We are excited to announce integrated support for the latest (and final) release of the ROS1 framework, ROS Noetic, on Jackal UGV! ROS Noetic uses the same basic package structure as ROS Melodic, but runs on Ubuntu 20.04 and will be supported until May 2025.

One of the biggest benefits of ROS Noetic is that it is the first ROS release to officially support Python3. Melodic and older ROS releases still rely on Python2 libraries, despite Python2 hitting its end-of-life date in early 2020. This new release gives users the ability to use the latest version of ROS on their robot, as well as develop software that can leverage more recent libraries and kernels. It also extends the software support lifetime of their robot to 2025, when Ubuntu 20.04 and ROS Noetic reach their end-of-life date.

Jackal UGV in the Gazebo client

We want you to leverage the full capabilities of your robot for your next project. To get Jackal UGV ready food ROS Noetic, we updated all of our old Kinetic and Melodic era Python scripts to Python3. We’ve done our best to make sure that all of the environment variables, URDF files, nodes, and supported payloads are the same across ROS versions so if you’re already familiar with working on Jackal UGV with Kinetic or Melodic on it, you should find everything to be pretty similar!

Installing ROS Noetic

To install Noetic on your Jackal UGV, you will need to reformat its drive and install Ubuntu 20.04. In order to get your Jackal UGV up and running quickly, we have a pre-configured OS installation image available here. You can access the ISO download here. If you find yourself struggling, you can always check out the ROS Wiki, or if you’re already familiar with ROS and want to dive in with Jackal UGV, we’ve updated our tutorials for Noetic.

Jackal UGV is just the first of our platforms to get updated to Noetic. We’re planning on releasing Noetic support for Husky, Dingo, Ridgeback, and Warthog by early 2022. We’re also working on adding Noetic support for our Autonomy Research Kit 2 (ARK2), as well as our outdoor GPS Autonomy software. And of course, we haven’t forgotten about ROS2 users. We’re busy working on getting ROS2 support ready for release on Husky UGV and Jackal UGV initially, followed by Dingo, Ridgeback, and Warthog UGV in the following months. Stay tuned for our ROS2 announcement!

To access our Noetic tutorials for Jackal UGV, check out our wiki here.

To learn more about Jackal UGV, visit our website here.

 

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