Sparkfun Jetbot not functioning with jetbot_ROS

hey everyone,

I’m having a lot of difficulty getting my jetbot to operate at all and was wondering if anyone has had any experience working with the Sparkfun v2 Jetbot. I want to be able to operate the jetbot through ROS but the jetbot_ros repo only accounts for adafruit boards and not sparkfun motor drivers. I’ve stalked the sparkfun forums and have only glimpsed partial solutions. People make mention of sparkfun repo’s that need to be cloned etc. but I haven’t had any luck with those and there is scant info on sparkfun’s page.

I’ve cloned the sparkfun repo’s into my nano’s ~/catkin_ws/src space and then used catkin_make to build the space. Afterwards I input
“source ~/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash”. Just so we’re clear-at this stage there are two sparkfun packages in my src space: “Qwiic_SCMD_Py” and “Qwiic_I2C_Py”. Even after using catkin_make and sourcing my workspace using “rospack find” it still does not locate the sparkfun packages and yet is still able to locate the jetbot_ros package. I find this very strange.

Is there anyone who has this jetbot and has encountered this issue? I’m frankly kind of shocked there’s a total of 3-4 posts on the internet about this. Other must be experiencing these issues. Thanks.

Hi nbarrow85,

Thanks for reaching out!

From what I can tell, it seems like Qwiic_SCMD_Py and Qwiic_I2C_Py are plain python packages (not ROS). Perhaps it would work to just install these directly with Python.

pip3 install sparkfun-qwiic-scmd sparkfun-qwiic-i2c

This should enable any Python module (ROS or not) to find the packages.

It looks like the SparkFun package uses these from Python here. So it may work even if not detected by rospack find.

Apologies, I don’t have much experience with this kit, but hopefully we can resolve the issue you’re facing.

Please let me know if this helps or you run into any issues.


Hey John,

Sorry for the delay. This was actually the most helpful response I’ve gotten thus far~ I removed the other jetbot_ros package I had that madfe use of adafruit motorhats and cloned the sparkfun ketbot_ros repo into my ~/catkin_ws/src space. However, after i cd into ~/catkin_ws and input ‘catkin_make’ I got this error:

"qmake: could not exec ‘/usr/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/qt4/bin/qmake’: No such file or directory
CMake Error at /usr/share/cmake-3.10/Modules/FindQt4.cmake:1320 (message):
Found unsuitable Qt version “” from NOTFOUND, this code requires Qt 4.x
Call Stack (most recent call first):
jetbot_ros/CMakeLists.txt:21 (find_package)

– Configuring incomplete, errors occurred!
See also “/home/turkey/catkin_ws/build/CMakeFiles/CMakeOutput.log”.
See also “/home/turkey/catkin_ws/build/CMakeFiles/CMakeError.log”.
Makefile:852: recipe for target ‘cmake_check_build_system’ failed
make: *** [cmake_check_build_system] Error 1
Invoking “make cmake_check_build_system” failed
Any idea how I might be able to troubleshoot this? Thanks!

hey so I’m able to report some progress despite this apparent error but I came across a new one instead haha. So This time when I input the ‘rosrun jetbot_ros’ command a ‘1’ is output to the terminal. I then opened up a new tab, sourced my dev space and input the rostopic commands to test the motors as specified in the nvidia jetbot_ros docs and i get this message:

“publishing and latching message for 3.0 seconds”

An LED blinks for a second but toherwise nothing happens on the actual jetbot itself. Any idea what’s going on? Thanks.