ITF Demo Guide

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This page will guide you in getting the components of the demo we gave to the ITF visitors up and running. I can't test it without wiping the laptop we use for our iRobot, so in true open source robotics style some parts may not work for you. I will also try to include some empty 'to be written' sections as well as some dead links and / or links to deprecated dependencies.

[b]I still need to push updates for this, don't try it out yet![/b]


This page has the following prerequisites:

  • An iRobot with the Serial-2-USB cable
  • A system with Ubuntu 12.04 to connect to the iRobot
  • Much patience and perseverence


To be added at a later stage. See for details. Just kidding, read on.

A lot of the commands given here end with a & character so that you don't have to open a new terminal window. In practice, some processes output a lot of text, so feel free to open separate terminal windows for the chatty ones, it's up to you.

Install ROS Hydro

Install ros-hydro-desktop-full, instructions are here:

Install sound_play

Sound_play is needed for the system to output speech. To install it, enter the following commands:

sudo rosdep init
rosdep update
rosdep install sound_play
rosmake sound_play

Clone the repo

Clone the repo for this project. Right now it's a private repo for....various reasons, so if you want access contact and he'll add you. Chances are if you're reading this you have him on your Skype already.

git clone ~/CogBot

Get the iRobot Create driver

cd ~/CogBot/catkin_cogbot/src
svn co
cd brown_drivers

Build it all

cd ~/CogBot/catkin_cogbot

Launch Megahal

cd ~/CogBot/megahal
./ &

Launch roscore

roscore &

Launch iRobot Create driver

sudo chmod 777 /dev/ttyUSB0
cd ~/CogBot/catkin_cogbot/
rosrun irobotcreate_2_1 &

Launch gspeech

rosrun cogbot &

Launch sound_play

rosrun sound_play

Launch ITF Demo

rosrun cogbot &

Set Java compile time CLASSPATH

export CLASSPATH=~/CogBot/ramona/ProgramD/JavaSource/net/novamente/util:~/CogBot/ProgramD/distrib/programd-main.jar

Build ProgramD sample

cd ~/CogBot/ProgramD

Edit ProgramD shell script

We should probably improve this so you don't have to do this, but for now, edit the file so the paths are correct, ~ doesn't work.

Replace all occurrences of /home/cogbot with /home/yourusername

Run ProgramD sample

cd ~/CogBot/ProgramD

Things that may or may not work now

Voice control

Try commands like 'move forward', 'rotate right' or 'abort abort' to control the robot. Try 'start follow' and 'stop follow' to start the Kinect follow procedure


Ask questions such as 'How many people live in Hong Kong' and wait for a bit to hear it come back with '7,005,302' or some such number. Some questions will get processed by MegaHal, giving funny / random responses. Others will be handled by the rules in ProgramD or the query system of OpenEphyra.

Next Steps

There are no next steps. It ends here.


Any questions?

Try Google.