The Zebracorn's TileRunner Nano Tutorial

Over the past few months, The Zebracorns have worked to develop a step by step tutorial for running the Robot Operating System (ROS) on an NVIDIA Jetson Nano using the TileRunner GTO chassis from AndyMark and Talon SRX Motor Controllers from Cross the Road Electronics. Our goal has been to test the capabilities of the NVIDIA Jetson Nano and inspire other FRC teams to give ROS a try. We are also making our System Image for the NVIDIA Jetson Nano available to download to make this easier on others.

You can view our “finished” tutorial here: *

Additional information is available on our Labs website:

*NOTE: It’s going to be a work in progress as we continue to add to it and refine the document based on feedback.


This paper is a spiritual successor to our HERO white paper from many moons ago (at least in some sense). I’m very happy to have it out there in the world and available for others finally. Happy to take any questions.


Ok, now I’m just confused.

Absolutely sweet - super detailed. Reminds me I need to learn more about ROS.

I really like the idea of powering it off of a power tool battery! Mentally cataloging that one…


Remember to set the Talon voltage compensation value to match the nominal battery voltage. Took us a while to figure out why the robot was only driving at 60-something percent … until we realized the default voltage comp value was 12V.


The Nano is a very powerful tool, especially at its price point. Thanks for this!!

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Uploading a picture of the robot for the curious. The one in the doc is small.

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What was the motivation for using the TileRunner over the AM-14U4? Seems like the $100 difference would be worth it for getting it to the FRC scale. I see the merit of using this relatively cheap tutorial as a defense bot for FRC practice.

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You absolutely could do exactly that without any major issues. We picked up the TileRunner during the AndyMark summer sale this past summer and this seemed like a good use for it.

When I was at AndyMark, I saw a picture of a Killer Bees-built trainer using a roboRIO, Talon SRXs, and a TileRunner. (Even had the honeycomb panels on. It was clean.) The upside is the ability to do all the programming stuff on something the size of a few pizza boxes stacked up, which holds value to those of us in tight spaces.

Frankly, you could run the Zebracorn robot on two SRXs if you wanted. Stall current on them is 10A each, and even at higher voltages it’s not like it’s going to tax an SRX meaningfully.

Also, if flying is a possibility for your setup: Harbor Freight 18V drills are still NiCad-based (which can fly in unlimited amounts) and still $20. :slight_smile:

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So the massive zip ties taped together are actually a makeshift handle for when we were tuning PID and the little thing kept getting away from us and running into stuff. It’s very zippy given the voltage, motors, and gearing. Solid little chassis.