Creating and running apps on your robot using Android

Tony Pratkanis, a Bay Area high school student, has spent the past several summers at Willow Garage developing various capabilities for robotics.  This past summer, he worked on deploying an Android applications platform for ROS-enabled robots. Tony developed a GUI interface, for example, that runs on an Android operating system, and lets users launch robot demos and utilities from the tablet, not the robot’s command-line interface. In the past, users had to set up a computer, and then log into the robot, such as the PR2, and enter commands at a command-line interface to manage ROS applications.

With the applications platform, a user selects the robot in the GUI, and then the application to run. Users can also install or manage other applications. This provides a standard for launching demos and utilities on the robot side, as well as on the client interface. In some cases, the GUI supports different types of robot, such as the PR2 and the TurtleBot.

View the video to see how Tony managed the PR2 from a tablet, and used other features of the applications platform.

We hope that the applications platform makes it easier to share demos and utilities with ROS robots. For more info, visit the ROS wiki page.