Tools (To Be Split)


Vector Self Test

Unlocking Vector adds a developer self test option to the admin menu that can be used to check all the various hardware. To access it:

  1. Put Vector in its charging station.

  2. Press his backpack button twice.

  3. Move the forklift up and down to get to the admin menu.

  4. Remove Vector from the charger, rotate his tank treads until the > arrow points to RUN SELF TEST.

  5. Move the forklift up and down to select.

  6. Move the tank treads to select CONFIRM and move the forklift up and down to begin.

Follow the instructions on screen as Vector performs the self test.

SSH / Shell Access

SSH is so integral to development that you might not think of it as a tool. But it acts as the gateway that allows access to all of Vector's internals. Without SSH you could not:

  • Initiate console access to run commands.
  • Modify files locally on Vector.
  • Copy new files, features and enhancements, to Vector.

After obtaining the SSH key as detailed in the Unlocking Your Robot chapter you'll need to:

  1. Load the key on your system if its not loaded. You will normally need to do this once after powering on your computer: ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa_Vector-X1Y1

  2. Obtain Vector's Internet Address from the Admin Screen. This will normally stay the same as long as you're on the same network but may change. If you suddenly can't connect re-check it.

  • Put vector in its charging station.
  • Press the backpack button twice to get to the Pairing screen.
  • Raise the forklift up and down to get to the Admin screen.
  • Get the address listed after IP.

    Throughout this document we will use `` as a placeholder for this address. Wherever you see that replace it with this address.

  1. SSH in to Vector: ssh root@

At this point you will be logged in to a Unix Shell. Once again the shell is so integral to development many developer don't think of it as a tool. But if you've never used it before there are many eccentricities you need to learn to be able to use the shell successfully. It will make your life much easier if you go through a tutorial online to get up to speed on basic usage.


ARM compiiler



Text editors

To edit configuration files, change settings, etc, you'll find yourself using a text editor to perform a variety of tasks. The following text editors are installed by default. If you don't know which one to use you probably want to start with nano.

  • nano - The recommended editor for most users. Provides basic instructions on the screen.

  • vi - A very low resource editor that operates in modal mode that is confusing to beginners. However it is available on the most minimal of server and embedded installs. It is useful to know the basics of vi as it will be installed on systems with no other editors.

  • mg - A low footprint editor that mimics the basic keystrokes and operations of the popular text editor emacs.

  • emacs - Is not installed but aliased to the mg program for people who keep typing emacs out of muscle memory.


Since Vector runs a variant of the Android operating system we have access to all the standard Android tools. These are a little different than the standard linux tools. One very important one is logcat. This is the system used to look at all the logs being generated by various components. This includes both low level system events and high level events logged by the software controlling Vector.

To view a stream of logging in real time:

ssh root@ logcat However there is so much information being logged it can be difficult to see what you want. You'll need to know two things to filter logs effectively.

First there are options to filter that are in line with a typical debugging hierarchy. You can choose a log level and only see errors that are as or more sever than the chosen log level. For example logcat *:W will filter out Debug and Info level messages.

You also have the opportunity to use LNAV, a log viewing program, with Vector's logs using custom filters that will allow you to more effectively debug Vector. Check that out here.

  • Debug
  • Iinformation
  • Warning
  • Error
  • Fatal
  • Suppress all messages.

There is also a subsystem encoded in the logcat output. In the following example we have the subsystems rampost, vic-robot, vic-anim, vic-switchboard, update-engine, vic-cloud and chronyd.

10-09 01:58:47.525 1927 1927 I rampost : @rampost.rampost.exit000005123 10-09 01:58:48.111 1969 1969 I vic-robot: @hal.body_versionfe3d1101ffffffffffffffffffffffff577330303030303030333435613163009af999d6117621 10-09 01:58:49.751 2039 2039 I vic-anim: @random_generator.seedAnimContext266417959619261 10-09 01:58:50.345 2156 2156 I vic-switchboard: @switchboard.hellohello215619854 10-09 01:58:55.172 2278 2278 I update-engine: @robot.ota_download_start000024678 10-09 01:58:55.541 2129 2169 I vic-cloud: @profile_id.start2myn3gMaZqYFjTgw9pkmnTB25051 10-09 01:59:03.799 1798 1798 I chronyd : @ntp.timesync31491

We can control the level of an individual subsystem and use the wildcard * to control anything that doesn't match the other parameters:

  • logcat vic-anim:* *:S show everything for vic-anim only.

  • logcat vic-cloud:I vic-anim:I *:E show info for vic-anim and vic-cloud and any error we see.

Just watching the logs flow by while Vector is in operation can start to give you a better idea of what the systems are doing.

Development Web Servers

The more important Vector subsystems come with embedded webservers for development that do not run on Production Vectors. The interfaces are designed for internal use and aren't the prettiest but they provide a wealth of information about Vector.

These are enabled on OSKR Vectors, but fire-walled off by default as they allow low-level control of the Vector. There are a few ways to remove the firewall but the quickest is ssh port forwarding. Start a session with port forwarding to get access to the web servers:

ssh -L 8887:localhost:8887 -L 8888:localhost:8888 -L 8889:localhost:8889 root@

And now in your computer's web browser go to to access the webserver embedded in vic-engine. You should see this:


There are a lot of things you can see here and you're encouraged to poke around. For now we'll provide a brief overview of the two main systems.

Console variables and functions

On the first screen you will see several options referring to Console Variables. These are used to provide various flags to change behavior of Vector, gather information, and more.

There are many many options here. Most of the options are known internally in the codebase as Dev Cheats and are not available on production versions of Vector software.

To get the full list of variables visit . To get the full list of functions visit . Examples of changing a console variable value and executing a console function can be found in the Examples section of this manual.


WebViz provides insight in to the way Vector is operating at a high level in real time. Among other things it will show you:

  • NavMap Vector's understanding of the enviroment around him, where table edges are located, walls, charger, obstacles.

  • CloudIntents How Vector turns what you say into an action on its part.

  • Mood Is Vector Happy? Confident? Social? Stimulated? Trusting?

  • Behavior What is Vector doing now and why?

There is a link for WebViz at the bottom of the main webserver page. It can also be accessed directly at . Explore around and see what you can learn.

WebViz Navigation. Vector knows it's in a Vector Space


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