Burning A Fresh Image And Updating Software

From time to time Ubiquity Robotics will be updating either the full Raspberry Pi image, the working software on the Raspberry Pi. This page also contains a link to the page for firmware on the Motor Controller Board. This page will show how to do one of the actions below.

The last 3 of the above list will require the robot to have access to the internet which means you will likely have to connect the robot to your network using WiFi or an Ethernet cable.

Raspberry Pi Image Update

To check or update the full Raspberry Pi image you will have to obtain the image and then burn it to a micro S card using some laptop or workstation you have onhand. Visit the Ubiquity Robotics Download page. Updating a full image will lead to loss of any customization you have done. Never destroy your old card till you know you have everything on the new image.

Raspberry Pi 4 Supported on MCB Version 5.2 or later

In order to use the more powerful Raspberry Pi 4 on the robot you will needs to have an MCB (Main Control Board) of version 5.2 or later. The version for rev 5.2 and beyond is in bright white large silkscreen on the left edge of the MCB board. Earlier versions of the MCB came out before the Pi4 introduction so we have seen 3.3V power related issues that often lead to things like the network not working and in some cases failure to boot up the Pi4.

The Raspberry Pi 4 generally requires some sort of fan or at least installing a minimum of a not very tall heat sink on top of the silver metal topped CPU located near the center top of the Pi 4 board. We do not have specific detials yet.

Known Raspberry Pi Image Issues Of Note

Here is a list of some key image dates and issues or limitations of the raspberry Pi images that are known to effect customers. We will just show the datecode part of the image name.

DateInName Issue Or Limitation
2020-11-07 Does not run Sonar board when CPU is a Pi4
2020-02-10 Ethernet and Sonars do not work when CPU is a Pi4
2019-06-19 Supports Pi3 but came before Pi4 support
2020-02-10 First image meant to add Pi4 support. Cannot run our Sonar board without manual fixes seen on our Sonar board install page
2020-11-07 Adds more fixes for Pi4 usage. Being evaluated.

Linux Host Software Update

One step down from the full image burn is the upgrading of the software on the Linux host computer. This will pull in packages and software that we have made available from the upgrade because they have been tested and are releasable.

Use apt-get as follows to update any new Linux software for Magni:

On your workstation, start a terminal window (Linux shortcut: ctrl-alt-t). In that window, log in by typing:

ssh ubuntu@ubiquityrobot.local     (use the robot’s name or IP address)
sudo systemctl stop magni-base
sudo apt-get update  
sudo apt-get upgrade

This may take some time, since it may have been a while since the original image was made. When it completes reboot the robot using sudo shutdown -r now

Clone A Github Repository for latest Software

We have new software being qualified and then placed into our github repositories. Often we must tell people to clone and make a particular repository so that they can get the very latest code.

Some changes in order to use latest software may require 1 or more other repositories to also be used. Contact us on our forum at if you are unsure.

Direct use of our repositories is a sort of Beta usage of the software and as such you may hit issues we have not found yet. In that case we encourage you to post an entry on our forum which was just listed in prior paragraph.

Consider direct use of our repositories as Beta software which has shown promise. All of the Ubiquity Robotics repositories will show up in your folder of /home/ubuntu/catkin_ws/src folder where this assumes you are using the image as the default user of ubuntu.

Updating An Already Existing repository

You may have a local copy of the repository already or you my need to set it up the first time such as after a new image is installed. For example let us say you have already setup our ubiquity_motor repository. Here is how to get newer code.

cd ~/catkin_ws/src/ubiquity_motor
sudo systemctl stop magni-base         (this is done for faster make)
git pull
cd ~/catkin_ws

After this completes with no errors in the git pull part, do a reboot using sudo shutdown -r now

If you have errors with the git pull due to modified existing files in this repository you will need to do a bit of cleanup prior to the git pull. Save what you have in whatever way you wish and once you are certain you can loose all your changes in this repository then before the git pull use the git stash (We are not going to explain a great many other possible git actions you could take, that is not our purpose right now)

Installing A fresh copy of a repository

This can be done if you do not have the repository yet or if you fully remove the repository after saving it somewhere OUTSIDE of the catkin_ws workspace.

cd ~/catkin_ws/src
sudo systemctl stop magni-base
git clone
cd ~/catkin_ws

After this completes with no errors do a reboot using sudo shutdown -r now

Motor Controller Firmware Upgrade

Sometimes you may need to get a firmware upgrade for your Motor Controller board. This operation is less frequently needed and in general we advise customers to do the firmware upgrade only if they run into an issue we know we have addressed in an update.

To get the firmware upgrade follow the process on the firmware-upgrade page.