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  1. Robotino manual
    1. Administrator Manual
    2. User Manual
  2. Documentation and Templates
    1. Software architecture
    2. Readme
  3. Hardware Tests
  4. SQUIRREL Git workflow

1. Robotino manual

This section provide some instructions to install a standard setup.

1.1. Administrator Manual


The first step is to download the 2 bash scripts and execute them as user robotino:

chmod +x
chmod +x
./ -r robot_name -arm true

The installation script needs the parameters robot and arm, where:

  • -r robot: is the robot name (ipa-robotino)
  • -arm : should be true if your robot has an arm and false if it doesn't

The script allows you to:

  • Create and setup the squirrel user
  • Install basic ROS system
  • Basic Installation. This part will install some basic tools, setup your new squirrel user, clone the necessary repositories, configure the user rights and create the udev rules.
  • Upstart Installation. This installation will create a startup job, your robot will start automatically the low level controls after switch on the platform.
New users

When the installation process finish you will have on your robot a new user, with a stable version of the bringup level drivers. This user will be used by the upstart job to init your robot, and for other users as reference. Please NEVER use the "squirrel" user to develop or test new code.

Each person who wants to use the robot should have an account , an accound can be created by the "squirrel" user with the following command:

sudo robotino-adduser *UserName*

This user will be automatically configured, getting the necessary rights to start and stop the robot and a new preconfigured catkin workspace under /home/UserName/catkin_ws. By default the ROS_PACKAGE_PATH of this user will be the following:


That means, if ROS needs to find a package, first will check if my UserName has an Overlay, if not will check if squirrel user has an Overlay and as last option will take the ROS release. For example, if I want to test the actual status of the perception. I can create a new account "perception", and clone into /home/perception/catkin_ws/src the perception repository, compile only the perception repository and run it. All the messages and common software package needed are already on "squirrel" user compiled.

Setup your workspace

Install wstool:

sudo apt-get install python-wstool

Update your workspace:

cd ~/catkin_ws/src
wstool init
wstool update 

For further info please see:

1.2. User Manual

Start and stop the robot

Automatically and by default (if you executed the upstart installation) the bringup drivers of the robot will be started on Boot. This process will run as a background job, calling the arm server, waiting until the arm is ready and starting the robot.launch. Usually the robot with arm will require some minutes to start up, you can hear a "Click" when the drivers are already launched and check with a rostopic list command if the launch file was started.

In case that you need to stop the robot drivers you can call the command sudo robotino-stop , all the users have rights to call this command as sudo. If you want to start again the low level control of the robot , you can call the command sudo robotino_start. These commands use the "squirrel" user software status, please be sure that this user has always a working version.

2. Documentation and Templates

2.1. Software architecture

To generate your own software architecture diagram:

2.2. Readme

Use the template under: Readme Template to create your repository documentation. Please see squirrel_robotino as example.

3. Hardware Tests

4. SQUIRREL Git workflow

Follow the instructions to create the squirrel user, clone the stable repositories and configure the catkin workspace overlays, which are described in section Administrator Manual

From here on the squirrel user on the robot should not be used for any development on the robot. Even for the packages which are cloned into /home/squirrel/catkin_ws. All development steps has to be done as the local user (e.g. bajo) in the corresponding catkin_ws overlay (e.g. /home/bajo/catkin_ws).

  1. Login with your user account on the robot (not squirrel). Clone the repositories in which you want to make and test your changes. Even if those are one of the repositories which are in squirrel's workspace. ROS will always use the code in your catkin workspace first.

  2. During the first time.

    • Clone your fork. git clone
    • Add squirrel-project's upstream as a remote git remote add upstream
  3. Contribute your code to the squirrel-project's upstream repositories.

  4. Pull the latest changes into your local repo. git pull origin indigo_dev

  5. Create a new branch for your feature or bug fix git checkout -b feature1

  6. Implement your changes, test them, commit them. git add changed_file.cpp git commit -m "add feature1 to changed_file.cpp"

  7. Fetch and merge the latest upstream changes into your development branch git fetch upstream git merge upstream/indigo_dev

  8. If needed, fix merge conflicts and commit them git mergetool

  9. Push your branch to your fork on github git push origin feature1:feature1

  10. Open a pull request on github

  11. Wait until you get feedback to your pull request or until it was merged.

  12. Done