Clearpath Robotics, a manufacturer of mobile robotic platforms for research and development, and Open Robotics, primary maintainers of the Robot Operating System (ROS) and Gazebo simulator, have launched TurtleBot 4 – the next generation of the open-source robotics platform.
TurtleBot 4 is described as a “low-cost, fully expandable mobile robotics platform with improved sensing, increased payload capacity, ROS 2 support, and auto-docking capabilities” aimed at educators, researchers, and developers.
Bryan Webb, president of Clearpath Robotics, says: “This year marks ten years since we started working with the Open Robotics’ founding team on the Turtlebot 2.
“We are very excited to continue our support for the open source community by providing cutting-edge technology for robotics research, development, and education.
“Turtlebot 4 offers automatic charging, the latest sensors and computing, as well as larger and heavier payload support.
“Furthermore, Clearpath Robotics is committed to offering a world-class user experience at an affordable price point.”
TurtleBot 4 is available in two models: TurtleBot 4 Standard and TurtleBot 4 Lite. Both versions are built on the iRobot Create 3 educational robot, which provides an array of built-in technology including an inertial measurement unit (IMU), optical floor tracking sensor, wheel encoders, and infrared sensors for accurate localization, navigation, and telepresence.
A 2D LiDAR and a front-facing spatial AI stereo camera are fully integrated with the mobile base, making it ideal for SLAM and AI-based testing. Both models include a charging dock, allowing for autonomous docking and battery charging.
With the Standard model, users can easily customize and expand the capabilities of the robot by integrating additional sensors and accessories via the accessible powered USB hub, power breakouts, and the top mounting plate.
A programmable OLED screen allows users to quickly display information from any of the ROS topics. The platform’s IP address is also displayed, allowing users to quickly connect to the robot via WiFi.
TurtleBot 4 is equipped with a powerful Raspberry Pi 4 computer running ROS 2 – the industry standard open-source software for robotics development. All onboard sensor data are available as ROS topics via the network-connected ROS 2 API.
TurtleBot 4 is shipped fully assembled with ROS 2 pre-installed and configured along with detailed user documentation, a Gazebo simulation model, and demo code, allowing users to get started right out-of-the-box.
TurtleBot 4 also comes with comprehensive courseware material, including lesson plans, lecture content, tutorials, and sample tests, allowing educators to easily integrate TurtleBot into robotics training courses.
Tully Foote, co-creator of the TurtleBot and community and business development manager at Open Robotics, says: “We’re excited to be launching the first TurtleBot designed for ROS 2 from the ground up. I’m humbled by the success of the TurtleBot to date and looking forward to seeing how TurtleBot 4 takes the robotics community forward.
“More than 16,000 TurtleBots are already out in the world, and Clearpath is the perfect partner to deliver the next 16,000 and more.”
TurtleBot 4 Standard and Lite are available in North America, Europe and Asia through authorized global distributors with an MSRP of $1,750 and $1,095, respectively, and will begin shipping in July 2022.
TurtleBot 4 will be showcased in Clearpath Robotics’ booth at the upcoming International Conference for Robotics & Automation in Philadelphia.