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Install Hironx/NEXTAGE OPEN API software on your machine

Description: Installation described here can be applied to both Hironx and NEXTAGE OPEN robots. Also illustrated here is the role of the two computers that come with the robot (QNX, Ubuntu).

Keywords: Hiro, Hironx, NEXTAGE OPEN

Tutorial Level: BEGINNER

Next Tutorial: Run simulation


NOTE: All the tutorials available under the URL http://wiki.ros.org/rtmros_nextage/Tutorials are applicable to the multiple products of Kawada Industries; Hiro (only with the one that opensource software is installed) and NEXTAGE OPEN. To simplify the notation in the rest of the tutorials, we use HiroNXO to appoint the aforementioned robots.


Development workstation environment

Required specification of Ubuntu machine for HiroNXO:

Install via debian binary (RECOMMENDED)

.deb binary is available only in ROS groovy and later.

For the first time installation, you can simply run the following few lines of commands.

You haven't installed ROS, nor HiroNXO software

e.g. for ROS Indigo,

You've installed ROS, but no HiroNXO software yet

All you need is this single line of commands.

Working with a real robot

When shipped, the robot should come with the two computers (Control Box and UI Controller) already be configured to communicate with each other. This section describes the things:

NXO software by default uses a host name for communication. For your convenience, it's the easiest to set it in the operating system level. To do so:

This setting won't be harmful to your network usage, unless you have a network application that uses 192.168.128.x segment.

To update software

* The following will update ALL the software on your Ubuntu if newer versions are available.

* If you only want to update HiroNXO software,

Overview of system

Two control computers

Kawada's Hiro and NEXTAGE OPEN robots run on two computers. For those who don't have an access to the product manual, brief description of both are:

In this tutorial, only the basic and recommended installation method is introduced. For advanced way of doing it (e.g. source install), please consult another tutorial.

Overall software components


The tutorial page gives a full list of the tasks to install necessary software on Ubuntu, the application server that is commonly called as "Vision PC" by the manufacturer.

Installation and usage on QNX

All of HiroNXO software is publicly available, which doesn't mean that you can just download and run it on your HiroNXO out of the box. You need to build/compile it on the robot's controller host ControllerBox that runs on QNX operating system. And to compile on QNX you need a developer license which you can purchase from the vendor of your region.

How to install necessary software on QNX is not disclosed either. Other than the developer's license issue, QNX is a commercial software that you're required/advised to be certified for operation, or at minimum should be familliar enough with it. Also due to the lack of robust packaging infrastructure (like ROS has) on QNX, installation work can involve a long list of manual tasks and thus is very error prone.

However, for the cases as below touching inside of QNX is required:

  • When you need to rollback to the previous closed-source GRX controller (to use the program you wrote for it).

  • See log files for debugging cases that aren't clear from logs available via API on Ubuntu software.

In these cases you can obtain the logon account info from either manufacturer or the software service provider.

There's another tutorial page for that purpose.

Some workarounds

For older Ubuntu (not recommended)

New user is encouraged to start using HiroNxo software on Ubuntu Trusty - ROS Indigo combination. However, the option for older distro (Ubuntu Precise - ROS Hydro) is also available.

Patch for Hironx user on Ubuntu Trusty (14.04) ROS Indigo

As of July 2015, Hironx ROS software is not fully functioning on Ubuntu Trusty. No worries, there's a workaround patch. Follow the instruction suggested in this link.

(Update Oct 2015) An issue with collada_dom is resolved, so this tweak is no longer necessary.

Re-install older version of Ubuntu packages

You can install HiroNXO software by surprisingly fewer number of commands as you've seen above. That's because ROS maintenance organization (OSRF) runs a very sophisticated system that realizes package binary generation and distribution. They do not, however, keep the older version of binary packages.

Sometimes you may want to roll back your system to older version, when the latest version of the software available from apt-get (i.e. OSRF's repository) is now what you want. We do keep some older version of software installer here although very limited in the amount and variation.

Keeping old version of software comes with cost

Retrieving old version installers, and keeping them, comes with a cost of work and server running cost. The location above is run by TORK. Please consider funding them via Paypal, or even greater, consider donating to OSRF.

2020-02-15 13:10