ROS Kong Early Registration Ends April 30th

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Just a quick reminder that ROS Kong early registration ends on April 30th. 


See for details and registration. 

ROS Kong 2014 will be held on June 6th at Hong Kong University immediately following ICRA. It will feature: 
* Invited speakers: Learn about the latest improvements to and applications of ROS software from some of the luminaries in our community.
* Lightning talks: One of our most popular events, lightning talks are back-to-back 3-minute presentations that are scheduled on-site. Bring your project pitch and share it with the world!
* Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) meetings: Get together with folks who share your specific interest, whether it's ROS in embedded systems, ROS in space, ROS for products, or anything else that will draw a crowd.

To keep us all together, coffee breaks and lunch will be catered on-site. There will also be a hosted reception (with food and drink) at a classic Hong Kong venue at the end of the day. Throughout the day, there will be lots of time to meet other ROS users both from Asia and around the world.

New Package: robot_localization

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From Tom Moore via ros-users@

I am pleased to announce the release of a new ROS package, robot_localization. The package estimates the state (3D pose and velocity) of a mobile robot through sensor fusion. Its features include:

* Fusion of an arbitrary number of sensors: the nodes do not restrict the number of input sources. If, for example, your robot has multiple IMUs or multiple sources of odometry information, the nodes within robot_localization can support all of them.

* Support for multiple ROS message types: all nodes in robot_localization can take in Odometry, Imu, PoseWithCovarianceStamped, or TwistWithCovarianceStamped messages.

* Per-sensor input customization: if a given sensor message contains data that you don't want to include in your state estimate, robot_localization's nodes allow you to exclude that data on a per-sensor basis.

* Continuous estimation: each node in robot_localization begins estimating the robot's state as soon as it receives a single measurement. If there is a holiday in the sensor data (i.e., a long period in which no data is received), the filter will continue to estimate the robot's state via a 3D motion model.

robot_localization currently contains only one node, ekf_localization, which, as the name implies, employs an extended Kalman filter. New nodes, such as an unscented Kalman filter node, will be added as they become available.

robot_localization is currently available for ROS Groovy, Hydro, and Indigo. The package's wiki page at provides more details on how to integrate it with your robot. 

Development of this node was funded by Charles River Analytics, Inc.

ROS Indigo Igloo Logo and Release T-shirt

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With each release of ROS we have a tradition of having a logo and making t-shirts. ROS indigo Igloo is coming out in May. To let you show your ROS colors and support this tradition, we have setup a Teespring Campaign here.  Ordering will be open until May 13th.


Proceeds from shirt sales go to supporting the costs associated with developing and maintaining ROS, including hosting the wiki and running the build farm. 

We're also happy to announce that there are a few variants such as long sleeved and v-necked shirts as well as hoodies are also available. 

Order now and if this campaign is funded we expect the shirts to arrive approximately when ROS Indigo Igloo is released. 

Here's a copy of the full logo too: 

From Alex Bubeck via ros-users@

I would like to announce the second ROS-Industrial community forum for
community discussion and presentation of new developments of the ROS
industrial community. The forum will take place online at on April 28th,
2014 at 5pm CET (11am EST). You can register to participate at

The agenda of the forum will be as follows:
* Introductions and Forum Overview (Alexander Bubeck - Fraunhofer IPA)
* Comau Controllers Evolution and Q&A - C4G/C5G Open (Fabrizio Romanelli -
COMAU and Elisa Tosello - University of Padua)
        * A non real-time ROS interface for a real-time controller
        * Preliminary results
* 6 Lightning Talks about current developments in the ROS Industrial
community (Community)
* Upcoming Contributions (Community)
* Wish List Discussion (Community)
* General Q&A and Upcoming Events (Alexander Bubeck - Fraunhofer IPA)

For the lightning talks about developments or projects in an industrial we
accept proposals from now on a first come first serve basis. We will have 6
slots of 5 minutes for this community forum. Just give me a short direct
email at with the topic you want to talk
about. The slides (not more than 3) have to be send to me by April 26th

I hope to see you at the forum.
From Dmitry Berenson via ros-users@

The ARC Lab at WPI is releasing the Datalink Toolkit ROS package, designed to for remote operation of a robot over a high-latency and low-bandwidth datalink. The package was developed and extensively tested as part of the DARPA robotics challenge, though it is not specific to a type of robot.

The package allows the user to easily set up relays and compression methods for a single-master system. These relays avoid duplicating data sent over the datalink while compressing common datatypes (i.e. point-clouds and images) to minimize bandwidth usage.
The toolkit includes both message-based and service-based relays so that data can be sent on-demand or at a specified frequency. The service-based relays are more robust in low-bandwidth conditions, guaranteeing the synchronization of camera images and camera info messages, and allow more reconfiguration while running.

The key features of the package are:
- Generic relays with integrated rate throttling for all message types
- Dedicated relays with rate throttling for images and pointclouds
- Generic service-based relays with integrated rate throttling for all message types
- Dedicated service-based relays with integrated rate throttling for images and pointclouds
- Image resizing and compression using methods from OpenCV and image_transport
- Pointcloud voxel filtering and compression using methods from PCL, Zlib, and other algorithms. (Note: pointcloud compression is provided in a separate library that can be easily integrated with other projects)
- Launch files for easy use of the datalink software with RGBD cameras
- Works with ROS Hydro

Overall performance:
- Reliable data transfer for a wide range of bandwidths and latencies (e.g. at DRC Trials: 1Mb/s - 100 Kb/s bandwidth, 100ms - 1000ms latency)
- Pointcloud compression >8x depending on compression algorithm (without voxel filtering)
- Pointcloud compression >20x depending on compression algorithm (with voxel filtering)
- Image compression equivalent to image_transport (without image resizing) or better (with resizing)

Performance comparison with ROS for image transfer:
- 1.5x more images/second at 1Mb/s (grayscale image size 320x240)
- 2x more images/second at 100Kb/s (grayscale image size 320x240)
- 3x more images/second at 50Kb/s (grayscale image size 320x240)

For more information, please see the wiki here:

Get the package from our git repository here:

New Package: moveit_visual_tools

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From Dave Coleman via moveit-users@


I'd like to announce MoveIt! Visual Tools - a new tool that will hopefully speed up your development time by providing easy to use Rviz markers and robot display tools for debugging and visualization. It is sometimes hard to understand everything that is going on internally with MoveIt!, but using these quick convenience functions allows one to easily visualize their code. 

This package includes:
  • Basic geometric markers for Rviz
  • MoveIt! collision object tools
  • Trajectory visualization tools
  • Robot state tools. 
See the Github README for full documentation. This will be available as an Ubuntu debian next Hydro update. 

I encourage everyone to share their MoveIt! work to the community as well, thanks!

ROS Kong 2014 Speakers Announced

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We're happy to announce the lineup of invited speakers for ROS Kong 2014:

We're thrilled to host such an esteemed group of speakers who represent so many different aspects of the Australasian ROS community, from research to product development.

Reminder: the early registration deadline is April 30th.

ROS Drinks - London

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From Dan Greenwald

Calling all London ROS Users! You are warmly invited
to the first London Robotics Network "ROS Drinks",
on the evening of 23/4/14. Put another way, come and
meet up for beer, food and talking about robots.

We thought we should have a regular meetup to talk about
ROS and robots in general. This month we'll be at the
Craft Beer Co in Angel (55 White Lion Street N1 9PP)
from about 6pm in the back room.

The pub does food as well as really excellent beers.

Here is the flyer for event on the LRN group.

Feel free to contact Dan Greenwald (
for more info/any questions.

Hope to see you there.

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