December 2009 Archives

driver_common 0.2.1 released

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driver_common 0.2.1 has been released. This is a patch release to fix a bug in dynamic_reconfigure introduced by changes in method names in 0.2.0.

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camera_drivers 0.3.0 released

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camera_drivers 0.3.0 has been released.

Changes

  • The packages dcam1394 and libdc1394v2 have been moved into camera_drivers_experimental. These packages are not yet considered stable and will likely change before the release of a stable driver for firewire cameras.
  • Bug fix: fix import of dynamic_reconfigure

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driver_common.png camera_drivers.png laser_drivers.png imu_drivers.png image_pipeline.png

We have released several more stacks into our stable release process: driver_common 0.2.0, imu_drivers 0.2.0, camera_drivers 0.2.0, and laser_drivers 0.2.0. We have also released image_pipeline 0.1.1, which will soon be in stable release as well. These stacks contain drivers for publicly available sensors, such as Hokuyo and SICK laser range finders, firewire cameras, and the microstrain 3dmgx2 IMU.

With these releases, all driver-related components for our Milestone 3 effort are now stable. This means that feature development for these components is largely concluded for this release cycle and that every effort will be made to ensure that future modifications to the public APIs in these stacks will be done in a backwards-compatible manner.

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crossposted from willowgarage.com

Peter Pastor, a PhD student at USC, spent the past three months developing software that allows the PR2 to learn new motor skills from human demonstration. In particular, the robot learned how to grasp, pour, and place beverage containers after just a single demonstration. Peter focused on tasks like turning a door handle or grasping a cup -- tasks that personal robots like PR2 will perform over and over again. Instead of requiring new trajectory planning each time a common task is encountered, the presented approach enables the robot to build up a library of movements that can be used to execute these common goals.  For this library to be useful, learned movements must be generalizable to new goal poses. In real life, the robot will never face the exact same situation twice. Therefore, the learned movements must be encoded in such a way that they can be adapted to different start and goal positions.

Peter used Dynamic Movement Primitives (DMPs), which allow the robot to encode movement plans. The parameters of these DMPs can be learned efficiently from a single demonstration, allowing a user to teach the PR2 new movements within seconds. Thus, the presented imitation learning set-up allows a user to teach discrete movements, like a grasping, placing, and releasing movement, and then apply these motions to manipulate several objects on a table. This obviates the need to plan a new trajectory every single time a motion is reused. Furthermore, the DMPs allow the robot to complete its task even when the goal is changed on-the-fly.

You can find out more about the open source code for Peter's work here, and check out his presentation slides below (download PDF). For more about Peter's research with DMPs and learning from demonstration, see "Learning and Generalization of Motor Skills by Learning from Demonstration", ICRA 2009.

pr2_common.png pr2_mechanism.png pr2_power_drivers.png pr2_gui.png pr2_ethercat_drivers.png

We have released several more stacks into our stable release process: pr2_common 0.2.0, pr2_gui 0.2.0, pr2_ethercat_drivers 0.2.0, pr2_power_drivers 0.2.0, and pr2_mechanism 0.5.0. These releases mainly affect users of the PR2 robot, including the PR2 simulator. Each of these stacks now has a stable API, which means that every effort will be made to provide backwards-compatiblity for any changes.

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navigation 0.6.3 released

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navigation 0.6.3 has been released. This release contains the standard bug fixes and patches and also adds some features to the costmap_2d package that begin to make it more compatible with SLAM systems. There is still a bit of work/testing to be done to allow easy integration of the navigation stack with a SLAM system, but look for the next few releases of navigation stack to add additional capabilities, culminating with the 0.7.0 release of the stack. I'm planning on getting the 0.7.0 release out sometime in mid to late January. In the meantime, please treat the additions to the costmap_2d package as experimental as they are fairly untested.

