Creo Parametric 6.0 Quick Start Guide

If you’re an absolute beginner to Creo Parametric, this tutorial is your guide. We’ll go step-by-step through the most common functions you’ll use again and again as you work with Creo Parametric for your design work. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know how to create the animated part below.

mechanism_basics_creo_parametric_optimized

Creo Parametric is a powerful 3D modeling CAD software program that is used by engineers all over the world. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Prerequisites

How to Sketch a Rectangle in 2D

Open Creo Parametric.

Close any pop up windows that might appear.

Select your desired working directory.

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Click OK on the window that pops up once you’ve selected your desired working directory.

Click New.

Select Sketch.

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Click OK.

Go to File -> Options -> Sketcher.

Under “Accuracy and Sensitivity” change the Number of decimal places for dimensions to 3 (I like to use 3 decimal places).

Click OK.

Click No at the prompt.

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Click the small arrow next to Rectangle on the Sketch tab on the top of your screen.

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Select Center Rectangle.

Click a point anywhere.

Drag to create a rectangle.

Click another point to create the rectangle.

Click the Select button to stop creating rectangles.

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Double-click on one of the dimensions in order to alter it. In this case, I will make both the length and the width equal to 10.000.

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The little green squares indicate the constraints. For example, the green square with the black line indicates that the corresponding side of the square is exactly horizontal. Likewise, the sides are vertical. 

To shift the view on the screen, you hold down the Shift key on your keyboard while holding down the middle mouse button (or pressing the scroll wheel on your mouse). It is a bit awkward, but it is what it is.

Similarly, to rotate the object in your view, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while pressing the middle mouse button (or pressing the scroll wheel on your mouse).

You can move the position of the dimension labels (e.g. the 10.000 markets) but click on them and dragging them to where you want them to be.

To save your rectangle, go to File -> Save and then click OK.

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How to Sketch a Circle in 2D

Let’s add a circle to our sketch.

Click the arrow next to Circle.

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Select Center and Point.

Click where you want the center of the circle to be.

Drag your mouse outward to increase the size of the circle.

Click the Select button when done.

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How to Delete a Segment

In order to make our figure a complete solid, we need to delete a segment. 

Click Delete Segment in the upper right.

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Click and drag your mouse over the segments you want to delete. In my case, I deleted one half of the circle we just created.

When you are done, click Select (or hit your scroll wheel button somewhere on the canvas away from the sketch you’re creating).

To modify the radius of the circle we’ve created, click on the radius number that is labeled with an ‘R’.

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You can choose any number. I’ll select 2.000.

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How to Create a Hole

Let’s create a circle within the circle we created. 

Click the arrow next to the Circle button. 

Hover over the center of the original circle you created and click.

Drag your circle to your desired dimensions then click Select.

The diameter of my inner circle is 1.943.

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To save what we have so far, go to File -> Save or click the Save icon at the top-left of the window.

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How to Create a New Part in 3D Using Extrude

To create a new part, click on File -> New.

The default selection for Type is Part and Solid for Sub-type. These are fine.

Uncheck the Use default template checkbox.

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Click OK.

Select your units. Creo Parametric enables you to choose a variety of predefined systems of units. 

I’ll select mmns_part_solid. mmns means millimeter Newton second, where all lengths are in millimeters, force will be in Newtons, and time will be in seconds.

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Click OK.

What you see in front of you are three different planes: RIGHT, TOP, and FRONT. These are the three dimensions that your part design will be limited to.

In Creo Parametric, the defaults are:

  • RIGHT = YZ plane
  • TOP = XZ plane
  • FRONT = XY plane
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Let’s select the FRONT plane by clicking on it. This is your standard XY plane in the Cartesian Coordinate system.

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Click the Extrude button.

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Click the Sketch View button to flatten the sketch. The Sketch View button is on the small toolbar above the sketch. 

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Click File System in the upper-left part of the screen.

Select the file we’ve been working on so far and click Open.

Click in the middle of the screen to place the sketch.

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Move it to the center of the x-y reference lines by clicking the circle in the middle and dragging it to the origin.

