Interested in ROS on the GoPiGo3?

Our friend Bernardo just published his much-awaited ROS book on PacktPub.
Check it out:

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Yes, but - Medium doesn’t like me (yet).

I wanted to ask, but Medium will not permit:

“Part 3, Autonomous Navigation Using SLAM , … then with a physical robot.”

Do I have to add a LIDAR to my GoPiGo3 or will the DI ToF Distance Sensor on a 180 degree panned servo and wheel encoders allow working through the book?

My opinion is that the DI ToF Distance Sensor and wheel encoders on a Pi3B should enable a quite capable “stop to think” robot. My bot also has an IMU and a PiCam.

What functionality will ROS enable for a “non-LIDAR” GoPiGo3?

This book seems to discuss the direction I envision for my robot Carl once he learns to accurately return to his recharge dock after wandering. I would like him to take a lot of photos, and slowly learn what objects exist in his environment, what objects have value to his existence (what objects are useful and how can they be used), and begin to have “memories” from which he can learn to do and what not to do. And to dialog with humans (using speech and command line) about what he knows, learns, and needs to learn.

I am really starting to hate Medium. They allow me to view three articles a month, but I have to pay to read more, and pay to ask questions of their authors. I am not going to pay to read unsupported opinion pieces, or pay to read an advertisement for a book. Five dollars a month? No, and yes, I’m a “boomer”.

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You mean “Medium”. After fussing with it, I believe I will call it “Medium-rare” (not quite done enough)

One last thing. This link goes to an advertisement for the book. You can actually buy the book here at Amazon, if you want to wait until the end of May, or want to deal with a DRM-infested Kindle formatted book.

(BTW, will someone please tell me why I should install yet ANOTHER book reader on all my systems, simply because Amazon believes everyone in the world has/should have a Kindle? IMHO, it’s as bad as Apple’s “We own the world” attitude. . . .) PDF’s and Epub are like Mastercard/Visa - accepted everywhere. Kindle? not so much.

The book is published by PacktPub. The Medium post is just a post by the book author announcing the book.

Yes you can pre-order on Amazon, if you prefer. Or direct from PacktPub.


Next time I’m in the states, I’ll order the paperback, or look for it at Barnes and Noble.

ROS sounds interesting, but chewy.

Thanks for this link. It was possible to click on the SLAM chapter->technical requirements which shows a YDLIDAR is required for the section.

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They offer DRM-Free PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats
Screen Shot 2020-02-28 at 7.20.25 PM

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Didn’t see that. Could be caused by trying to figure stuff out at 2:30 in the morning!

I’ll look again. If I can get this in something other than Kindle, my wallet is doomed!

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I’m sorry, but I can’t find that. Can you help me find it? Do you have to be logged in ?

Browse to

No log in or signup necessary.

Click either “Buy eBook” or “print + eBook”
Click “Add to Cart”
Click “shopping cart”
Click “Checkout”

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Sorry for the delay in answering. I’m Bernardo, the author of the book.
Regarding the SLAM question, you are right, the sensor to use is the low cost EAI YDLIDAR X4 that you can find in Aliexpress.
You can also implement SLAM with the Pi Camera using ORB-SLAM2 algorithm. You can find the details at
While writing the book I was assessing this option to avoid increase the hardware cost, but after carrying out a deep review I found that ORB-SLAM2 is more a research topic than a ready made implementation for makers, that it is the scope of the book. I didn’t want the readers to loose in the complexities of building a 3D represetation of the sorroudings from 2D images. This is quite not intuitiv, while LIDAR works off-the-shelf with ROS and the implementation is fast and easy to understand because it directly provides a 3D representation of the environment.
From my personal point of view: the many hours you should devote to implement ORB-SLAM2
is not worth versus using a low cost LIDAR, whose cost is already below 100$


Regarding, I am writer and it is the platform of choice I use to public other articles on general topics. For GoPiGo3 and ROS I decided to publish the articles for free, you do not have to pay for reading them, and I will answer questions about the book in this forum. So anytime, you want to contact the author, just use Dexter GoPiGo forum :wink:


Cool! Welcome! AND a gigantic"Thank you!"

Where are you located? I’m curious because AliExpress may not be useful to people who are located outside Russia - and I didn’t see a lot of other sources when I gave it a quick look.

BTW, If you’re interested, here’s a link to the users manual:

Thank you :wink:
I live in Spain and I bought YDLIDAR several months ago.
You can get YDLIDAR X4 in Aliexpress with free shipping to the United States

You can also get it on com/-/es/ydlidar-Lidar-tel%C3%A9metro-l%C3%A1ser-costo/dp/B078Y964ZS

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I - finally - found that after I posted. It is unfortunate that - since I am presently in Russia, these searches don’t always work without a VPN connection to the U.S.

BTW, (and completely off topic), if you ever decide to work on a software/hardware project for general distribution, it would be an honor and privilege to help you with the English language parts of the project.

Finalmente, encontré eso después de publicar. Es lamentable que, dado que ** I ** estoy actualmente en Rusia, estas búsquedas no siempre funcionan sin una conexión VPN a los EE. UU.

Por cierto, (y completamente fuera de tema), si alguna vez decide trabajar en un proyecto de software / hardware para distribución general, sería un honor y un privilegio ayudarlo con las partes del proyecto en inglés.

Thanks for the book - I’m working my way through it. I’m in Chapter 4 and there is an issue when I try “gui := True” – the wheels don’t show up (there is a white wheel-shaped space in the middle of the body). I mention this not for an answer per se, but what is the best place for a discussion thread - here or on GitHub (using “issues” perhaps)? Would be good to have a consistent place for the community that I hope forms around the book.


For the immediate issue I found this:

By including joint_state_publisher_gui as an exec_depend in the package.xml (and running catkin_make), and then creating a new launch file that used joint_state_publisher_gui, and installing ros-melodic-joint-state-publisher-gui with apt I was able to get the sliders to manipulate the joints. I tried it first without the install since I wasn’t getting any error messages about a missing package, but it didn’t work. Once I installed it worked fine. So there probably needs to be an update somewhere (at least for those of us trying Melodic).

There is still the broader issue of where is the best place to go for questions like this. As may be surmised from the above, I do have a little ROS experience. Someone entering this completely new might be stymied. Would be good to have a community forum for questions, discussions, and sharing experiences.




Particularly as this involves the GoPiGo, (and ROS), these fora are an excellent place to discuss projects.

As far as errata for this book are concerned, brjapon can direct you to wherever he wants to handle that.  Sometimes publishers maintain errata sites for technical books they publish, other errata are collected by the authors themselves.

Since it is such an interesting topic, and since others have expressed an interest in the book, perhaps you can make brief mentions of problems that you have found - and solved - here as well.


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I agree - this would seem to be the best forum for a book discussion. Do hashtags work to add a tag? #HoRfRP may be too obscure. Maybe just #HandsonRos?

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We have to get @cleoqc to add a “Tag: HandsOnROS” to the available tags, then all posts can be tagged. Perhaps also a generic “Tag: ROS” would be appropriate also.

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