ROS2 Hardware Selection for Beginner

I am a complete beginner in ROS2 world and want to start a wheeled robot project to dive deep in this facinating world. From my past robot project, I realise hardware pheripherals like motor drivers, sensors etc have to be controlled by a real-time controllers like microController which is why I first planned to use Raspberry pi pico for real time operations with microROS and then add a Rpi4 to run ROS2 but unfortunately my initial attempts to setup Pi pico with miroROS failed.

As I was looking for alternate controllers to run ROS2 which is easier to learn and came across a board called “Beaglebone” which seem to have both microprocessor and PRU controllers for real time processing however I haven’t seen much on this board on ROS forum.

Any recommendations from experts on this forum on processor selection ?


Since, your just getting started check out Tortoisebot it’s coming complete opensource and open hardware will give you good idea about it, it supports ros and ros 2 distros


And they typically already have those built in already, all you do is interface with that microcontroller. All sensors you will use will communicate using serial, I2C or something similar. These interfaces are available on single board computers like the BeagleBone, Rock Pi (my weapon of choice) or Raspberry Pi and talk to these sensors and controllers using the standard Linux interfaces. No need for real time stuff unless you’re doing fancy things.

but unfortunately my initial attempts to setup Pi pico with miroROS failed.

Welcome to the world of robotics where things never work first shot. Come at it at another angle until it does start working.

Another suggestion to the above would be to buy a RC car and then build your electronics on top of that, if you wanted to hit the ground… rolling. Something like the Wltoys 144001 could be fun.

I’m definately not trying anything fancy. I’ll break a bottle of champagne if I can just get the wheels turning at this stage.

I know Beaglebone has some PRUs for realtime application but ROS2 support for this SBC seems limited. From my research so far this board seems like the best candidate for robotics developlemnt but there’s very little information on this on ROS forum. If there’s any link / forum for this available somewhere on the net then please do share.

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I’m interested in Beaglebone products too, less so the older ones. The AI-64 looks quite capable: Beagleboard AI-64 ~$100 it recently started supporting Ubuntu22.04 so it’s probably more viable for ROS now. There is also Yocto for it I think.

That said have you checked out Hadabot - ROS 2 Lessons and Build Instructions

Or for 4x4 or Mecanum: GitHub - robofoundry/linorobot2_hardware_hippo_esp32_fix: A fork of linorobot2_hardware with support of esp32 on ROS2 Humble and other devices


Commercially available beginner’s platforms for ROS2 are fairly expensive. A used robot vacuum like a used Neato Botvac can be an inexpensive option. A Create 3 base plus a Raspberry Pi, LD 06 and a Suitable camera Probably would cost about $800 US. This still seems a hurdle for some beginners, but cheaper than the time and expense of developing a mobile platform from scratch.

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ROS2 runs on linux. These SBCs presumably also run on linux and expose their peripherals to the kernel. This is what you should be looking for, not ROS2 support which doesn’t really mean anything in this context, apart from sufficiently modern Linux OS (ubuntu 22.04).

Is Turtlebot3, the official ROS reference platform, useful for you?
I would like to hear your opinion if it is expensive or not expensive for you.

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