Driving Boxer

Boxer can either drive autonomously, be controlled through ROS messages, or you can use the supplied remote control to teleoperate it.

Safety Precautions


Despite its small size, Boxer is capable of reaching high speeds. Careless driving can cause harm to the operator, bystanders, the robot, or other property. Always remain vigilant, ensure you have a clear line of sight to the robot, and operate the robot at safe speeds.

Remote Control

Boxer uses a standard Sony Playstation 4 controller for teleoperation. The left thumb stick is used to control the robot’s speed and direction. Either L1 or L2 must be held down at all times while driving the robot. Holding R1 will enable the robot to drive at maximum speed, while holding L1 will restrict the robot’s maximum speed.

Boxer's remote control

If your controller is not pairing correctly with the robot, you can re-pair it by following these steps:

  1. Ensure that the controller’s batteries have sufficient charge

  2. Press and hold the Share & PS buttons on the controller until the pairing light flashes rapidly white

  3. Run the following command on Boxer:

sudo ds4drv-pair

The controller should now be paired. Test it by pressing L1 and using the left control stick.

E-Stop Buttons and Safety Lidar

Boxer is equipped with a large, red emergency-stop button on the rear of the robot. Pressing this button will cut power to the robot’s motors. To release the e-stop, grasp the button firmly and pull it back out. Once the button is released, press the E-Stop Reset button, located above the E-Stop, beside the charging port.

Whenever you need to perform maintenance on the robot we recommend engaging the emergency-stop if the robot cannot be fully powered down.

Boxer is also equipped with safety lidars in the front and back that will cause the robot to lose power if a collision is predicted, or if the robot is operating too fast in an enclosed environment. The safety stop is automatic, and is not controlled through any ROS topics. Once the danger has passed the safety stop will automatically disengage.

If Boxer seems to be stuck in a safety stop, check that there is no dirt or debris on either the front or rear lidars. Wipe the lidars down using an appropriate lidar wipe or soft cloth to remove any dirt.

Body Lights

Boxer includes RGB LED strips around its body. These lights express system status according to the table below.

Color & Pattern


Solid Red

Robot is starting up

Flashing Red

Robot is E-Stopped or Safety Stopped

Circling Blue

Base platform is in Manual mode, allowing it to be controlled via the ROS2 API

At present these lights are not controllable through any ROS topics, but this is planned for a future update.