ROSCon 2017: Program posted

The results are in, and the ROSCon 2017 program has been posted!

This year saw a record response from the community, with 107 proposals submitted. Following discussion and tough decision-making among the Program Committee, we decided to accept 38 proposals for presentation (35.5% acceptance rate).

In recent years we made room in the program for 20-25 presentations, in a mixture of long (~40-minute) and medium (~20-minute) durations. This year, given the large number of high-quality proposals that were submitted, we're trying something new, which is to add a category for short presentations, at 5 minutes each. These slots will allow the presenters to briefly introduce their work and entice the audience to follow up in person to learn more.

To encourage those in-person interactions, we're adding another new feature this year, which is a poster session wherein attendees can find and discuss with the presenters the work that most piqued their interest. The poster session will be held at the end of the first day, during the first half of the reception.

In exchange for these additions to the program, this year we will not be holding the customary birds of a feather (BoF) sessions. While those ad hoc meetings were fun and lively in the early years, as the conference has grown it has become harder to keep them useful to a broad audience, and we've seen participation dropping in recent years. As always, we're experimenting to find the best program mix for the community, and we look forward to getting your feedback on this year's lineup.

We hope to see you in Vancouver for ROSCon in September! As a reminder, the deadline for early registration is August 1. Register today.

-- Your friendly neighborhood ROSCon 2017 Organizing Committee

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor: Intel! Thank you to our Gold Sponsors: Clearpath, Erle, Fetch, Gaitech, Locus, and Rapyuta!

Looking foward to ROSCon 2017 we're highlighting presentations from last year. The ROSCon 2017 registration is currently open.


Mirko Bordignon (Fraunhofer IPA) Min Ling (ARTC - A*STAR) Shaun Edwards (Southwest Research Institute) present the state of ROS-Industrial as it turns 4 years old and expands to add an Asia-Pacific chapter.



Four years after it was first launched by Shaun Edwards, ROS-Industrial is now a worldwide effort to expand and improve ROS adoption in manufacturing environments and industrial equipment. As an initiative, it is supported financially by OEMs and system integrators, whose interests are represented and requests are collected within three ROS-Industrial Consortia managed by non-profit, applied research institutions. As a software platform, it is developed by a free and open community gathering in monthly meetings and operating through a federated development model, much like the ROS developers community. The talk will showcase real-world examples and current efforts to expand the initiative and to continue addressing technical and non-technical concerns.


View the slides here

Looking foward to ROSCon 2017 we're highlighting presentations from last year. The ROSCon 2017 registration is currently open.

In this session Alejandro presents robot_blockly as an approach to make programming robots more accessible.



robot_blockly is a ROS package that allows users to create ROS-based algorithms and behaviors, abstracting its complexity using blocks. The aim of the package is to hide the complexity of programming robots via functional blocks. As a rule of thumb, an average PhD student takes 3 weeks to learn ROS. This makes ROS programming not accessible for the great majority. The robot_blockly package aims to simplify the process of using ROS to the point of putting conceptual blocks together.


View the slides here

Simulated Car Demo

Reposted from the OSRF Blog

We are excited to show off a simulation of a Prius in Mcity using ROS Kinetic and Gazebo 8. ROS enabled the simulation to be developed faster by using existing software and libraries. The vehicle's throttle, brake, steering, and transmission are controlled by publishing to a ROS topic. All sensor data is published using ROS, and can be visualized with RViz.

We leveraged Gazebo's capabilities to incorporate existing models and sensors. The world contains a new model of Mcity and a freeway interchange. There are also models from the gazebo models repository including dumpsters, traffic cones, and a gas station. On the vehicle itself there is a 16 beam lidar on the roof, 8 ultrasonic sensors, 4 cameras, and 2 planar lidar.

The simulation is open source and available at on GitHub at osrf/car_demo. Try it out by installing nvidia-docker and pulling "osrf/car_demo" from Docker Hub. More information about building and running is available in the README in the source repository.

ROSCon 2017: Proposal deadline is June 25, 2017

As a reminder, the deadline to submit a proposal to present at ROSCon 2017 is June 25, 2017.