Changes

  • Removed use of deprecated rosbuild macros.

fake_localization

  • Added API for having a map coordinate frame that is different from the simulator coordinate frame.

robot_pose_ekf

  • Fix bug where nodehandle.getParam was used instead of nodehandle.pararm
  • fix test launch files to have names as required for ROS 0.11

costmap_2d

  • The costmap now publishes information about what cells are unknown
  • Fixed a bug where the voxel version of the costmap was not retaining unknown space correctly when reset to the static map.
  • Built support for changing maps into the Costmap and Costmap2DROS objects. See the updateStaticMap method of the Cosmtap2DROS object.
  • Added support for copying only a window of a costmap. See the getCostmapWindowCopy method of the Costmap2DROS object.
  • Changed the default value for the min_obstacle_height parameter to be 0.0m from 0.05m.

navfn

  • Added a parameter that allows the user to configure whether or not navfn should consider unknown space as traversible.
  • Updated navfn to work with costmaps of changing size

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nao_rviz.png

Update: Documentation is available on ros.org at http://www.ros.org/wiki/alufr-ros-pkg

I'm happy to announce v0.1, the first proper release of Freiburg's Nao Stack located at: http://code.google.com/p/alufr-ros-pkg/

You can check out the trunk (svn) from:
http://alufr-ros-pkg.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

or download the stack package from:
http://code.google.com/p/alufr-ros-pkg/downloads/list

Changes are:

  • improved torso odometry
  • nao_ctrl now also transmits the state of Nao's onboard IMU
  • new nao_description package makes Nao's complete joint state, transformations and visualization available through robot_state_publisher
  • launch files for convenient start up

Some basic instructions are available at http://code.google.com/p/alufr-ros-pkg/, but I might also move them to ros.org if that's the more appropriate place. I would be happy to hear if all is working for you (or not), or how to make things more ROS-compliant.

Best regards, Armin

image_common 0.6.1 released

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image_common 0.6.1 has been released. This is a patch release to fix compilation under gcc 4.4.

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laser_pipeline 0.6.0 released

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laser_pipeline 0.6.0 has been released. There are only a few small changes with this release.

Changes

laser_geometry

  • Adding support for inverted mode to laser projection
  • Removed use of deprecated rosbuild macros.

laser_assembler

  • Removed use of deprecated rosbuild macros.

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simulator_gazebo 0.6.4

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simulator_gazebo 0.6.4 has been released. This is a patch release fixing a camera plugin bug where distortion parameters (k1,k2,k3,t1,t2) were not passed from Gazebo URDF extensions XML to the subsequently published CameraInfo message (D-matrix remained 0).

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image_common 0.6.0 released

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image_common 0.6.0 has been released.

There is one deprecation: creating an image_transport::SubscriberFilter now requires an image_transport::ImageTransport argument in place of a ros::NodeHandle. The constructor/subscribe() taking ros::NodeHandle will be removed in a later release.

image_transport::Subscriber now attempts to detect a common user error, passing in a transport-specific topic name (e.g. "/camera/image/compressed") in place of the base topic ("camera/image"), and print a useful warning.

Other changes are mostly bugfixes and making image_transport's publisher/subscriber classes more closely mimic the behavior of ros::Publisher and ros::Subscriber in edge cases.

Changes

image_transport:

  • Subscriber attempts to recognize and warn when the user passes in a transport-specific topic instead of the base topic.
  • ImageTransport constructor from NodeHandle is now explicit.
  • SubscriberFilter takes an ImageTransport argument in constructor and subscribe(). Old versions with a NodeHandle argument are deprecated.
  • (Camera)Publisher and (Camera)Subscriber methods now mimic roscpp behavior when the object is "invalid" (default-constructed or shutdown).
  • Publisher plugin parameter lookup correctly starts in the namespace defined by the base topic.

camera_calibration_parsers:

  • Added stream-based read/write functions for INI and YML representations.

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crossposted from willowgarage.com

Ethan Dreyfuss, who recently received a master's degree from Stanford University, is continuing his work here on autonomous person-following and dataset collection and annotation. The former project provides a useful building block for a wide variety of tasks. Consider a robot that helps you carry groceries. This robot is vastly more useful if it can carry your bags to the house without requiring teleoperation; the robot can simply track you and follow behind. At a high level, person-following comprises two principal tasks: person tracking and navigation.

The approach developed by Ethan and Caroline Pantofaru fuses a face detector with two weak person trackers: one for legs, and one for 3D blobs at person-height. None of these approaches is individually effective enough to provide robust tracking, but their strengths are complementary. The face detector is effective when the person is close to, and directly facing the robot. While the leg tracker provides high accuracy when multiple people are present, it is often confused by non-human obstacles and can therefore not work reliably from afar. Conversely, the height-based blob tracker can effectively track from further away, yet it is easily confused by groups of people. By combining techniques, Ethan and Caroline were able to develop a more robust person-tracking tool.

