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What would be easier ways to check the power on/off on iRobot Create?

If I understand correctly the usage, we often need to check if the power light of Create is on/off on Turtlebot. For ex. power charging doesn't start while the power on unless in passive mode. Also, ROS can't operate it when it's off, which sometimes happen to me even though the light on powering cables for Create is on. Correct me if I'm doing something wrong here, which could be the best answer to this Q as well.

Suppose I'm correct, it's a little tedious to crouch down and look into the thin space b/w Create and Turtlebot's lowest plate to see Creates panel every time. Dashboard is very nice tool, but I think it doesn't provide enough feature yet when it comes to checking if power is on/off.


Originally posted by 130s on ROS Answers with karma: 10937 on 2011-12-15

Post score: 1


Original comments

Comment by 130s on 2011-12-19:
Thank you. That'd be great if turning battery on/off from remote (by dashboard etc.) is possible (and the ticket page cited doesn't contain anything but it'll get filled right? Just wondering).

Comment by mmwise on 2011-12-16:
I will look into this, I have created a ticket here https://kforge.ros.org/turtlebot/trac/ticket/105. I'm not sure if it's possible but I have some ideas for how to implement it and add it to the dashboard

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2 Answers 2

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I have also found that the LED near the power button to not be a reliable power status indicator. It's very easy to add a real power on/off status LED by connecting an LED to the cargo bay connector pin 8 (switched 5VDC) and pin 21 (ground). Be sure to also add a resistor (180ohm to 330 ohm) in series with the the LED to limit current to, and protect the LED.


Originally posted by JamesRonald with karma: 81 on 2011-12-17

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Comment by mmwise on 2011-12-29:
I have added diagnostics to the turtlebot_node now so that you can see in the dashboard if the node is running.. will be in the next TB release.

Comment by Ryan on 2011-12-21:
Not a bad idea! I've logged this in our feature request hopper.

Comment by 130s on 2011-12-19:
Sounds awesome. I'm afraid I can't try the similar thing very soon since I'm finishing my contract w/current employer where I use Turtlebots, but this might be something I want to give shot and hope Turtlebot manufacturers to think about.

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Might sound barbaric,but you could remove the Create's powerbutton led and move it to a spot where you can see it.Although if you were teleoperating turtlebot. You probably would have to use a micro controller like arduino to toggle the power botton on the create with a relay then you could also tap into the powerbutton-led voltage to confirm that the Create was on or off.


Originally posted by Atom with karma: 458 on 2011-12-15

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Original comments

Comment by Atom on 2011-12-16:
As far as the issue with Arduino working properly you could have it sending serial strings that publish to ros topics stating that it is connected and working to your expectations. If you require a certain setup, elaborate more on your optimal setup and I could give you better advise.

Comment by 130s on 2011-12-16:
@Atom I like your idea. Nice to have remote contorolable tool like that. I'm just afraid then another source of issue, checking if Arduino stuff in your example is working properly, might rise though.

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