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sphero_ros Tutorials

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 sphero_ros

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 roscore

In a terminal, run:


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.

Sphero “Hello World”

Make the Sphero move right away. Follow the steps in the Quick Start section. Then get to publishing commands:

rostopic pub cmd_vel geometry_msgs/Twist -r 10 '[1, 0, 0]' '[0, 0, 0]'

The Sphero should start rolling away at 1m/s.

Change the Sphero color:

rostopic pub set_color std_msgs/ColorRGBA 1 0 0

The Sphero should turn RED.

Check Out the Data

See what the different sensors are publishing, for example the imu:

rostopic echo imu

Or see what happens when you collide with the world subscribe to collision:

rostopic echo collision