was rebooted and the ethernet network interface doesn't work try

    ifup eth0
  • make sure the PC and FPGA know where to look for ROS, i.e. ROS_MASTER_URI and ROS_IP are set (usually in the ~/.bashrc)

  • if catkin_make fails, set up FPGA dev environment by calling

  1. Status of the motors is published under the rostopic roboy/middleware/MotorStatus
rostopic echo /roboy/middleware/MotorStatus
  1. The control commands are set by publishing ROS messages under /roboy/middleware/MotorCommand:
rostopic pub /roboy/middleware/MotorCommand roboy_communication_middleware/MotorCommand "id: 0 
  	motors: [0,1]
  	setPoints: [0,0]"
  1. (Optional) Configure motor mode by calling ROS service /roboy/middleware/MotorConfig
  • available control modes:
    • 0: position (encoder ticks with rad_per_encoder_count: 0.00005788606746738269)
    • 1: velocity (rad/s) - untested!
    • 2: displacement (encoder ticks)
    • force mode is available only from GUI and requires a YAML file with spring constants
    • example transform from displacement to force
    • myomuscle calibration file is required, specify the path in GUI (start by calling rqt)
    • Plugins->Roboy->roboy motor calibration
    • use myomuscle tab
  1. Start GUI (the plots show all the motors together encoded in different colors)


You can find the daemon in scripts/automaticRoboyPlexusLauncherDaemon, execute the following commands for installing the daemon on the fpga:

sudo mv automaticRoboyPlexusLauncherDaemon /etc/init.d/
echo "/etc/init.d/automaticRoboyPlexusLauncherDaemon start" >> ~/.bashrc
sudo ln -s /home/root/roboy_plexus /usr/local/bin/roboy_plexus 

Edit the file /lib/systemd/system/serial-getty@.service and replace the line:

ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty --keep-baud 115200,38400,9600 %I $TERM

with auto-login:

ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty --autologin root --keep-baud 115200,38400,9600 %I $TERM

This will auto-login root when the fpga boots and the daemon is started via the bashrc entry.