How do you work with Stretch? - monitors, rolling tables, tethers, and more

Hello everyone,

I thought it would be helpful to start a discussion about how people work with Stretch. Even at Hello Robot, people have different styles. Below, I provide details about my personal development setup and working style.

I like to develop directly with Stretch’s onboard computer. Most of the time, I keep Stretch plugged in. I connect a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and battery charger to Stretch’s trunk. I have extension cables so that I can move Stretch around and a small wheeled table, so that I can move with Stretch.

Most of the time, I’m able to test code on Stretch without disconnecting anything. The main exception is working with navigation over larger distances. For this type of work, I go tetherless.

In general, you need the following to use Stretch’s onboard computer.

  • A computer monitor with an HDMI input that can connect to the HDMI port in Stretch’s trunk.
  • A mouse and keyboard (or comparable input devices) with long cables or wireless dongles that can plug into the USB ports in Stretch’s trunk.

I took the photo above, which shows my current setup. The following list has details about the equipment I use with links to comparable products on Amazon.

How do you like to work with Stretch? If you have something you’d like to share, please post to this discussion. I’m interested!

Best wishes,
Charlie

Charlie Kemp, PhD
co-founder & CTO
Hello Robot Inc.
https://charliekemp.com

It’s also worth noting that @bshah has a different working style. He typically works with Stretch untethered, although I imagine he often keeps the charger connected. I think he plans to post details in this discussion at some point.

Best wishes,
Charlie

Charlie Kemp, PhD
co-founder & CTO
Hello Robot Inc.
https://charliekemp.com

Thanks for responding! This is just a suggestion, if possible, please add battery indicator in future because it add little bit anxiety when you are using robot for some important domestic use and you don’t know when robot can die.

Thank you for the suggestion! This is definitely on our list.

Best wishes,
Charlie

Charlie Kemp, PhD
co-founder & CTO
Hello Robot Inc.
https://charliekemp.com

1 Like

Hi all. As @hello-ck noted, I use a different setup while working with Stretch. I plan to post a video on the subject, but until then, I’d like to give an overview in this post.

I use Stretch almost entirely untethered through the use of a hotspot. The Ubuntu 18.04 laptop sitting open on the desk connects to the robot’s network. From there, I use an array of networking tools to visualize, debug, and write software on Stretch. Frankly, I am a bit of a unix nerd, and I realize this setup isn’t for everyone. But for those of you who do prefer it, I’ve written up details on the subject here. One downside to the hotspot approach is that Stretch isn’t connected to the internet. I use an ethernet cable when I need to pull updates or push to Github.

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