Setting Up Moose’s Network

Moose is equipped with an 802.11b/g/n compatible Wi-Fi module. On currently-shipping units, this is a Microhard PX2. Moose does not come equipped with a bluetooth module by default, though an adapter can be connected to the onboard Advantech ARK-3520P PC.

First Connection

By default, Moose’s wireless is in client mode, looking for the wireless network at the Clearpath factory. In order to set it up to connect to your own network, you’ll have to open up the chassis and connect a network cable to the PC’s STATIC port. The other end of this cable should be connected to your laptop, and you should give yourself an IP address in the 192.168.131.x space, such as Then, make the connection to Moose’s default static IP:

ssh administrator@

The default password is clearpath. You should now be logged into Moose as the administrator user.

Changing the Default Password


All Clearpath robots ship from the factory with their login password set to clearpath. Upon receipt of your robot we recommend changing the password.

To change the password to log into your robot, run the


command. This will prompt you to enter the current password, followed by the new password twice. While typing the passwords in the passwd prompt there will be no visual feedback (e.g. “*” characters).

To further restrict access to your robot you can reconfigure the robot’s SSH service to disallow logging in with a password and require SSH certificates to log in. This tutorial covers how to configure SSH to disable password-based login.

Connecting to Wifi Access Point

Moose’s standard wireless network manager is wicd. To connect to an access point in your lab, run:


You should see a browsable list of networks which the robot has detected. Use arrow keys to select the one you would like to connect to, and then press the right arrow to configure it. You can enter your network’s password near the bottom of the page, and note that you must select the correct encryption scheme; most modern networks use WPA1/2 Passphrase, so if that’s you, make sure that option is selected. You also likely want to select the option to automatically reconnect to this network, so that Moose will be there for you on your wireless automatically in the future.

When you’re finished, press F10 to save, and then C to connect.

Wicd will tell you in the footer what IP address it was given by your lab’s access point, so you can now log out, remove the network cable, and reconnect over wireless. When you’ve confirmed that all this is working as expected, close up Moose’s chassis.

Remote ROS Connection

To use ROS desktop tools, you’ll need your computer to be able to connect to Moose’s ROS master. This can be a tricky process, but we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible.

In order for the ROS tools on your computer to talk to Moose, they need to know two things:

  • How to find the ROS master, which is set in the ROS_MASTER_URI environment variable, and

  • How processes on the other computer can find your computer, which is the ROS_IP environment variable.

The suggested pattern is to create a file in your home directory called with the following contents:

export ROS_MASTER_URI=http://cpr-moose-0001:11311  # Moose's hostname
export ROS_IP=                          # Your laptop's wireless IP address

If your network doesn’t already resolve Moose’s hostname to its wireless IP address, you may need to add a corresponding line to your computer’s /etc/hosts file: cpr-moose-0001

Then, when you’re ready to communicate remotely with Moose, you can source that script like so, thus defining those two key environment variables in the present context.


Now, when you run commands like rostopic list, rostopic echo, rosnode list, and others, the output you see should reflect the activity on Moose’s ROS master, rather than on your own machine. Once you’ve verified the basics (list, echo) from the prompt, try launching some of the standard visual ROS tools:

roslaunch moose_viz view_robot.launch
rosrun rqt_robot_monitor rqt_robot_monitor
rosrun rqt_console rqt_console

If there are particular rqt widgets you find yourself using a lot, you may find it an advantage to dock them together and then export this configuration as the default RQT perspective. Then, to bring up your standard GUI, you can simply run:


Advanced: Hosting a Wifi Access Point

The default network manager, wicd, only supports joining existing networks. It does not support creating its own wireless AP. However, there is experimental support in Moose for a modern network manager called connman, which does.


You are unlikely to damage your hardware by switching Moose from wicd to connman, but it’s possible you could end up with a platform which will need to be reflashed back to the factory state in order to be usable. If you’re comfortable with this and have backed up your data, proceed.

Connman is available through the Ubuntu software repositories, and can be installed by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install connman

Note that there is a similarly-named conman package, which is a serial console manager, not a network manager. Be sure to include two N’s in connman.

Once connman is installed, edit the upstart job file in /etc/init/connman.conf. Suggested configuration:

description "Connection Manager"

start on started dbus
stop on stopping dbus

console log

exec connmand --nobacktrace -n -c /etc/connman/main.conf -I eth1 -I hci0

And edit connman’s general configuration in /etc/connman/main.conf. Suggested:

TetheringTechnologies = wifi
PersistentTetheringMode = true

Now, use the connmanctl command-line interface to set up an AP, which connman calls “tethering” mode:

$ connmanctl
connmanctl> enable wifi
connmanctl> tether wifi on Moose clearpath

If you want to use connman to connect to another AP rather than host:

$ connmanctl
connmanctl> tether wifi off
connmanctl> agent on
connmanctl> scan wifi
connmanctl> services
connmanctl> connect wifi_12345_67890_managed_psk

Use as the argument to connect one of the services listed in the services output. You will be interrogated for the network’s password, which is then cached in /var/lib/connman/.