Using a PlayStation DS4 with ROS Kinetic on Ubuntu 16.04

For certain tasks, driving a mobile robot with a joystick is easier than using keyboard controls. I realized this while creating maps of simulated environments for my autonomous navigation experiments. The joystick I used is a PlayStation DualShock 4 (DS4) controller. It took me a few tries to get a working setup even after following these tutorials: 1, 2. This was partly because the first was written for an older version of ROS, and none discussed the nuances between connecting…

Installing ROS Melodic (Bare Bones) on MacOS Mojave

Getting ROS to compile on MacOS (OS X) is an experience guaranteed to test your patience creativity in fixing build and runtime errors. After all, ROS does not officially support MacOS and its install guide is broken and outdated. With a few days of tinkering, I managed to build ROS Melodic and want to share the information. Here is my setup: MacOS Mojave (v10.14.6) running on Macbook Pro native Python 2.7.10 interpreter bundled with Mojave (Homebrew Python 2.7.13 + pyenv…

TwiddleTalk alpha release

I am more comfortable with chording but my typing is still slow after one month of casual use (no surprises). I also tend to make many errors when using my ring and pinky fingers, partly because I don’t use the included strap and the Twiddler sometimes slides around as my fingers stride between chords. On a good note, I made progress towards my long-term goal. I created the basic framework of a virtual assistant / personal bot running on a…

Getting to Know the Twiddler3

I ordered my Twiddler3 last February and when UPS delivered the package on my doorstep 10 days later, I giddily unboxed it. I installed the velcro strap and began “typing” — randomly pecking the keys individually and making chords. I didn’t really care what I was typing at this point. I was more interested in finding a natural grip and angle that would allow my to type comfortably and efficiently. Two days later, I ditched the strap. Why? I want…