Up top on the bar, you can scale the image to 1.000. To the left of the green checkmark you should see a white box. Put 1.000 in this box, and then click the green checkmark.

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Now press OK again.

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Hold down the middle mouse button (or scroll wheel) while moving your wrist in order to rotate the object and see it in three dimensions.

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Change the Depth to 2.000.

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Click OK.

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Save it by going to File -> Save or clicking the Save icon at the top-left of the window.

To examine the dimensions of the part, click on Extrude 1 on the left side of the window.

Press Ctrl + E or click the Edit Definition button.

Click Placement -> Edit.

Click the Sketch View icon on the small toolbar to flatten the sketch. You can see the dimensions.

Now click OK.

Click OK again.

That’s it.

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How to Create Additional Parts

Go to File -> New.

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Select Part, Solid, and uncheck ‘Use default template’. You can enter any File name you would like.

Choose mmns_part_solid and click OK.

Click on Extrude.

Click Placement -> Define.

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Click on the Right plane.

Click Sketch.

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Click the Sketch View button to flatten the plane.

Click the arrow next to the Circle button.

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Select Center and Point.

Click in the origin of the plane and spread your circle out to your desired dimensions.

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Click Select.

Change the diameter to 2.000. You do that by double-clicking on the current number and entering in your desired diameter.

Click OK.

Change the Depth to 20.000.

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Click OK.

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If you’re unable to find your part, you can always put it inside the view using the magnifying glass on the left side of the small toolbar.

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How to Modify an Extruded Part

Right now, all we have is a cylinder. Let’s make our cylinder a nail. To do that, we need to add a head to the cylinder.

Click Extrude again.

Select a surface. I’ll select the circle.

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Click the Sketch View button.

Click the arrow next to the Circle button.

Click Center and Point.

Click your mouse in the center of the circle and spread it out.

Ensure your circle has a diameter of 4.000.

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Click OK.

Change the depth to 2.000.

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Press OK.

Voila! Rotate the image, and you can see we have created a nail.

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Let’s save the part. Go to File -> Save, and click OK.

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How to Create an Assembly

Go to File -> New.

Select Assembly -> Design.

Uncheck ‘Use default template’.

Click OK.

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Select mmns_asm_design.

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Click Assemble in the upper-left part of the window.

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Find the part you just created and click Open.

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Where it says “Automatic,” select “Default.”

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Click OK. Here is what you should now see.

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Click on Assemble again.

Open the circle-rectangle combination part we created at the start of this tutorial.

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Change the drop-down from Automatic to Coincident.

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Click on a part of the long cylinder.

Drag your mouse to the surface of the hole on the circle-rectangle plate.

You see that the nail is now inside the hole.

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Let’s make the distance from the circle-rectangle plate to the nail head 5.00.

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Click the surface of the plate.

Rotate the assembly, and click the nail surface.

Change the distance to 5.000.

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Go to File Save.

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How to Create Drawing Views

Go to File -> New.

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Uncheck ‘Use default template’.

Click OK.

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Change the paper size to A4.

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Click OK.

Click on General View -> OK.

Click somewhere within the drawing.

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On the pop up window, select Standard Orientation.

Click Apply.

Click OK.

Click the Drawing Model button.

Click Add Model.

Select the circle-rectangle plate part.

Click Open

Click Done/Return.

Click General View.

Select No Combined State.

Click OK.

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Change Custom Scale to 2.000.

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Click Apply.

Click on the part.

Click on Projection View.

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Click somewhere outside the part.

To turn the axis off, click on the axis button on the small toolbar, and click “Select All.”

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To delete the scale label, click on it and hit delete.

Click on the part again.

Click Projection View.

Edit the definition.

Click View Display, and change the Display style to ‘Hidden.’

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You can do the same for another of your parts, and select ‘No Hidden’. Here are the results of that.

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How to Annotate Dimensions on a Drawing

To add dimensions to a drawing, click the Annotate tab.

Click Dimensions.

Click on a side of the part, and see the dimensions.

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Here is our drawing so far.

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How to Export a Drawing as a PDF File

Go to File -> Save As -> Export.

Select pdf.

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Click Export.

Click OK.

