Robotics-Academy (2.3 release) supports Linux (Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04 and other distributions), MacOS and Windows. The installation has been greatly simplified, as all the required dependencies are already pre-installed in the Robotics-Academy Docker Image. The users of this release should:

  1. Install the RADI (Robotics-Academy Docker Image) on their machines
  2. Copy the Robotics-Academy source code repository on their machines.

Enjoy :-)

Robotics-Academy (both 2.1 and 2.0 releases) currently supports Linux operating system. These installation instructions have been prepared for Ubuntu Linux 18.04 (LTS). Don’t install everything listed here, just follow the directions on the Academy exercise you want to perform. For instance, not all the specific infrastructure packages are required for every exercise, and they can be large packages.

  1. Generic infrastucture
    • Required
    • ROS middleware, Gazebo simulator, JdeRobot-base, JdeRobot-assets
  2. Specific infrastructure
    • Optional, depends on the exercise
    • Some exercises require also additional software pieces such as OpenCV, MoveIt!, MavROS, PX4, VisualStates, OpenMotionPlanningLibrary, Turtlebot2, etc.
  3. Robotics-Academy source code
    • Required
    • Robotics-Academy includes templates for the exercises

Generic infrastructure

ROS Middleware

Supported release is ROS-Melodic. It can be easily installed from official Debian packages, maintained by OpenRobotics organization.

  1. Add the lastest ROS source:

     sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ros-latest.list'
     sudo apt-key adv --keyserver 'hkp://' --recv-key C1CF6E31E6BADE8868B172B4F42ED6FBAB17C654
  2. Update the repositories
     sudo apt update
  3. Install the official ROS Melodic Debian package

     sudo apt install ros-melodic-desktop-full
  4. Environment setup
     echo "source /opt/ros/melodic/setup.bash" >> ~/.bashrc
     source ~/.bashrc
  5. Dependencies for building packages
    sudo apt install python-rosdep python-rosinstall python-rosinstall-generator python-wstool build-essential  
    sudo rosdep init  
    rosdep update  

    For more information, refer ros wiki

Gazebo simulator

Supported release is Gazebo-9. It can be easily installed from official Debian packages, maintained by OpenRobotics organization. You can safely ignore this step as Gazebo-9 will be automatically installed with ROS Melodic package (described in the previous step).


Supported release is 6.1.0. It contains ROS drivers not included in the official ROS packages.

  1. Add the latest JdeRobot-base source

     sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] `lsb_release -cs` main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jderobot.list'
  2. Get and add the public key from the JdeRobot repository

     sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv 24E521A4
  3. Update the repositories

     sudo apt update
  4. Install JdeRobot-base

     sudo apt install jderobot
  5. Source the environment variables:

     echo "source /opt/jderobot/setup.bash" >> ~/.bashrc 
     source ~/.bashrc    


Supported release is 6.1.0 It contains Gazebo world files and configuration files required for the Academy exercises.

  1. Install jderobot-assets debian package

     sudo apt install jderobot-assets
  2. Install jderobot-assets ROS package

     sudo apt install ros-melodic-jderobot-assets
  3. Source the environment variables:

     echo "source /opt/jderobot/share/jderobot/gazebo/" >> ~/.bashrc
     echo "source /opt/jderobot/share/jderobot/gazebo/" >> ~/.bashrc
     source ~/.bashrc

Specific infrastructure


You can install OpenCV in several ways:

For more information, visit the official repository.


A. Binary installation (recommended)

sudo apt-get install ros-melodic-jderobot-drones

B. Source installation:

  1. Install catkin tools

     sudo apt install python-catkin-tools
  2. Set up catkin workspace

     mkdir -p ~/catkin_ws/src
     cd ~/catkin_ws
     catkin init
     echo 'export ROS_WORKSPACE=~/catkin_ws' >> ~/.bashrc # points roscd dir
     source ~/.bashrc
  3. Get jderobot-drones ros pkg

     cd ~ && mkdir -p repos && cd repos
     git clone
  4. Link drone source to catkin_ws

     roscd && cd src
     ln -s ~/repos/drones/drone_wrapper .
     ln -s ~/repos/drones/drone_assets .
     ln -s ~/repos/drones/rqt_drone_teleop .
  5. Update ros dependencies

     rosdep init  # needs to be called ONLY once after installation. sudo might be required
     rosdep update && rosdep install --from-paths . --ignore-src --rosdistro melodic -y  #sudo might be required
  6. Build

     roscd && catkin build
  7. Export environment variables

     echo 'source '$PWD'/devel/setup.bash' >> ~/.bashrc
     echo 'export GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH=${GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH}:/usr/share/gazebo-9' >> ~/.bashrc
     echo 'export GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH=${GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH}:~/repos/drones/drone_assets/models' >> ~/.bashrc
     source ~/.bashrc


Binary installation:

  1. Install ROS Melodic MAVROS and extras (v1.5.0-1)

     sudo apt install ros-melodic-mavros ros-melodic-mavros-extras


Install previous dependencies:

  1. Download and install GeographicLib

     chmod +x
     sudo ./
  2. Remove modemmanager

     sudo apt remove modemmanager
  3. Install common dependencies

     sudo apt update -y
     sudo apt-get install git zip qtcreator cmake \
        build-essential genromfs ninja-build exiftool \
        python-pip python-dev -y
  4. Install xxd

     which xxd || sudo apt install xxd -y || sudo apt install vim-common --no-install-recommends -y
  5. Install required python packages

