GTC 2016 – Jetson Community Robots

At GTC 2016 in early April of 2016, the Jetson community showed off several different robots that people have been working on over the last year or so. All the way from Italy, Walter Lucetti and Rafaelo Bonghi brought Myzharbot and DUDE, two tracked robots. Looky here:

The robots each have a Jetson TX1 as a controller, and utilize a Stereolabs ZED camera as a 3D imaging sensor. Myzharbot has additional ultrasonic sensors mounted at the front to help detect objects which are very close to the robot.

As I was busy in the NVIDIA booth this year, I didn’t get as much video footage of all the different devices as I would have liked. However, I did get a chance to talk with some folks about their projects.

An interesting robot being shown is called TURBO2, an outdoor autonomous rover created by Dustin Franklin.

TURBO2 with cover removed
TURBO2 with cover removed

Here’s a picture of Dustin at SXSW earlier in the year with TURBO2:


One of the interesting things about TURBO2 is that it utilizes Deep Reinforcement learning to map its environment, and plan navigation. Best of all, the source code for the robot is available on Github, as is the Torch based rovernet code. Certainly worth checking out:

TURBO2 Code and BOM
Rovernet Code

The TURBO2 incorporates a Stereolabs ZED camera. In addition, there is a RP-Lidar unit mounted on the top of the robot to better help map the surrounding area, which in turn leads to better data for SLAM algorithms. The idea is that you place the robot in an area, and it basically learns about the environment and how to navigate around. A very cool idea.


  1. Some nice projects with the Jetson! Say, what is the procedure to download software on the SD card instead of the MMC on the TX1? Soon the MMC fills up otherwise, no? Is there a tutorial about this aspect? Thanks!

    • There are a couple of ways to go about doing that. Usually people use the flash drive to keep the installed programs (those kept in /usr) and then keep any data or other folders on the SD card. There are ways around this where you can make SD card (or an attached thumb drive/SATA drive) the main drive which can be setup in the uboot parameters. I don’t have any tutorials on it, but it should be available from either the forum or Jetson wiki.

  2. The Jetson forum is not helpful. There is no organization of topics and the search function isn’t smart. There are too many topics to wade through looking for a certain fact. The TX1 wiki is advanced and addresses only a few issues. The TK1 wiki looks more appealing.

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