Your PDF will pop up.

Close Export Set Up.

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How to Use Mechanisms

Mechanisms in Creo Parametric enable cool animations.

At the top-left of your window, there is a small arrow that enables you to change windows. Go to the assembly .ASM file.

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On the left-hand side, select the circle-rectangle plate part, and click the Edit Definition icon (or type Ctrl+E).

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Click Placement.

Right-click on Coincident.

Click Delete.

Right Click on Distance.

Click Delete.

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Go to User Defined dropdown menu, and Select Pin.

Click the arrow on the circle-rectangle plate that is parallel to the nail and hold down your mouse. 

Slide the plate off the nail.

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Click the interior hole of the circle-plate combination.

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Drag the cursor to a point on the nail cylinder (i.e. shaft). We have now connected the two surfaces.

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Now click on the flat part of the circle-rectangle plate, and connect that surface to the surface of the nail head that faces the plate.

In the dropdown menu, select Distance.

Change Distance to 20.000.

Now change to 15.000.

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Click OK (the green check).

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Click the Applications tab.

Click Mechanism.

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Click the Servo Motors tab.

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Click Profile Details.

Select Velocity in the dropdown menu.

Change Velocity to 10 mm/sec.

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Now click on the part.

Press OK.

Click on Mechanism Analysis.

Change End Time to 100.

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Click Run to run the animation. Here is what you should see:

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You can exit when you want to.

Regenerate the model in order to rebuild the changes you have just made.

Click Save.

You can exit the software.

That’s it!

What I have shown you is a quick taste of some of the things Creo Parametric enables you to do. There is much more functionality than what we’ve gone through, but you now have experience with the basics.

Keep building!

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How to Create a ROS Package

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create a ROS package. Software in ROS is organized into packages. Each package might contain a mixture of code (e.g. ROS nodes), data, libraries, images, documentation, etc. Every program you write in ROS will need to be inside a package.

gifts_packages_made_loop_1
Each ROS package is designed to produce some functionality. ROS packages promote code reuse.

ROS packages promote software reuse. The goal of a ROS package is to be large enough to provide a specific useful functionality, but not so large and complicated that nobody wants to reuse it for their own project.

ROS packages are organized as follows:

  • launch folder: Contains launch files
  • src folder: Contains the source code (C++, Python)
  • CMakeLists.txt: List of cmake rules for compilation
  • package.xml: Package information and dependencies

Here is the official ROS tutorial on how to create a ROS package. I will walk you through this process below.

Directions

Here is the syntax for creating a ROS package. Do not run this piece of code.

catkin_create_pkg <package_name> [depend1] [depend2] [depend3]

package_name is the name of the package you want to make, and depend1, depend2, depend3, etc., are the names of other ROS packages that your package depends on.

Now, open a new terminal window, and move to the source directory of the workspace you created. If you don’t already have a workspace set up, check out this tutorial.

cd ~/catkin_ws/src

Create a ROS package named ‘hello_world’ inside the src folder of the catkin workspace (i.e. catkin_ws). This package will have three dependencies (i.e. libraries the package depends on in order for the code inside the package to run properly): roscpp (the ROS library for C++), rospy (the ROS library for Python), and std_msgs (common data types that have been predefined in ROS … “standard messages”).

catkin_create_pkg hello_world std_msgs rospy roscpp
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Type dir , and you will see that we now have a package named hello_world inside the source folder of the workspace. 

Change to the hello_world package.

cd hello_world

Note, we could have also used the ROS command to move to the package.

roscd hello_world

Type:

dir
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You can see that we have four files:

CMakeLists.txt: This text file contains the commands to compile the programs that you write in ROS. It also has the commands to convert your source code and other files into an executable (i.e. the code that your computer can run).

include: Contains package header files. You might remember when we wrote header files in the C++ tutorial…well this folder is where your header files would be stored.

src: This folder will contain the C++ source code. If you are doing a project in Python, you can create a new folder named scripts that will contain Python code. To create this new folder type:

mkdir scripts
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package.xml: This is an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file. An XML file is a text file written in a language (called XML) that is easy to read by both humans and computers. An XML file does not do anything other than store information in a structured way. 

