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[TUTORIAL] Raspberry Pi and ROS - Installing RPLidar

Hello ROS community! I’m working on developing a series of “HowTo’s” around ROS for the beginner. My company makes the GoPiGo3, a robot for the Raspberry Pi, and we have wanted to adapt ROS for some time.

My first HowTo is how to install the RPLidar on the Raspberry Pi.. I go step by step through the installation instructions, with all the commands necessary for getting the LIDAR sensor installed on the Raspberry Pi. The directions on Github had a few small errors or incomplete steps, and I think the blog post helps fill in the blanks.

I am working on a whole series as I setup a dedicated image to adapt our robots to the ROS OS. Our ultimate goal is to make it easy to use ROS on our Raspberry Pi robots (which are only $100), so that we can open up the ROS world to a wider audience.

My future plans are to show installation of the ydlidar, installing ROS on the Pi, and then do some example projects. Any suggestions on projects we could do or tutorials we could walk through that would help open up the Pi and the GoPiGo3 to the ROS community, please let me know!

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Your project is most welcome. I am new to Robotics, but am clear on what I want my robot to do as a farmer.

I write not on on behalf of ROS agriculture for I have no such authority to do so. However, may I suggest that you consider current efforts by the ROS Agriculture Community to convert farm vehicles into autonomous farm vehicles ranging from tractors pulling grain bins, planters, trailers, ploughing disks to combine harvesters. Ideally, a scalable Raspberry Pi Robot is most welcome. Bear in mind that it is crucial for the farmer to make the robot as he has to deal with converting the tractor to autonomous vehicle. Here lies a value proposition for a project that provides the processes of how to make such robot in addition to how ROS works. Would it be considered unattractive to sell robot processes and provide related ROS tutorials as opposed to selling robots? May be not. The lifespan of robot sales not linked to a particular industry may turnout to be short.

In my view, there are three things of great importance to the farmer. Up-skilling his knowledge of ROS as an operating system on the one hand, development of software that runs the farm vehicle, and acquiring the critical knowledge of how to modify the robot to understand where it is, ability for robot to avoid obstacles, including the electronic/mechanical aspects of the vehicle(robot).

In conclusion, you may want to review the ‘value proposition’ of your project at this early stage if you are planning in upgrading it to a sustainable business venture.