Getting Started

Open-Source Leg v2.0

Welcome to the Open Source Leg Project! We are excited to have you on our team and are happy to have your support and contributions. This is a page which will help you get started and onboarded onto this project. The first step is to join the Open Source Leg community. Then, to get started, you will need to set up VS Code, GitHub, and your own Raspberry Pi.

VS Code

Downloading VS Code

In order to download VS Code, select the link below for your respective operating system and follow the tutorial:

Setting Up VS Code

Once VS Code is downloaded, open the application and navigate to the extensions tab on the upper left side of the window. The extensions tab is indicated by the red square in the image below. Once in the extensions tab, search for the following extensions in the search window indicated by the red rectangle below and install all: 1) “Python” 2) “Remote Development” 3) “Github.” After installing these three extensions, VS Code is nearly set up and ready to use. The last step is to install Poetry which is a dependency management and packaging tool for python. To do this follow this link: Poetry

Forking and Cloning the OSL Repository

To make changes and additions to the OSL Repository on GitHub, you first need to create your own fork of the repository and clone it for your use. Once at the OSL Repository, navigate to the pulldown menu for “Fork” at the top right and create a new fork as indicated by the red rectangle below. Name the fork whatever you would like or leave it as is and you have successfully forked the repository.

To clone the repository, select the green dropdown menu for “Code” near the center of the window and copy the link using the button indicated by the red square below.

Then in VS Code open the location on your system where you would like to work with the repository. Open a new terminal and type “git clone link” where link is the link you copied. To install the library, enter the following into your terminal: “poetry build”. Then press enter and the type “poetry install” in your terminal and press enter. The repository should now be successfully forked, cloned, and ready for use on your device.

Building customized Raspbian OS

We’ve developed a CI tool to build an up-to-date Raspbian OS that can be used headless to control the OSL or any robotic system in general. The tool reconfigures an official Raspbian distro to include custom packages for robotics and automation, wireless connectivity to a known and configurable WiFi network, and finally, it will create a fallback access point when the known wireless networks are not in range (fixed IP: This enables usage of the same process and hardware when not in the known Wifi network range (e.g. demos and conferences).

All the libraries that are necessary for communication, drivers for common sensors and ICs, and the API for working with Dephy actuators are installed by default. Additional packages can also be added to the configuration file. Instructions on how to build, modify, and download your own Raspbian OS can be found here. This image can take around 20-25 minutes to complete.

After downloading the image file, you can use the official Raspberry Pi Imager or Etcher or any similar software to flash the image onto a microSD card. A tutorial for the Raspberry Pi Imager is outlined below.

Raspberry Pi Imager

Raspberry Pi Imager is used as a quick and easy way to install operating systems to a microSD card, which can be used by a Raspberry Pi. In order to download Raspberry Pi Imager, click this link, then scroll down and click the link for your respective operating system to download the application as shown indicated by the red rectangle in the image below. You can flash the image created above to the microSD card using this software. After inserting the microSD card into your computer, open Raspberry Pi Imager, select the image created above as the operating system, and the microSD card as the storage. Finally, flash the image using the “Write” button. This can take around 5 minutes to complete.

Connecting to your Raspberry Pi

Once you’ve set up the microSD card, insert it into the SD card slot of the Raspberry Pi and power it via its USB-C connection. It might take 5-7 minutes for the Raspberry Pi to complete its initial boot cycle upon which it will mail you its IP address.

Startup E-mail

Once you receive the IP address via email, copy it to use later. Open VS Code and navigate to the “Remote Explorer” extension downloaded previously as indicated by the large red square on the right in the image below. Once at the “Remote Explorer” tab, select the “SSH” tab and click the “+” to the right of “SSH” as indicated by the small red square.

Then, type “ssh username@ipaddress” where “username” is the username selected during the “Usage” section and the “ipaddress” is the IP address copied from email. Select the configuration file you’d like to update and then select connect at the bottom right of your window. You will be prompted to enter the password which is by default “neurobionics” unless changed when building the image. The remote connection will load and once complete, the remote connection is successful.