Our package.xml file contains information about the hello_world package. You can see what is inside it by typing:

gedit package.xml
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That’s it! You’re all done.

Note that if you ever want to go straight to a package without typing the full path, ROS has a command to enable you to do that. In the terminal window, type the following:

 roscd <package_name>

For example, if we want to go straight to the hello_world package, we would open a new terminal window and type the following command:

roscd hello_world

Compiling a Package in ROS

When you create a new package in ROS, you need to compile it in order for it to be able to run. The command to compile a package in ROS is as follows:

catkin_make

The command above will compile all the stuff inside the src folder of the package.

You must be inside your catkin_ws directory in order for the catkin_make command to work. If you are outside the catkin_ws directory, catkin_make won’t work.

To get to your catkin_ws directory, you can type this command anywhere inside your terminal:

roscd
cd ..

Then to compile all the packages inside the catkin workspace, you type:

catkin_make

If you just want to compile specific packages (in cases where your project is really big), you type this command:

catkin_make --only-pkg-with-deps

For example, if you have a package named hello_world, you can compile just that package:

catkin_make --only-pkg-with-deps hello_world

How to Launch the TurtleBot3 Simulation With ROS

In this tutorial, we will launch a virtual robot called TurtleBot3. TurtleBot3 is a low-cost, personal robot kit with open-source software. You can read more about TurtleBot here at the ROS website.

The official instructions for launching the TurtleBot3 simulation are at this link, but we’ll walk through everything below.

Below is a demo of what you will create in this tutorial. You will get experience with SLAM (Simultaneous localization and mapping) and autonomous navigation.

turtlebot3-simulation

TurtleBot3 is designed to run using just ROS and Ubuntu. It is a popular robot for research and educational purposes.

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Table of Contents

Directions

I’m assuming you have ROS installed and are using Linux. If you don’t have ROS installed, install ROS now.

Let’s install the TurtleBot3 simulator now.

Open a terminal window and install the dependent packages. Enter the following commands, one right after the other:

cd ~/catkin_ws/src/
git clone https://github.com/ROBOTIS-GIT/turtlebot3_msgs.git
git clone https://github.com/ROBOTIS-GIT/turtlebot3.git
cd ~/catkin_ws && catkin_make

TurtleBot3 has three models, Burger, Waffle, and Waffle Pi, so you have to set which model you want to use before you launch TurtleBot3. Type this command to open the bashrc file to add this setting:

gedit ~/.bashrc

Add this line at the bottom of the file:

export TURTLEBOT3_MODEL=burger
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Save the file and close it.

Now reload .bashrc so that you do not have to log out and log back in.

source ~/.bashrc

Now, we need to download the TurtleBot3 simulation files.

cd ~/catkin_ws/src/
git clone https://github.com/ROBOTIS-GIT/turtlebot3_simulations.git
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cd ~/catkin_ws && catkin_make
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Simulate TurtleBot3 Using RViz

Now that we have the TurtleBot3 simulator installed, let’s launch the virtual robot using RViz. Type this command in your terminal window:

roslaunch turtlebot3_fake turtlebot3_fake.launch

If you want to move TurtleBot3 around the screen, open a new terminal window, and type the following command (everything on one line in the terminal):

roslaunch turtlebot3_teleop turtlebot3_teleop_key.launch

roslaunch is the command in ROS that enables us to launch a program. The syntax is as follows:

roslaunch <name_of_package> <name_of_launch_file>

The first parameter is the name of the package. The second parameter is the name of the launch file that is inside the package.

What is a Package?

ROS packages are the way software is organized in ROS. They are the smallest thing you can build in ROS.

A package is a directory that contains all of the files, programs, libraries, and datasets needed to provide some useful functionality. ROS packages promote software reuse. Every program that you write in ROS will need to be inside a package.

The goal of a ROS package is to be large enough to be useful but not so large and complicated that nobody wants to reuse it for their own project.

