Clearpath Robotics unveils TurtleBot 4
EP&T MagazineElectronics R&D robotics
Clearpath and Open Robotics announce next-gen open-source mobile robotics platform
Clearpath Robotics, OEM of mobile robotic platforms for research and development, and Open Robotics, primary maintainers of the Robot Operating System (ROS) and Gazebo simulator, announced TurtleBot 4 – the next generation of the world’s most popular open-source robotics platform. The TurtleBot 4 aims to build on the success of previous versions by providing a low-cost, fully-extensible, ROS-enabled reference platform for robotics researchers, developers and educators.
The mobile base of the TurtleBot 4 is built on the iRobot® Create® 3 educational robot which provides an IMU, optical floor tracking sensor, and wheel encoders for accurate positioning and localization. It also includes a suite of sensors including infrared, cliff, bump, and slip detection, along with a 26Wh Li-ion battery for powering additional sensors and accessories.
As well, all onboard sensor data are available as ROS topics via the network-connected ROS 2 API. Finally, the mobile base provides a payload capacity of 9kg and is capable of driving continuously at speeds of up to .306 m/s with the safety system engaged and peak to .46 m/s in override mode.
Fully integrated with the mobile base is a Raspberry Pi 4 computer running Ubuntu 20.04, ROS 2 and onboard sensor drivers, a front-facing stereo camera and 2D LiDAR. Additional sensors and accessories can be easily integrated with the system using an accessible powered USB hub and the top mounting plate. A programmable LCD screen allows users to display information from any of the ROS topics. The platform’s IP address is also displayed allowing users to connect quickly to the robot.
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“This year marks 10 years since we started working with the Open Robotics’s founding team on the Turtlebot 2.” said Bryan Webb, President of Clearpath Robotics. “We are very excited to continue our support for the open source community by providing the latest and greatest technology for robotics research, development and education. The Turtlebot 4 offers more computing power, better sensors and a world class user experience at an affordable price point.”
“We’re excited to be working with Clearpath Robotics to build the first TurtleBot designed with ROS 2 from the ground up to take advantage of the new capabilities.” said Tully Foote, Co-Creator of the TurtleBot and Community & Business Development Manager at Open Robotics. “Clearpath has a track record of delivering high-quality robots with exceptional performance, documentation, and support. I can’t wait to see what the ROS community is able to accomplish with TurtleBot 4.”