TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base with ROS Noetic: ready for your robotic applications

TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base ROS Noetic

We are happy to announce that ROS Noetic is now available for our platforms TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base. ROS Noetic is the latest distribution of the Robot Operating System (ROS), the popular open-source framework for developing robotic applications. 

ROS Noetic is the updated distribution of ROS Melodic, based on Ubuntu 20.04 and targets Python 3 exclusively. The deprecated Python 2 library was used in the previous ROS distribution, ROS Melodic. ROS Noetic also allows use of Gazebo 11, whilst ROS Melodic used Gazebo 9. Working with Python 3 translates into some of the following benefits for users: 

  • More predictable divisions
  • Advanced iterable unpacking
  • Print is a built-in function
  • Unicode support.

One of the most relevant features for mobile bases regarding ROS Noetic is related to Python applications for AI and navigation. ROS Noetic allows developers to easily access and control the various sensors and actuators of PAL Robotics TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base robots, which enables the development of a variety of robotic applications requiring autonomous mobility, from the transportation of goods to moving other equipment to enlarge their workspaces. These robots come with out-of-the-shelf mapping, path planning, obstacle avoidance, programming APIs and an improved WebGUI and Visual Programming toolkit. 

Python 3 applications for AI and navigation 

In Python 3 there are various applications that enable users to work on developments in AI and navigation. Python is often used to develop AI applications, such as for identifying trends, making predictions and language processing. Some examples of Python libraries for AI applications include the following:

  1. Tensorflow – developed by Google.
  2. NumPy – designed for scientific and mathematical data.
  3. NLTK – for natural language processing.
  4. Keras – that simples implementing neural networks. 

Some of the Python 3 apps suitable for navigation developments include the following:

  1. NavPy – an open-source Python library for navigation and estimation applications. 
  2. Beautiful Soup 4 – for parsing HTML and XML documents.
  3. Flask and Flask-Nav – to ease the creation of navigational Elements in Applications.

The TIAGo Base premium package comes with advanced navigation (combining wheel odometry, laser odometry and a probabilistic localization system), visual programming, and web GUI. In more detail, this includes navigation to points of interest, detection of regions of interest (topological localization), and avoidance of obstacles or forbidden regions. In addition to easy planning of logistics tasks: such as pick up of goods from a point and delivery to another point or to a sequence of points, and automatic charging when the robot is low on battery. The web GUI helps users to create and schedule tasks easily or execute them on a FIFO-based strategy.

ROS 2 Bridge for navigation and control 

Developers who are currently using ROS Noetic will be able to bridge to ROS 2, as a system running ROS Noetic can install the bridge package, which enables communication between ROS 1 and ROS 2 nodes. This implies users can use ROS 1 packages for navigation and control in a ROS 2 system while simultaneously taking advantage of the updates of ROS 2, which will be available by the end of 2023. 

ROS2 brings various benefits – such as architecture that is fully centralised, and Data Distribution Service (DDS) support, as well as the opportunity to improve user-facing APIs.

Upgrade your robot to ROS Noetic 

If you are already the owner of a TIAGo Base or TIAGo OMNI Base robot, the new PAL Robotics distro Ubuntu 20.04 + ROS Noetic package (Gallium) is now ready to override the previous distro, Ubuntu 18.04 + ROS Melodic (Ferrum). 

Contact our team for upgrading your base now to enjoy all of those advantages.

TIAGo Base with differential drive & TIAGo OMNI Base with omnidirectional drive 

The TIAGo robot family consists of base robots that can be used as standalone platforms or with upper body extensions added. This includes TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base robots, and by adding an upper body, TIAGo robot is formed. The TIAGo family of robots are also very easily extendable for users to easily make their own applications on top. All robots are all fully compatible with the ROS framework. 

Focussing on the base robots – TIAGo Base modular mobile platform is an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) that automates indoor deliveries and navigates autonomously in its environment, avoiding obstacles. The robot is complete with a differential drive making it simple to programme and easily controlled. AMRs are typically used in intralogistics, including in warehouses and factories. Read more about TIAGo Base in our TIAGo Base datasheet. 

Secondly, TIAGo OMNI Base is an omnidirectional base robot with mecanum wheels that moves in all directions with ease: the base provides precision positioning even in constrained environments. The solution has two LIDAR sensors for an unobstructed 360º FOV secure movement, including autonomous navigation, obstacle detection and path planning. Find out more about TIAGo OMNI Base in our TIAGo OMNI Base datasheet.

Take a look at our recent blog posts to find out more about Omnidirectional drive robots vs Differential drive robots and read about TIAGo Base robots in action in our TIAGo Base use case at Mapcable.

Resources and getting started with TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base

ROS Wiki and Github are platforms with resources that can help you get started with TIAGo Base AMR and TIAGo OMNI Base with omnidirectional drive.

WikiROS 

  • Using Wiki ROS, you can find our public simulation with information and tutorials on how to set up and use TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base with ROS, including tutorials on how to install and configure ROS Noetic and how to use the robots with simulation environments such as Gazebo.
  • Wiki ROS also includes a community-contributed section, where developers can share their own tutorials and experiences using TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base with ROS.

Find out more on ROS for TIAGo Base and ROS for TIAGo OMNI Base 

Try the ROS tutorials for TIAGo Base and ROS tutorials for TIAGo OMNI Base 

GitHub

  • GitHub is another platform that allows you to share and collaborate on software projects with other developers.
  • GitHub helps users to get started with TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base, as it provides tutorials that can help you to set up and use the robots with ROS.
  • Furthermore, GitHub allows you to get a variety of packages such as navigation packages related to TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base.

Find out more on GitHub for TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base

https://github.com/pal-robotics/omni_base_tutorials

https://github.com/orgs/pal-robotics/repositories?type=all 

See also the docker containers with our public simulation for TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base.

To get your TIAGo base or TIAGo OMNI Base, get in touch with our team! If you are already the owner of a TIAGo Base or TIAGo OMNI Base robot, contact us to find out how to upgrade your robot to ROS Noetic. Finally, learn more about TIAGo Base and TIAGo OMNI Base on our website. If you liked this article, don’t miss all our robotics news on PAL Robotics blog.

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