ROS packages are organized as follows:

  • launch folder: Contains launch files
  • src folder: Contains the source code (C++, Python)
  • CMakeLists.txt: List of cmake rules for compilation
  • package.xml: Package information and dependencies

To go straight to a ROS package from a terminal window, the syntax is as follows:

roscd <name_of_package>

For example, to go to the turtlebot3_teleop package, type in a new terminal window:

roscd turtlebot3_teleop

If you type the following command, you can see what is inside there:

ls
showdat-2

What is a Launch File?

From within the turtlebot3_teleop package, move inside the launch file.

cd launch

Let’s take a look inside it.

gedit turtlebot3_teleop_key.launch
launch_file

All launch files start off with the <launch> tag and end with the </launch> tag. Inside these tags, you have the <node> tag that contains the following parameters:

  1. pkg=”package_name”: This is the name of the package that has the code we want ROS to execute.
  2. type=”python_file_name.py”: This is the name of the program we’d like to execute.
  3. name=”node_name”: This is the name of the ROS node we want to launch our program.
  4. output=”type_of_output”: Where you will print the output of the program.

Continuing On…

OK, now that we know what packages are, let’s continue on.

Click the terminal window and use the keys below to control the movement of your TurtleBot (e.g. press W key to move forward, X key to move backward and S to stop).

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And remember, use the keyboard to move the robot around.

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Press CTRL+C in all terminal windows.

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Simulate TurtleBot3 Using Gazebo

Now let’s use Gazebo to do the TurtleBot3 simulation.

First, let’s launch TurtleBot3 in an empty environment. Type this command (everything goes on one line):

roslaunch turtlebot3_gazebo turtlebot3_empty_world.launch

Wait for Gazebo to load. It could take a while. Here is what your screen should look like:

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Press CTRL+C and close out all windows.

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How to Change the Simulation Environment for TurtleBot3

Let’s look at our TurtleBot3 in a different environment. This environment is often used for testing SLAM and navigation algorithms. Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) concerns the problem of a robot building or updating a map of an unknown environment while simultaneously keeping track its location in that environment.

In a new terminal window type:

roslaunch turtlebot3_gazebo turtlebot3_world.launch
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Press CTRL+C and close out all windows.

We can also simulate TurtleBot3 inside a house. Type this command and wait a few minutes for the environment to load.

roslaunch turtlebot3_gazebo turtlebot3_house.launch
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To move the TurtleBot with your keyboard, use this command in another terminal tab:

roslaunch turtlebot3_teleop turtlebot3_teleop_key.launch

Press CTRL+C and close out all windows.

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Autonomous Navigation and Obstacle Avoidance With TurtleBot3

Now let’s implement obstacle avoidance for the TurtleBot3 robot. The goal is to have TurtleBot3 autonomously navigate around a room and avoid colliding into objects.

Open a new terminal and type:

roslaunch turtlebot3_gazebo turtlebot3_world.launch

In another terminal window type:

roslaunch turtlebot3_gazebo turtlebot3_simulation.launch

You should see TurtleBot3 autonomously moving about the world and avoiding obstacles along the way.

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We can open RViz to visualize the LaserScan topic while TurtleBot3 is moving about in the world. In a new terminal tab type:

roslaunch turtlebot3_gazebo turtlebot3_gazebo_rviz.launch
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Press CTRL+C and close out all windows.

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Simulating SLAM With TurtleBot3

Let’s take a look at how we can simulate SLAM with TurtleBot3. As a refresher, Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) concerns the problem of a robot building or updating a map of an unknown environment while simultaneously keeping track its location in that environment.

Install the SLAM module in a new terminal window.

sudo apt install ros-melodic-slam-gmapping

Start Gazebo in a new terminal window.

roslaunch turtlebot3_gazebo turtlebot3_world.launch

Start SLAM in a new terminal tab.

roslaunch turtlebot3_slam turtlebot3_slam.launch slam_methods:=gmapping

Start autonomous navigation in a new terminal tab:

roslaunch turtlebot3_gazebo turtlebot3_simulation.launch

Watch the robot create a map of the environment as it autonomously moves from place to place!

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And that is all there is to it.

When you’ve had enough, press CTRL+C and close out all windows.

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That’s it for TurtleBot3. In case you want to try other commands and learn more, check out the official TurtleBot3 tutorials.