The Merlin MiabotPRO is a small autonomous mobile robot featuring a high precision drive train, dual processor design, onboard wireless communications (Bluetooth,RF) with extensive support for additional peripherals.
The Miabot has an onboard firmware API with PID and full feature access via simple ASCII interface, making control of the robot from any programming language/development platform very easy. The robot is widely used internationally for advanced robotics research and development.
miabotPro Mobile Robot - 65mm x 65mm x 65mm
*Line Following Module
ROS Miabot Driver Support (V1.0-Beta)
The Miabot PRO ROS driver implements the odometry source messages “odom” and can process the geometry_msgs/Twist messages. The Miabot PRO driver can initiate a TCP/IP link with the robot wirelessly using a couple of methods. Either via a built in Bluetooth module (used when communication with a small number of robots) or via a Bluetooth server (which is used when communication with large numbers of robot e.g. over 7 upto around 50).
In either case a socket is initiated to communicate with the robot on a given host/port combination. The following instructions illustrate how to communicate using a Bluetooth dongle or built-in Bluetooth facility.
These instructions have been tested using Ubuntu Linux 10.04 and ROS CTurtle.
Internal/Dongle Bluetooth Setup
These instructions cover the use of a built in Bluetooth module or a USB Bluetooth dongle.
Turn on the robot. Open up a terminal window and type:
Note the robot Bluetooth module, which normally begins with midxxx, and then type:
sudo rfcomm connect hci0 <bdaddr from hcitool>
This will block in terminal session with something like:
Connected /dev/rfcomm0 to 00:01:95:09:CA:82 on channel 1 Press CTRL-C for hangup
Launch another terminal window to continue. The next stage is to convert the serial rfcomm device into a TCP/IP socket. To do this we need to install the useful ser2net utility:
sudo apt-get install ser2net
Then configure the settings:
add to the end of: /etc/ser2net.conf using your favourite editor (e3,nano etc) 3000:telnet:600:/dev/rfcomm0:19200 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
#(comment out any other port definitions on 3000)
Launch the program:
This will now run as a background process.
To check everything is working we can run up a terminal program such as putty:
sudo apt-get install putty putty telnet://localhost:3000/ type: [t] and you will receive: <test#00>
This is an inbuilt test function within the robot, and will demonstrate everything is working successfully. To close down the communication, find the first window with the rfcomm connection and hit ^C. To re-establish the connection just re-run the rfcomm line.
ROS Miabot Driver Installation
git init git clone https://github.com/MerlinSystemsCorp/ROSMiabotDriver.git
* Add the new directory location into the ROS package path variable (change /home/mark with your directory location):
Check the project builds correctly:
Launch the program:
cd launch ./launch.sh rosrun miabot miabot (separate shell) * optional Keyboard teleop of robot rosrun miabot keyboard (seperate shell)
Within the miabot program terminal you can type commands between '[' and '] which correspond to any of the API supported commands and parameters. See  below in the resource links for more information. Eventually all these features will be supported as parameters/messages within ROS.
Links to other resources
 Product page