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sphero_ros Tutorials

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sphero_ros Overview

sphero_ros contains several packages for controlling and using a sphero with ROS.

  • sphero_bringup: A launch file to bring up the sphero_node and other relevant node for playing with odometry.
  • sphero_description: A URDF for sphero.
  • sphero_driver: A pure python driver for sphero. The driver implements most of the Sphero 1.2 API.
  • sphero_node: A ROS wrapper for the sphero_driver and exposes all the topics and services you would expect to find in a ROS node. For more information checkout the node documentation.

Quick Start

Already familiar with ROS and want to get started?

Install sphero_ros

Follow the regular groovy ROS installation instructions:

Then install sphero_ros:

sudo apt-get install ros-groovy-sphero-bringup

Update the Sphero

Make sure that the Sphero firmware is up to date. Currently sphero_ros supports firmware 1.20 or later. There currently isn’t a version check in the driver but anyone is welcome to contribute!

  • Pair the Sphero with an Android or iOS device.
  • Open the Sphero App.
  • Select the info icon to check the current firmware version.
  • Update if possible.

Pair the Sphero

Since Sphero has a PIN, the first step is to setup a new bluetooth device.

  • Shake the Sphero to turn it on.
  • Go into the bluetooth setup screen and select the device in the list with Sphero in the name.
  • Select the device and set the PIN option to ‘0000’.

Start the Node

Now start the Sphero node:

rosrun sphero_node

You should see:

Searching for devices............
Found Sphero device with address: XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
Paired with Sphero.

Your Sphero will turn GREEN.

If the pairing process fails, you will see:

[ERROR] [WallTime: 1363235908.174193] Failed to connect to Sphero.

Using the Launch File

Now that you have confirmed that the sphero_node starts properly, run the launch file that loads the URDF and brings up robot_pose_ekf and robot_state_publisher:

roslaunch sphero_bringup sphero.launch

Your Sphero will turn GREEN.