Connect Mars Curiosity rover under Robonomics parachain control

Let's see how Robonomics Parachain control allows to make Mars Curiosity rover move. Requirements:

  • ROS Melodic + Gazebo + RViz (installation manual here)
  • extra packages:
sudo apt-get install ros-melodic-gazebo-ros-control ros-melodic-effort-controllers ros-melodic-joint-state-controller

Here is the video showing successful launch:

1. Set up a simulation

Download Curiosity rover package:

mkdir -p robonomics_ws/src
cd robonomics_ws/src
git clone
cd ..
catkin build

We need to adjust starting conditions to make our rover spawn smoothly:

  • Go to

src/master/curiosity_mars_rover_description/worlds and change line 14 of the to <pose>0 0 8 0 0 0</pose>

  • Go to

src/master/curiosity_mars_rover_description/launch and change line 4 of the file mars_curiosity_world.launch to <arg name="paused" default="false"/>

Don't forget to add source command to ~/.bashrcsource /home/$USER/robonomics_ws/devel/setup.bash

  • Reboot console and launch the simulation:
roslaunch curiosity_mars_rover_description main_real_mars.launch

Mars rover

Note: if the image is dark, e.g. shadowed, change Camera to Orthorgraphic in Gazebo toolbar. The simulation can be closed for a while.

2. Download Robonomics controller package

To download a controller package for Rover type in terminal:

cd ~/robonomics_ws/src
git clone
cd robonomics_sample_controller
pip3 install -r requirements.txt
pip3 install rospkg
cd ..
catkin build -DPYTHON_EXECUTABLE=/usr/bin/python3 # The controller supports python3

3. Manage accounts in DAPP

Since we are testing, let us create a local robonomics network with robonomics binary file:

./robonomics --dev --tmp

Running node

Go to Robonomics Parachain portal and switch to local node

Local node

Go to Accounts and create CURIOSITY and EMPLOYER accounts.

Important! Copy each account's address (to copy address click on account's icon) and Curiosity's account mnemonic seed (obtained while creating the account) Transfer some money (units) to these accounts. You can read more about accounts in Robonomics here

Account creation

Add these addresses, seed and node address (defaults to ws:// for developer node) in config.config in robonomics_ws/src/robonomics_sample_controller/src. No quotes.

4. Start Robonomics

Before going further, make sure that you have installed IPFS Companion Extension.

In a separate terminal launch IPFS:

ifps init #you only need to do this once per IPFS installation
ipfs daemon

In another separate terminal launch Curiosity simulation if it's not live:

roslaunch curiosity_mars_rover_description main_real_mars.launch

Wait till it stays still

In another terminal launch the controller:

rosrun robonomics_sample_controller


Now you can send a transaction triggering the Rover to start moving and collecting data. To do so, you can use the same Robonomics Parachain portal. Go to Developer->Extrinsics and select Curiosity's employer account, launch extrinsic, Curiosity's account as a target account and yes as a parameter. Submit the extrinsic.


The robot should start moving. It won't accept commands from other accounts neither commands with no parameter. The rover will move around and collect data for about a minute. Later, when the job is done:

Job done

On the Robonomics portal go to Developer -> Chain state and obtain a CURIOSITY datalog using “+” button with selected datalog -> RingBufferItem as query:


Now the IPFS hash of the telemetry is saved in the blockchain. To see the data simply copy the hash and find it on a gateway:

Data in IPFS

This telemetry is kept in a decentralized storage, and it's hash is stored in a blockchain!

← Playground Overview Part 1. Launch by Transaction →