ROS Tutorials and Turtles
Along with our Texas Robot experimentation, we continue our endeavors to improve the usability of our software and hardware components. By focusing outwards on the ROS and PR2 communities, we've made significant progress towards improving user experience, and we continue to iterate on these changes with the generous help of numerous ROS community members. We've been running software and hardware component tutorials through rigorous user testing, and along the way, discover opportunities to develop new teaching tools.
In an effort to simplify ROS adoption for new users, we developed turtlesim, a LOGO-inspired tool that provides a hands-on approach to learning ROS basics. This tool functions as an entry-level tutorial that takes in velocity commands, and "drives" a turtle according to the input. Turtlesim offers a simple simulator that allows new users to more readily visualize their commands and work with a simulated "robot." Once comfortable with some of the more basic ROS commands, users can try simulators, like Stage and Gazebo, for more advanced experimentation and tutorials.
These tutorials, along with many others, can be found at ros.org. There are currently 19 tutorials available for the core ROS system, and 186 tutorials (and counting) in total, covering much of the functionality available on ROS. To learn how to document a package, check here, and to learn how to write a tutorial for a package, click here. Ros.org has seen great expansion and improved organization. We strongly encourage you to upload your work and share your documentation and tutorials with the ROS community!