Note: This tutorial assumes that you have completed the previous tutorials: TurtleBot Bringup.
(!) Please ask about problems and questions regarding this tutorial on Don't forget to include in your question the link to this page, the versions of your OS & ROS, and also add appropriate tags.

TurtleBot Care and Feeding

Description: This tutorials explains how to charge and maintain your TurtleBot.

Keywords: turtlebot

Tutorial Level: BEGINNER

Next Tutorial: 3D Visualisation

Power Management

There are two batteries in the TurtleBot, the laptop battery and the mobile base battery (either Create or Kobuki). Each has an independent charging brick and charges independently, you will see the status of both in the TurtleBot dashboard.

Robot Base




The kobuki is much simpler than the create to recharge. You generally don't have to worry about power management (although you can) as the recharger has enough juice to recharge the batteries and keep the robot powered at the same time. This lets you get on with simple experiments like the kinect.

There are two means of recharging, one is via the manual adapter and the second via the docking station.

To set the docking station up, simply take your adapter and plug it into the hole on the inside of the docking station. If you find your adapter is too small to fit inside the docking station just put the adapter to the side and just run the cable through to the inside of the docking station - why? .

This was a part of the hardware development design for the kobuki. The docking station was originally used for kobuki's sibling cleaning robots, but since kobuki is a bit more manly than his siblings, he needed a bigger adapter to keep the juices flowing. End result, in the interests of keeping the costs down for the user, we decided against a new mould, but the downside of that is a bad fit for the adapter.


The iRobot Create will only charge when it is plugged in after being set in Passive mode. If the robot is running, you can put the robot into Passive mode using the Mode button on the TurtleBot dashboard.

If the robot is not running. Press the power button, on the create to make sure it's off. When you plug in, it will flash the power light repeatedly and if it starts charging it will throb with a orange/red light.

Info about `iRobot Create`'s battery notification might be helpful as well.

Storing the Create for more than 12-24 hours

The iRobot Create will also not restart charging even if it is still plugged in from a successful charge. If there is a draw on the battery when the robot is stored it can run out of battery relatively quickly. To avoid this follow these rules.

When storing the robot:

  • Make sure all the breakers are off on the dashboard before shutting down.
  • Unplug the Serial port just above the power charging port. (The LED in the dongle is enough to drain the battery over the weekend.)


The laptop is simple, plug it in and it charges. Make sure to seat the plug completely in the laptop, it will sort of click in.

Recharging from the Kobuki

If you have a kobuki and a modified recharging cable, you can plug it into the large connector on the left hand side of the kobuki - this will recharge the laptop while the kobuki itself is recharging (either from adapter or docking station).

/!\ Note that it won't recharge while running. This would drain too many amps from the robot that are needed by whatever devices you have mounted on top.

What Next?

Wiki: turtlebot_bringup/Tutorials/groovy/TurtleBot Care and Feeding (last edited 2013-02-18 05:50:33 by Younghun Ju)