Why GoPiGo3 Is Better Than The Create3 For Exploring ROS 2

ROScon2023 was recently held in New Orleans, at which iRobot presented talks about the new Create 3 educational ROS 2 robot. The Building the iRobot® Create® 3 Robot: Challenges and Solutions for ROS 2 Consumer Robotics talk was the most surprising insight into the extreme limitations of the Create 3, compared with a Raspberry Pi powered GoPiGo3.

I have been watching and interacting with the iRobot Create 3 ROS Education collateral and support team for the last two years, and have immense admiration for what they have accomplished and how present they have been to answer user questions through their GitHub discussions platform.

I was also impressed by the Create 3 robot’s large feature set, but unimpressed by ClearPath’s integration of a Raspberry Pi4 atop the Create 3 (and ClearPath’s finger pointing at iRobot) to the point of returning the $1400 robot in 5 days. The experience demonstrated the disadvantages of having an underpowered ROS 2 mobile robot base (Create 3) exposed in the ROScon2023 presentation.

I do not have the ROS expertise to maximize my ROS 2 GoPiGo3 performance that I see in the iRobot Create 3 team, but it is clear to me that having a Raspberry Pi 4 powered ROS 2 GoPiGo3 mobile base is better (for me) than a Pi4 running ROS 2 programs communicating with a microcontroller powered ROS 2 Create 3 mobile base.