Once the robot can track a designated person, the information is passed on to the navigation stack. This same navigation software was used to complete Milestone 2, with some improvements made to help deal more quickly and robustly with dynamically-moving obstacles such as people.

In addition to the person-following project, Ethan is contributing to the collection and labeling of a large dataset of people in an indoor office environment. One of the major drivers of computer vision research is the availability of high-quality labeled data. The bulk of existing person datasets exclude indoor environments, and instead focus on outdoor pedestrians. Indoor environments present numerous challenges for person detection, including poor lighting and environmental clutter. By automating as much as possible, the process of both collecting (using the robot) and labeling (using Amazon's Mechanical Turk and Alex Sorokin's CV Web Annotation Toolkit), Ethan's team will be able to provide a large, compelling dataset to encourage other researchers to tackle these challenging problems.

Ethan also picked up a number of side projects including rapid neighborhood computation on point clouds, and implementing a package that uses the open-source video codec Theora to allow low-bandwidth video streaming within ROS.

geometry 0.4.5 released

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geometry 0.4.5 has been released. This is a patch release. The changes are listed below.

Changes

tf

  • new node tf_remap which will remap tf frames. Useful for bag file playback etc.
  • added experimental lookupVelocity method
  • Fix: Python methods lookupTransform and lookupTransformFull were failing on Python 2.6 (r25958,#3337)
  • Switch tf_prefix to use searchParam() #2921
  • Removed use of deprecated rosbuild macros
  • Python methods transformVector3Stamped added r26189

angles

  • Removed use of deprecated rosbuild macros

kdl

  • create symbolic link called site-packages to dist-packages for compatibility with newer python versions

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simulator_gazebo 0.6.3 released

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simulator_gazebo 0.6.3 has been released. This release adds bayer image generation in simulation for modeling wide stereo camera pair on PR2.

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pr2_simulator 0.1.1 released

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pr2_simulator 0.1.1 has been released and contains a minor patch to startup a set of default controllers when starting PR2 in simulation. This is going to be the default behavior for the actual PR2 as well. Please see the ChangeList for more details.

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pr2_simulator 0.1 release

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pr2_simulator.png

The pr2_simulator 0.1 has been released. This initial release represents a transition into a stable release cycle. Future updates to this stack will be made backwards compatible, when possible. The pr2_simulator stack contains the necessary components for working with a simulated PR2.

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simulator_gazebo 0.6.2 released

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simulator_gazebo.png

simulator_gazebo 0.6.2 has been released. This release contains a parallel make bug fix and (re)enables erratic_gazebo 2dnav-stack demo.

Change List

  • fixes to gazebo_ros_diffdrive for the erratic example. publishing '''erratic_odometry/odom''' topic and tf transform from '''base_link''' to '''odom''' frame.
  • fix parallel build error due to dependency bug #3349

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ROS Tutorials and Turtles

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crossposted from willowgarage.com

turtlesim Along with our Texas Robot experimentation, we continue our endeavors to improve the usability of our software and hardware components. By focusing outwards on the ROS and PR2 communities, we've made significant progress towards improving user experience, and we continue to iterate on these changes with the generous help of numerous ROS community members. We've been running software and hardware component tutorials through rigorous user testing, and along the way, discover opportunities to develop new teaching tools.

In an effort to simplify ROS adoption for new users, we developed turtlesim, a LOGO-inspired tool that provides a hands-on approach to learning ROS basics. This tool functions as an entry-level tutorial that takes in velocity commands, and "drives" a turtle according to the input. Turtlesim offers a simple simulator that allows new users to more readily visualize their commands and work with a simulated "robot." Once comfortable with some of the more basic ROS commands, users can try simulators, like Stage and Gazebo, for more advanced experimentation and tutorials.

These tutorials, along with many others, can be found at ros.org. There are currently 19 tutorials available for the core ROS system, and 186 tutorials (and counting) in total, covering much of the functionality available on ROS. To learn how to document a package, check here, and to learn how to write a tutorial for a package, click here. Ros.org has seen great expansion and improved organization. We strongly encourage you to upload your work and share your documentation and tutorials with the ROS community!

Find this blog and more at planet.ros.org.


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This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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