Installing ROS on the Intel Edison

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Note: The Edison board has been removed from Nomad and two Raspberry Pi B+s were installed. In time these will be swapped out for Pi 2s, but I had B+s on hand, so that's what went in. The decision to go with the Pis over the Edison had to do with support, or the lack thereof, stemming from issues getting the joystick device to install properly. When attempting to get Nomad to run as BARB did I discovered there joystick was not available on the Edison. After nearly 2 weeks of working with it, scouring the forums, etc., I could find no solution. The couple solutions I was able to find relied on modules I found were also missing from the Ubilinux distro. Rather than wasting any more time on it I decided to go with a proven, documented, and well supported platform; the Pi. I am pretty certain the B+ models will not cut it and Pi 2s will need to be installed. But to push forward on the project I went with what's on hand.

There seem to be a few instances of folks installing ROS on the Yocto build which Intel provides with the Edison, however it seems more folks install ubilinux (based on Debian Wheezy) which is a more feature rich linux including standard package manager.

I referenced two sets of installation instructions for this install:

These are pretty much the same, the set from sparkfun has a little more commentary and as such is more helpful.

  • The biggest issue I found was resolved with the troubleshooting notes on the sparkfun version and related to the dfu-util not found issue

Before starting the installation you will need to redirect the apt cache off of the root fs because the install takes more space than is available in the root fs partition.  The /home partition has an additional 1.4 gig so I put it there.

Mkdir /home/apt-cache

sudo rm -rf /var/cache/apt

sudo ln -s /home/apt-cache /var/cache/apt

With ubilinux successfully installed I followed these instructions to install ROS:

Which closely follow

  • I installed Jade instead of Indigo, remember to change all instances of indigo to jade in all the commands
  • This is a  ROS_COMM install, so it installs the minimum set of packages to have a working ROS system
  • This is also a build from source install which is part of why it takes so long

For convenience add the sourcing of the ROS environment to the shell script

echo "source /opt/ros/jade/setup.bash" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

After installation refer to the tutorial Installing and Configuring the ROS Environment

For convenience add the sourcing of the catkin workspace to the shell script

echo "source ~catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

The build took about a full day to complete, mostly because one of the debian package servers takes a full minute to connect to, so installing all the packages and updates is terribly slow.

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