OSRF is in Google Summer of Code, version 2015!

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Accepted students will participate in real-world software development, contributing to robotics projects like Gazebo, ROS, and Ignition Transport, and engaging with the global robotics community, all while getting paid. As a bonus, this year we also offer ROS-Industrial

Check out our GSoC site and don't forget to visit our ideas page, which lists projects that we're interested in. Feel free to ask questions and propose suggestions at gsoc@osrfoundation.org. The student application period starts March 16th. Get ready for a robotics coding summer!.

Rosjava/Android Indigo Release

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From Daniel Stonier via ros-users@

A quick heads up for the official rosjava/android release on indigo. This has been the result of some on and off work over the last couple of weeks - a big thank you to input from a few lads who were busy on the github rosjava issue trackers. Also to Damon for the android improvements since hydro.

Starting points:

Shiny new things (details in the Migration Guide):
  • Gradle version -> 2.2
  • More (and easier) methods of generating message artifacts.
  • Build rosjava debs on the build farm without special workarounds
  • Android Studio 1.x support
  • Android interactions/pairing now stable with tutorials.
  • Lots of other minor fixes and updates.

REP 144 - ROS Package Naming under review

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From Vincent Rabaut via ros-users@

Hi all,

after not knowing how to properly name packages for NAO, I wrote a REP for how to name ROS packages:
The original discussion with awesome reviewers happened at:

The draft is now in the process of becoming official (or rejected) so if you have any feedback, please continue the discussion here:

Call for testing new version of RViz

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From William Woodall via ros-users@

We have new versions of rviz in both Indigo (1.11.7 up from 1.11.4) and Hydro (1.10.19 up from 1.10.18) in the shadow fixed repository, and I am looking for some help testing these new versions out.

You can see a summary of the changes here:

The shadow fixed repository, for those who do not know, is the staging repository which we use for testing before making new versions public. You can think of it as a place for release candidates. See http://wiki.ros.org/ShadowRepository for information about the process and how you can try out packages from it.

If you use rviz on Indigo or Hydro and have some spare cycles I would appreciate you testing out the new versions either from shadow fixed or by building it from source. Any issues you might find, please file them on the rviz issue tracker.

I'll keep the "release candidates" in the shadow fixed repository for about week unless we run into problems.


P.S. the link to the Indigo changes above may take some time to catch up, if you don't see 1.11.7, look here instead: https://github.com/ros-visualization/rviz/blob/11fcdadbbcc4c9d38a0bd4d580be6f0b49cbbc47/CHANGELOG.rst
From Jan Becker of Bosch R&D in Palo Alto via ros-users@

Bosch R&D in Palo Alto, California, USA is looking for excellent candidates with expertise in motion planning for a full-time position in the autonomous driving team.

Degree Level: M.S. with at least 3 years of prior experience or Ph.D.

Major(s): Robotics, Computer Science, Engineering, or a related field.

Your Duties and Tasks:
Perform research, develop, implement and evaluate algorithms for real-time motion planning in environments with dynamic obstacles for safe and comfortable motion of human users.

Skills / Job Requirements:
- Ph.D. or M.S. in computer science, engineering, robotics, or a related field
- Excellent knowledge and proven expertise in motion planning approaches in robotics.
- Working knowledge of optimization methods and optimal control methods.
- Excellent C++ programming expertise required, Python programming is a plus
- Proven system integration and software architecture skills
- Knowledge of Linux, and development on Linux systems preferred
- The ability to develop, understand and implement complex algorithms efficiently and correctly
- Experience with modern software engineering tools
- Experience working independently in a large software setting
- Experience working on robot and/or automotive electronics hardware a plus, as is experience with simulation environments and ROS
- Excellent communication skills and demonstrate a proven ability to multitask and deliver on challenging software development tasks

Details and online application:

New TurtleBot Tutorials at learn.turtlebot.com

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Thanks to the efforts of Mark Silliman, Austin Meyers, and Melissa Eaton we have a new set of tutorials for the TurtleBot targeted at making the TurtleBot and ROS in general available to the web developers in general. The tutorials include going all the way through to setting up a web interface. Find them at learn.turtlebot.com

Here's his announcement. 

Free tutorials bring robotics programming to the web developer masses
Learn.turtlebot.com provides an easy launch pad for anyone interested in robotics

If you've ever dreamed of learning to program a robot, but didn't know how or where to start, your
day just got a whole lot better -- and your next few weekends are booked.

