Spot ROS Computer Setup


This driver has been tested using the steps below with Spot SDK version 2.3.5. Any version after this may have unexpected behviour.

The ROS driver was created and tested on Kinetic and Melodic

Setup Spot Core

If you have a Spot Core, download the latest Melodic ISO, set it up with BalenaEtcher, and install it onto the Core

If you are using a Jetson, follow the Jetson Setup Instructions

Once your backpack PC is setup, all steps below are to be followed on that PC

Installing Dependencies

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver 'hkp://' --recv-key C1CF6E31E6BADE8868B172B4F42ED6FBAB17C654
sudo apt update
sudo apt install ros-melodic-ros-base
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y python3-pip
pip3 install cython
pip3 install bosdyn-client bosdyn-mission bosdyn-api bosdyn-core
pip3 install empy

Setup Networking

Replace the /etc/network/interfaces file with the one below

auto lo br0 br0:0 br0:1
iface lo inet loopback

# Bridge together physical ports on machine, assign standard Clearpath Robot IP.
iface br0 inet static
  bridge_ports regex (eth.*)|(en.*)
  bridge_maxwait 0

# Dedicated port for spot
iface br0:0 inet static

# Also seek out DHCP IP on those ports, for the sake of easily getting online,
# maintenance, ethernet radio support, etc.
iface br0:1 inet dhcp

Building the Driver from Source

As the driver hasn’t been released yet, it must be built from source. This requires a source workspace on the ROS PC.

mkdir -p ~/catkin_ws/src

Setup the workspace so it knows about your ROS installation

cd ~/catkin_ws/src
source /opt/ros/melodic/setup.bash

Clone the spot_ros repository into the workspace

cd ~/catkin_ws/src
git clone
git clone --branch 0.6.5

Use rosdep to install of the necessary dependencies

cd ~/catkin_ws/
rosdep install --from-paths src --ignore-src -y

Once all the necessary packages are installed, build the packages in the workspace

cd ~/catkin_ws/
catkin_make --cmake-args -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DPYTHON_EXECUTABLE=/usr/bin/python3 -DPYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/include/python3.6m -DPYTHON_LIBRARY=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

Source your newly built workspace and the packages inside

source ~/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash