May 2012 Archives

ROSCon 2012 videos posted

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We've finished processing footage from ROSCon 2012 and are happy to announce that videos of all the presentations (including the exciting Lightning Talks) are now posted and freely available. See the program for links to the videos. That's over 11 hours of ROSCon video; enjoy! And thanks again to everybody who made our inaugural ROSCon a success.

New repository fmrp and restructured uos-ros-pkg

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From Martin Makovička

I would like announce my ROS repository

It contains multirobot planner on graph structure.

From Martin Günther at Universität Osnabrück

Dear ROS users,

the University of Osnabrück's uos-ros-pkg has been split into separate repositories; a rosinstall file is available here:

As a bonus, we added a driver for the brand new SICK TiM 310 laser scanner.

Cheers, Martin

From Alexander Tiderko of Fraunhofer FKIE

Dear ROS users,

I would like to create a new repository: fkie-ros-pkg

Please add that to the indexer.

The content is developed by Fraunhofer FKIE at Wachtberg in Germany. Currently under development are tools for discovering and synchronizing ROS masters in a multi robot system.

From Hai Nguyen of the Healthcare Robotics Lab @ Georgia Tech

Hello ROS community,

I would like to announce the result of our work here at Georgia Tech in collaboration with Willow. This is the first release of RCommander (version 0.5), a visual framework for easy construction of SMACH state machines allowing users to interactively construct, tweak, execute, load and save state machines. There are two stacks. The rcommander_pr2 stack contains an implementation with basic states for controlling the PR2 robot. rcommander_core contains the framework's essentials allowing the construction of custom RCommander interfaces for robots other than the PR2. The wiki doc links below also has a few tutorials for getting started with either rcommander_pr2 or rcommander_core.

Wiki-docs: Repository:

Wiki-docs: Repository:

Just some notes: I've tested this on ROS Electric and have not done much with Fuerte yet but it will be supported soon. The wiki docs point to an older Mercurial repository, it should point to the newer git repository when the Ros indexer gets updated.

Thanks for a great ROSCon 2012!

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Thanks everyone for an amazing ROSCon 2012! The inaugural event exceeded our expectations, with over 200 attendees watching excellent, standing-room-only talks on all things ROS. ROS "Godfather", Morgan Quigley, kicked things with a talk that took us from ROS past to future, and the rest of the two-day schedule covered everything from useful core libraries (tf, URDF, Gazebo, openni_kinect, rosjava), to talks on robots using ROS (Robonaut, autonomous lawnmowers, humanoid, field robots), and much, much more. The event also served as an kickoff for the Open Source Robotics Foundation, which will act as a steward for ROS, Gazebo, and future ROSCon events.

Many of you have asked, and, yes, we're working hard now to process the video and post them online.

It took a lot of people to make ROSCon happen, so a special thanks to:

For those that attended, we will be seeking your feedback to make sure that ROSCon 2013 can be even bigger and better.

Here are some of the attendee reactions from Twitter:

From Hendrik Skubch at the University of Kassel

Dear ROS community,

we are happy to announce three new ROS repositories:

This stack contains a single package: roscs, which provides C# wrappers for ROS. It does not support the complete ROS functionality, but the parts we deemed most important, namely publish / subscribe, service calls, limited support for parameters and some minor functionality. We are using this under Linux with mono, Windows is not tested and will probably not work.

This stack contains some useful utility libraries, namely:

  • cstf, which wraps some tf methods in C#,
  • Castor, a utility library for reading and writing configuration files from C++ and C#,
  • udp_proxy_generator - Generates multicast proxies for ros topics. It is a very simple approach to a multi master environment, no namespace or topic remappings are done, messages are simply relayed. Given a configuration file, which specifies topics and message types, C++ code for a proxy is generated and compiled.

This stack holds ALICA, a framework to coordinate and control multiple robots. It consists of three packages:

  • Planmodeller - an Eclipse-based IDE to model multi-robot behaviour.
  • AlicaEngine - an execution layer for the designed programs.
  • AlicaClient - a simple monitoring GUI.

At its core, ALICA, similar to SMACH, uses hierarchies of state-automata to define behaviour. In contrast to SMACH, it is geared at teams of robots, and features task and role allocation algorithms and coordinated constraint solving and optimisation facilities.

This is part of an ongoing effort to make the source code of the RoboCup Mid-Size Team Carpe Noctem publicly available. All this software is used on our MSL robots. Documentation will be added to the wiki once indexed. This video: shows the software in action during the Dutch Open 2012 tournament.

Many thanks, Hendrik Skubch Distributed Systems Group University of Kassel Carpe Noctem

From Kyle Maroney at Barrett Technology

ROS Users,

In advance of ICRA 2012 and the first annual ROSCon, Barrett Technology is happy to announce a ROS repository created and maintained by Barrett Technology for control of the WAM Arm and BH8-280 BarrettHand. Barrett Technology's ROS repository is an abstraction of Libbarrett, a real-time controls library written in C++.

We look forward to contributing to the ROS community, as well as supporting current and future customers.



Two New Repositories: cri and oru-ros-pkg

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From Jon Claassens

Hi All,

For the past few months I've been developing a Python scriptable GUI for ROS that can substitute for RViz, but the main focus was to create something that would allow a developer to rapidly craft a user interface for a nontechnical user. It's still very early days and I'd hazard to call the repository even alpha yet, however anyone interested in having a look can find it at

Key features are that ROS nodes can submit scripts to the visualizer to associate them with standard rViz markers. Scripts can be made to execute when the marker is interacted with in a number of ways. The menu environment of the visualizer is written entirely in PyQT and interacts with a C++ core through published getter-setter functions and callbacks.

I'll be maturing the program over the next few weeks and adding a few tutorials. Comments/suggestions/criticisms would be appreciated...

Best regards Jon

From Todor Stoyanov of Mobile Robotics and Olfaction Lab at the Center for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems (AASS) at Örebro University, Sweden

Hi everyone,

We are pleased to announce the release of a new ROS packages source code repository! The repository contains several packages for perception and grasping, developed at the Mobile Robotics and Olfaction Lab at the Center for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems (AASS) at Örebro University, Sweden. The source code is available at

with some rudimentary documentation at the wiki page. Future releases are going to also include packages for artificial olfaction, so stay tuned! The released packages contain source code for some of our publications, in particular Three-Dimensional Normal Distributions Transform (3D-NDT) pointcloud registration and Independent Contact Regions(ICR) computation for multi-finger grasping.

In case you are going to attend the ICRA 2012 conference, you can get first hand information on several of the packages by attending the corresponding talks:

RGB-D registration: SPME workshop, Mon. 11:20 ICR on noisy real-world data: TuC210.3 3D-NDT registration: ThD06.1 ICR on a patch contact model: ThB02.2

Don't hesitate to contact us with comments or questions about the packages.

-- The AASS MRO team

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