    Install Python 3 pip build dependencies first

     sudo pip3 install wheel setuptools

    Python 3 dependencies installed by pip

     sudo pip3 install argparse argcomplete coverage cerberus empy jinja2 \
                     matplotlib==3.0.* numpy nunavut packaging pkgconfig pyros-genmsg pyulog \
                     pyyaml requests serial six toml psutil pyulog wheel

    Install everything again for Python 2 because we could not get Firmware to compile using catkin without it.

     sudo pip install --upgrade pip 
     sudo pip install wheel setuptools
     sudo pip install argcomplete argparse catkin_pkg catkin-tools cerberus coverage \
         empy jinja2 matplotlib==2.2.* numpy pkgconfig px4tools pygments pymavlink \
         packaging pyros-genmsg pyulog pyyaml requests rosdep rospkg serial six toml \
         pandas pyserial
  6. Install ninja

     sudo apt install ninja-build -y
  7. Get FastRTPS and FastCDR

     wget -O eprosima_fastrtps-1-7-1-linux.tar.gz
     tar -xzf eprosima_fastrtps-1-7-1-linux.tar.gz eProsima_FastRTPS-1.7.1-Linux/
     tar -xzf eprosima_fastrtps-1-7-1-linux.tar.gz requiredcomponents
     tar -xzf requiredcomponents/eProsima_FastCDR-1.0.8-Linux.tar.gz
  8. Build FastRTPS and FastCDR

     (cd eProsima_FastCDR-1.0.8-Linux && ./configure --libdir=/usr/lib && make -j2 && sudo make install)
     cd ..
     (cd eProsima_FastRTPS-1.7.1-Linux && ./configure --libdir=/usr/lib && make -j2 && sudo make install)
     rm -rf requiredcomponents eprosima_fastrtps-1-7-1-linux.tar.gz

PX4 source installation:

  1. Get PX4 source (v1.11.3)

     cd ~ && mkdir -p repos && cd repos
     git clone
     cd Firmware && git checkout v1.11.3
     git checkout -b v1.11.3
  2. Build PX4

     cd ~/repos/Firmware
     DONT_RUN=1 make px4_sitl_default gazebo
  3. Export environment variables

     echo 'export GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH=$GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH:~/repos/Firmware/build/px4_sitl_default/build_gazebo' >> ~/.bashrc
     echo 'export GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH=$GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH:~/repos/Firmware/Tools/sitl_gazebo/models' >> ~/.bashrc
     echo 'export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:~/repos/Firmware/build/px4_sitl_default/build_gazebo' >> ~/.bashrc
     echo 'export ROS_PACKAGE_PATH=$ROS_PACKAGE_PATH:~/repos/Firmware' >> ~/.bashrc
     echo 'export ROS_PACKAGE_PATH=$ROS_PACKAGE_PATH:~/repos/Firmware/Tools/sitl_gazebo' >> ~/.bashrc
     source ~/.bashrc
  4. Try PX4 (optional)

     roslaunch px4 mavros_posix_sitl.launch
     pxh> commander arm # when launching finishes

Real Turtlebot2 on ROS Melodic

  1. Prerequisites
    • ROS Melodic on Ubuntu 18
    • Turtlebot2
  2. Build Turtlebot2 Workspace

Firstly, cd to your catkin workspace.

If you don’t have one, cd to somewhere you want to create it, and then run the following commands to create one

mkdir -p src

Now run the following command (inside the root of catkin workspace) to build up running environment for Turtlebot2

curl -sLf | bash
  1. Bring Up Turtlebot2 Now connect a turtlebot2 to the computer. After that, run this command to bring up the Turtlebot2
    source ./devel/setup.bash
    roslaunch turtlebot_bringup minimal.launch

If nothing wrong, you will hear the Turtlebot2 give out a reminder.

  1. Test Turtlebot2 If you want to use keyboard to control it, just run the following command
    source ./devel/setup.bash
    roslaunch turtlebot_teleop keyboard_teleop.launch

And it will output something like this


process[turtlebot_teleop_keyboard-1]: started with pid [23757]

Control Your Turtlebot!
Moving around:
   u    i    o
   j    k    l
   m    ,    .

q/z : increase/decrease max speeds by 10%
w/x : increase/decrease only linear speed by 10%
e/c : increase/decrease only angular speed by 10%
space key, k : force stop
anything else : stop smoothly

CTRL-C to quit

currently:	speed 0.2	turn 1 

Now you should be able to use keyboard to control your Turtlebot2.

  1. Asus Xtion

Install dependencies:

sudo apt-get install ros-melodic-rgbd-launch ros-melodic-openni2-camera ros-melodic-openni2-launch
sudo apt-get install ros-melodic-rqt ros-melodic-rqt-common-plugins ros-melodic-rqt-robot-plugins

Run these commands on three different terminals to test it:

roslaunch openni2_launch openni2.launch

In this last application, rqt, go to Plugins -> Visualization -> Image view -> depth/image_raw to view the camera depth raw data.

  1. RPLidar

Just test it! Run these commands on two different terminals:

roslaunch rplidar_ros view_rplidar.launch 


Robotics-Academy source code

Once you have generic and specific infrastructure installed in your system, you can download and install the JdeRobot Academy software.

  1. Clone the Academy software repository

     git clone