Clearpath Robotics Kingfisher

ROS Software Maintainer: Clearpath Robotics

Kingfisher is an agile, easy-to-use unmanned surface vehicle (USV), suitable for research and rapid prototyping applications. Kingfisher includes an onboard Atom PC for running hardware drivers and intelligence, and a wifi radio for communication with other Kingfisher units and your base-station equipment.

Out of the box, Kingfisher is ready for teleoperation, but includes an integrated GPS, IMU, and compass, with ROS drivers set up ready-to-go.

For more information or to receive a quote, please visit us online.

Working With Kingfisher

To get started, use apt to install the desktop support software:

sudo apt-get install ros-hydro-kingfisher-desktop

Please feel free to use the Kingfisher software from source and hack on it—we're always excited to merge patches from users.


Kingfisher's roscore launches from an upstart job with the following environment:

export ROS_IP=
export ROS_MASTER_URI=http://$ROS_IP:11311

Where is the static IP of the onboard ethernet port. This is so that the ROS upstart is not dependent on the availability or IP of the wireless connection. If the wireless requires configuration, SSH in via a wired connection to that port, and run wicd-curses.

All of this is great for the availability and reliability of the background ROS process, however, it does mean that to access the roscore over wireless, you'll need to set up a static route on your workstation:

route add -net netmask gw KINGFISHER_WIRELESS_IP

Now it should be possible to rostopic echo topics from onboard Kingfisher. If you plug in a USB joystick, you can run our basic teleop script:

roslaunch kingfisher_teleop joystick_teleop.launch

And, of course, you can view the camera feed using image_view:

rosrun image_view image_view image:=/camera/image_color compressed


Standard sensors include basic IMU, GPS, and a Point Grey Chameleon camera, as well as voltage and current monitoring for the drive system.

Kingfisher also includes as standard kit provision for externally mounting ethernet and RS232-based payloads, as well as providing them a regulated 12V power supply. If you're interested in USB or other interfaces for payloads, please get in touch and we'll figure something out.

Wiki: Robots/Kingfisher (last edited 2014-04-11 17:48:18 by MikePurvis)