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Pilot1.5: Faster, Reliable TeleOp for ROS now with gamepad control

Hi Team!

Since we released TeleOp for ROS in June, this ability to control a mobile robot from anywhere in the world quickly became our users’ most used feature. We’ve listened to your feedback, stress-tested it in all kinds of situations and worked day and night to make it better. Today, I’m thrilled to announce the first major update to it, Pilot 1.5.

A faster and more reliable real-time connection for confident control

Pilot 1.5:

  • Is 16x more stable in poor network situations,
  • Increases frame rates by a whopping 48%,
  • Reduces latency by 35% and making it 10x more consistent

Watch me control a Fetch robot located on the other side of the US:

Advanced gamepad control from anywhere in the world

The ability to control a robot arm from anywhere was highly requested. The improved connection also made it possible to control robot arms, hybrid service robots, and other actuated robots that needed more than a Twist message. We now fully support Joy messages through Pilot 1.5, enabling low latency, high frequency control of a robot arm.


Here’s me controlling a Fetch robot from my home (I only wish I had one :drooling_face:).

If you’d like to try this for yourself for free, we have a neat tutorial on setting this up, which will take you less than 10 minutes to complete.

We also increased made the app faster, reduced CPU footprint on the robot, released support for several maps at once, and a new & improved settings UI. I think our team is still letting folks try out the platform for 1 robot free for a year, so sign up and try it out!

Cheers,

Achille

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Very cool, I wish I had an arm to try it on! Random question, but you say it’s more stable in poor network connections, but how do you do that? I would think that is something out of your control.

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Looks nice! In the video it looks like you’re only controlling the robot’s arm. Is it possible to control the base simultaneously?

If you have a simple robot like a turtlebot you could try this out too!
Of course we can’t magically make the connection be better than it is, but we sure put in a lot of work to make it so that you get a seamless experience when network quality degrades, and when it does, it quickly adjust things like resolution and compression quality before starting to drop frames. We found out that to give an operator the most confident and safest TeleOp experience, in order of importance we need to supply: 1. high frame rate 2. low latency and 3. high resolution and low compression. In the newest version, we really tuned it in where you have to really constrain the bandwidth to get it to be hard to drive.

What I’ve done before is to have a controller button configuration that would switch modes from ‘base control’ to ‘manipulator control’. You could do that, or program it such that hold one of the triggers activates a different control mode.
You can also program it with a secret button combo as an easter egg @mrunaljsarvaiya :smiley:

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