Be sure to get your proposals in soon!

Read the call at You can submit by visiting

We look forward to reviewing your proposals.


Also, hotel accommodations are starting to sell out in Vancouver. If you're able to, please book your hotel for ROSCon soon:

Finally, we're still accepting sponsors for ROSCon 2017; check the prospectus for the remaining opportunities.

  • Your friendly neighborhood ROSCon 2017 Organizing Committee

Thanks to our Platinum Sponsor: Intel.
Thanks to our Gold Sponsors: Clearpath, Erle, Fetch, GaiTech, Locus, and Rapyuta.

Niharika Arora (Fetch Robotics): Robot calibration

Looking foward to ROSCon 2017 we're highlighting presentations from last year. The ROSCon 2017 call for proposals is currently open as well as registration.

In this session Niharika Arora from gives an overview of how Fetch Robotics calibrates their robots using robot_calibration



Calibration is an essential prerequisite for nearly any robot. We have created a fast, accurate and robot­agnostic calibration system, which calibrates robot geometry in addition to the typical camera intrinsics and/or extrinsics. The system can be used with a variety of feature detectors to update the cost function and uses the CERES optimizer for the convex optimization. The system then creates an updated URDF containing the calibrated parameters. This talk will cover the details of the robot­agnostic robot_calibration package and describe its use in the fetch_calibration package which can calibrate dozens of parameters on a Fetch robot in as little as 3 minutes.


View the slides here

ROSCon 2017 Diversity Scholarships

The ROSCon 2017 organizing committee aims for ROSCon to represent the entire ROS community, which is diverse and global. In addition to promoting technology that is open source, we also strive to ensure that our communities themselves are as open and accessible as possible, since we recognize that diversity benefits the ROS ecosystem as a whole.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, and wherever you do it, if you're interested in ROS, then we want you to join us at ROSCon. To help reduce the financial barriers to conference attendance, the ROSCon organizing committee is offering a number of scholarships to members of traditionally underrepresented groups in the tech community. Thanks to the support of the program's sponsors, these scholarships each include a complimentary conference registration pass and three nights' accommodation shared with another recipient*. Limited travel support is available for participants whose travel to the conference would otherwise be infeasible. Please note that all other expenses (including any visa requirements) will be the responsibility of the participant.

*To maximize the impact of the scholarship funds, scholarship recipients will be asked to share a room with another recipient. Under special circumstances alternative arrangements can be accommodated.


We invite applications from members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the tech community (including but not limited to: women, LGBTQ+, people of color, people with disabilities, and people from ethnic minorities in their country of residence), who may not otherwise be able to attend ROSCon. Previous ROSCon Diversity Scholarship recipients are not eligible to re-apply.


The ROSCon 2017 Diversity Program has been made possible with support from the following sponsors:





If your organization is interested in getting involved in the Diversity Program, please get in contact.

How to apply

To apply, fill out this form by June 25, describing how you are involved with ROS and the robotics community and what you hope to get out of attending ROSCon. Scholarships will be awarded based on a combination of need and impact. Every applicant will be notified of the outcome of their application.

For more information about ROSCon 2017, including the program, code of conduct, and childcare options, please see

Continuing our series highlighting ROSCon 2016 talks. We present Matthiew Amy talking about how to build fault tolerant systems. He first covers the theory and then goes into specifics for how to make ROS systems robust.



Every system evolves during their operational lifetime. A system that remains dependable when facing changes (new threats, failures, updates) is called resilient. We propose an approach to safety and adaptive fault tolerance taking advantage of Component-Based Software Engineering technologies for tackling a crucial aspect of resilient computing, namely the on-line adaptation of fault tolerance mechanisms. We will show how this approach can be implemented on ROS and explain some implementation details and the result of different experiments to validate the solution. We will also discuss the how we can use checkpointing technologies to make the ROS master crash-tolerant



ROSCon 2017

If you're interested in more information like this ROSCon 2017 is coming up! The call for proposals is currently open as well as registration.

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