This page describes how to create a catkin workspace and install Ein.

Install Ubuntu Trusty 14.04 LTS.

Install ROS Indigo as per

If you are on Trusty 14.04 LTS with Indigo, you need the non-free functionality of opencv.

Install other Ein dependencies:

sudo apt-get install qt5-default python-wstool ros-indigo-object-recognition-msgs libgsl0-dev ros-indigo-serial ros-indigo-object-recognition-msgs ros-indigo-pcl-ros libgsl0-dev qt5-default

Create your catkin workspace:

mkdir -p ~/catkin_ws/src

Put Ein in it.

cd ~/catkin_ws/src
git clone

Use wstool to check out the Baxter SDK. These commands check out the most recent version of the SDK; if you are running an older version you will need to check out the correct branch.

wstool init .
wstool merge
wstool update

Next run catkin_make for the first time:

cd ~/catkin_ws/src 
source /opt/ros/indigo/setup.bash

The catkin_make command fail, but will create the devel directory so that the Rethink script will work.
Copy from the Ein directory into the top of your workspace: cd ~/catkin_ws/src && cp src/ein/ . You can also use the one distributed by Rethink, but we have modified theirs to include some nice environment variables to set your ROS_HOSTNAME or ROS_IP and ROS_MASTER_URI.

cd ~/catkin_ws

Now build again; this build should succeed:


Before running Ein, you should sync the time on your workstation with your baxter:

sudo ntpdate <baxter name>

Note that Baxter syncs its time using ntp to, and this server cannot be changed (as per Rethink’s instructions). See our FAQ entry for more information.

To run the program, from the root of your catkin workspace, run the following command:

catkin_make && gdb --args ./devel/lib/ein/ein  _data_directory:="$(rospack find ein)/default" physical left

And enter ‘r’ to start the program from within gdb. For safety purposes, the arm should not move at startup.

We strongly recommend running ein from inside of GNU Screen. We have provided a screen configuration file to make this easy. Go to the root of your catkin workspace and run

BAXTER=<your_baxter> screen -c src/ein/ein_baxter.screenrc

Replease with the hostname or IP address of your Baxter; this will be used to set the $ROS_MASTER_URI environment variable required by ROS. You may also need to adjust to change the $ROS_HOSTNAME or $ROS_IP. If your network is set up so that the $HOSTNAME environment variable can be used as your $ROS_HOSTNAME, then you do not need to change; otherwise you need to adjust it. (If you ssh into Baxter, you should be able to ping your machine from the Baxeter robot. See the ROS instructions and tutorials for more information.) This command will start a screen session preloaded with useful windows. The ein program for the left arm is primed in window 8; for the right arm is primed in window 0. The repl is primed in window 1 and 7. You can switch windows by using backtick-number. For example, typing `` `1`` switches to window 1.

If at any time you need to quit, you can type ` :quit in the screen session.

At this point you should be able to run Rethink’s tools; for example to print the status of the robot:

rosrun baxter_tools -s

Commands such as rostopic echo, rostopic list and the like should all work. If these do not work, you may have network problems or ROS configuration problems preventing you from connecting to Baxter. A common problem is that the version of the SDK is a different version from the run running on your robot. See the Rethink SDK for more information. Another problem is that your ROS_MASTER_URI or ROS_HOSTNAME or ROS_IP are set incorrectly.