Machine Configuration for Telerobotics-Bodytracking Interface

Author:Siddhant Shrivastava

Change Record

13th August, 2015 - Document Created

14th August, 2015 - Replication Details added

15th August, 2015 - First Draft open for review

Machine Setup

Successfully tested on a single laptop with the following configuration -

  • Ubuntu 14.04 amd64 host OS
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Virtual Machine
  • VMware Workstation 11
  • Hardware Specifications - 8GB RAM, intel Core i7 x64
  • Networking Specifications: NAT-Only mode between host OS and VM

Windows Configuration

The following instructions are based and were tested on Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit. After having installed the operating system in VMware, setup all drivers needed to use the machine in the right way.

Installing Python

To support PyKinect, you must install Python 32-bit 2.7.10. To install this version of Python, use this link.

It is recommended to install this version of Python in C:\Python27_32bit\.

To be able to excute Python from a command line, you must add the installation folder path to the Path variabe in Windows. In order to do this, follow these steps -

  • Open My Computer
  • Right-click and select Properties
  • Choose Advanced system settings from the options on the left panel
  • A menu should appear. Click on the Environment Variables button
  • Add the Python path to the Path variable

You will also need to set the PYTHONPATH variable likewise. Create a new environment variable with the name PYTHONPATH and the value of C:\Python27_32bit\

In order to use Python 2.7 on Windows, Visual C++ compiler (VCforPython27) must also be installed. It can be downloaded from this link.

Setting up Kinect Tools

In order to use Kinect on Windows, Kinect Developer Kit and the SDK need to be installed

The installation process will be quite long, and it will probably require some reboots. After that, you have to install (in this order):

Installing PyKinect

By following the above instructions for installing a Python package from Visual Studio, or simply using pip on a command line terminal, install the package pykinect.

Installing additional Python packages

Before continuing, you need also to install the following Python packages:

  • numpy: required to install PyTango; it can be installed with pip install numpy
  • PyTango: download the last 32-bit version for Python 2.7, available from here
  • pgu: download from here and install it with pip (follow the above instructions, as if the package you download is a .whl file)
  • VPython: download the automatic installer for Visual Python from here (chose the x86 version, not the x64 one!)


As a source to find a lot of Python libraries, packed as Windows installers or as .whl files, you can refer here

Installing Tango

Go to this page and select the binary distribution for Windows x64. Download and install it.

After the installation, you will be able to access to a lot of utility and tools to get information about Tango and the device servers (e.g. Jive). To use them, you must install Java for Windows; you can get it from here

Configure Tango Host

To be able to get all Tango informations, you need to specify the address of the Tango host. Assuming that it is, open the command line and type:


Installing Java

Dowload the latest Java runtime from the Oracle website. The specific page is located here.

Ubuntu configuration

Install Ubuntu 14.04.2 on the computer.

VMware Setup

Install VMware Workstation 11. Follow the Ubuntu instructions as shown on this page. Set up Windows on this VMware setup and follow the instructions for Windows.

ROS Setup

Install ROS Indigo on Ubuntu using the following instructions -

  • Setup the Sources list

    sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ros-latest.list'

  • Set up keys

    sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-key 0xB01FA116

  • Installation

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install ros-indigo-desktop-full

    sudo apt-get install synaptic

  • Initialize ROS

    sudo rosdep init

    rosdep update

    echo "source /opt/ros/indigo/setup.bash" >> ~/.bashrc

    source ~/.bashrc

  • From the Dash, open Synaptic Package Manager

  • Search for husky indigo and install all the packages prefixed by ros-indigo-husky-

Tango Setup

Follow the instructions in the ERAS documentation to set up Tango.

This should set up everything on the Ubuntu side.

Networking Setup

Tango should be appropriately configured on both sides. In the working setup, the Tango Master is configured to be the Ubuntu machine.

Set the Networking Mode of the Virtual Machine to be NAT-Only. Observe the output of ifconfig in the host OS. The Virtual Machine should have created two additional interfaces - vmnet1 and vmnet8. Use the interface whose subnet matches the interface in the output of ipconfig in the Windows Virtual machine.

Configure Tango Host to the IP Address corresponding to the vmnet interface which matches the subnet information. Try running jive on both the Operating Systems to check for consistency.

Replication instructions

Once the setup and configuration is complete (as discussed in the previous sections), run the following commands on the host OS -

First configure the Tango Database server to use the Bodytracking device with the following attributes -

  • Device Name - eras-1
  • Device Class - PyTracker
  • Canonical Name - c3/mac/eras-1

On the Bodytracking (Windows) machine -

  • Open a Command Prompt window and execute -

    python eras-1 --sim <json_file_location>

  • Open another Command Prompt window and execute -

    python eras-1

This should bring up the skeleton model which is updated in real-time.

On the Telerobotics (Ubuntu) machine -

cd to the src directory of the Telerobotics ERAS server.

Open three terminals -

  • In the first terminal, run

    roslaunch husky_gazebo husky_empty_world.launch

  • In the second terminal, run

    roslaunch husky_viz view_robot.launch

  • In the third terminal, run