Rospix: Modular software tool for automated data acquisitions of Timepix detectors on Robot Operating System

T. Baca, D. Turecek, R. McEntaffer, R. Filgas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We present software for interfacing FITPix and USB Lite compatible readout electronics using Robot Operating System (ROS). ROS is widely adopted middleware for integration of sensors, processing algorithms and logic to autonomous systems such as robots, unmanned helicopters, and robotic payloads. Thanks to ROS, Timepix detectors can be deployed in automated experiments on platforms spanning from traditional desktop computers to small ARM devices such as Raspberry Pi and Odroid. Acquisition and detector settings can be controlled in Linux shell allowing deployment on headless devices. Using ROS networking capabilities, captured frames and detector control can be transmitted via a network, which allows building distributed processing pipelines. The proposed software is a lightweight package, easily connectable to existing visualization, logging, and processing software in ROS. It offers simple bindings to custom Python and C++ programs for real-time control of the acquisition or processing of the captured frames. Rospix was deployed on NASA suborbital rocket, which was successfully launched on April 4, 2018, from Kwajalein Atoll by Pennsylvania State University. Rospix provides reliable solution for mobile robots where the collected data are used in real time to guide the robot through an environment. We release Rospix using the GitHub platform and welcome the community to contribute on the first project connecting the fields of ionizing radiation imaging and mobile robotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberC11008
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 12 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Instrumentation


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