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Programming Robots with ROS by William D. Smart, Brian Gerkey, Morgan Quigley

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Chapter 11. Chess-bot

Thus far, this book has focused on driving mobile robots in office-like environments. This was because planar robot navigation can be explored using relatively low-cost hardware, and the topic is sufficiently valuable, complex, and nuanced to use it as a practical introduction to controlling robots using ROS. However, the field of robotics is far larger than planar mobile robots! In this chapter, we will enter an entirely different domain: manipulation. Unfortunately, robot manipulators are often complex and expensive machines, making them less commonly found in academic and hobbyist laboratories. Fortunately, it’s possible, and strongly encouraged, to develop robot-manipulation software entirely using the free and open source Gazebo simulator! In this chapter, we will use Gazebo extensively to demonstrate how to develop software for the Robonaut 2 (also known as R2), a stunning state-of-the-art robot developed by NASA and GM. One copy of Robonaut 2 is actually on the International Space Station, and the software you will write in this chapter will run just as well in the Gazebo simulator on your personal computer as it would run on the actual R2 on the space station!

Robotic manipulators come in an astonishingly wide variety of shapes and sizes. Industrial robotic manipulators are famous for performing tasks like welding, painting, and stacking with superhuman power, speed, and endurance. It is important to note, however, that despite how things may appear ...

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