Learn.TurtleBot.com debuted this week its free, 30-session tutorial, which promises to teach
developers how to use the Robot Operating System (ROS) to drive a TurtleBot. The latter is an open source hardware and software platform that can autonomously navigate to objects and places.

"There have been so many technical barriers to robotics from the cost to the fact that most of the literature is aimed at academics," says the tutorial's creator Mark Silliman. "I want robotics to be
accessible to anyone who is interested."

The tutorials are written at a high-school level and can be completed over a couple weekends. Each includes a video and takes about an hour to finish. By the series end, developers will be able to direct their TurtleBot to bring them coffee to their desk (view video).

While the chance to build a coffee-bot is undoubtedly exciting, Silliman developed and funded the tutorials with an even loftier aim: to help create the next generation of robotics programmers.

Silliman, a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Smartwaiver, has a long-held passion for the robotics industry and its potential.

"I want to live in a world with a robot in every home, and though we have the computing power to do so, we also need a critical mass of people studying the field," Silliman says.

He contends that robots are ready for the first wave of amateur developers to build off the early work of robotics pioneers and take the field to new heights. Software packages such as ROS as well as the relatively affordable TurtleBot, which you can buy for $1,000 or build yourself for less, have helped make robotics even more accessible.

And now the learn.turtlebot.com tutorials push the needle even further by teaching core robotics programming concepts in a fun and affordable way.

"We're standing on the shoulders of many brilliant people and engaged, innovative communities," Silliman says. "I hope this helps break down even more barriers and puts us that much closer to making the robot revolution a reality."
From Alejandro Espert of Robotnik

Robotnik, a Spanish company specialized in robot product development and robotics R&D 
services, has developed its new mobile manipulator called RB-1.

RB-1 (logo) render (1).JPG

RB-1 is a mobile manipulator designed with extensibility and modularity for research and 
application customization. The robot has been designed using a single type of the Korean 
manufacturer ROBOTIS actuators and corresponding with the product range Dynamixel PRO. 
The Dynamixel PRO servo-actuators integrate controller and servo-amplifier inside the 
actuator housing, simplifying its interconnection to 2 supply wires and 2 additional wires for a 
communication bus.

The arm has an anthropomorphic configuration of 7 DOF plus 1 DOF to elevate the torso and 
one gripper. All actuators are attached directly to the element holders with the exception of 
the second wrist axis, which transmits its torque by means of a pulley. This allows to increase 
the payload but at the same time to increase the manipulability index.

Regarding sensors, RB-1 mounts a Hokuyo URG-04LX-UG01 laser, a 2D laser range finder for navigation, localization and gyro board, and a 2DOF pan-tilt unit for the environment 
perception by means of a Microsoft Kinect/ASUS Xtion PRO Live RGBD Sensor, to recognize 
objects in the environment, but also for navigation and localization purposes.

Another advantage of RB-1 is that has completely open-source software, ROS, so everyone can contribute by uploading their own modules for development and programming.

RB-1 is conceived to R&D applications, AAL (Ambient Assisted Living), indoor mobile 
manipulation or remote handling, among others.

RB-1 has different configurations, the complete configuration of 13 DOF has a price of 46.200€, the version which has an arm of 6 DOF is around 44.000€. The mobile base platform can also be ordered separately for 12.500€.

Robotnik is pleased to announce that we have opened pre-orders of the new RB-1, if you require other configurations we will be grateful to hear your petitions.

For more information please see: http://www.robotnik.eu/manipulators/rb-one/ 

or contact María Benítez: mbenitez@robotnik.es

Darwin OP package for ROS/Gazebo available

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From Philippe Capdepuy via ros-users@

Dear ROS users,

We just published 3 packages for simulating the Darwin OP robot on Gazebo (or to use with the real robot but with some extra work):
 - https://github.com/HumaRobotics/darwin_gazebo
 - https://github.com/HumaRobotics/darwin_description
 - https://github.com/HumaRobotics/darwin_control
They have been tested on both Hydro and Indigo, but they probably work for other distributions.

We also provide a user-friendly Python API with walking capabilities.

A quick tutorial and demo can be found here:

Credits also go to Taegoo Kim and Bharadwaj Ramesh for the meshes and original URDF on which this work was based.


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