ROS - Getting Started

This tutorials have been tested with ROS Kinetic on a Ubuntu 16.04 machine

Install ROS Kinetic. It is easy to miss steps when going through the ROS installation tutorial. If you run into errors in the next few steps, a good place to start is to go back and make sure you have installed ROS correctly.

Once you have ROS installed, make sure you have the most up to date packages:

rosdep update
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Install catkin the ROS build system:

sudo apt-get install ros-kinetic-catkin python-catkin-tools

The simplest way to install MoveIt! is from pre-built binaries (Debian):

sudo apt install ros-kinetic-moveit

Advanced users might want to install MoveIt! from source.

You will need to have a catkin workspace setup:

mkdir -p ~/ws_moveit/src

Within your catkin workspace, download these tutorials:

cd ~/ws_moveit/src
git clone

You will also need a mara_moveit_config package included inside MARA_ROS1 to follow along with these tutorials:

git clone

For now we will use a pre-generated mara_moveit_config package but later we will learn how to make our own in the MoveIt! Setup Assistant tutorial.

The following will install from Debian any package dependencies not already in your workspace:

rosdep install -y --from-paths . --ignore-src --rosdistro kinetic

The next command will configure your catkin workspace:

cd ~/ws_moveit
catkin config --extend /opt/ros/${ROS_DISTRO} --cmake-args -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release
catkin build

Source the catkin workspace:

source ~/ws_moveit/devel/setup.bash

Optional: add the previous command to your .bashrc:

echo 'source ~/ws_moveit/devel/setup.bash' >> ~/.bashrc

Sourcing the setup.bash automatically in your ~/.bashrc is not required and often skipped by advanced users who use more than one catkin workspace at a time, but we recommend it for simplicity.

Visualize a robot with the interactive motion planning plugin for RViz