January 2014 Archives

RosJava & Android on Hydro

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From Daniel Stonier via ros-users@

Hi all,

A quick javaland update. I know quite a few people have already dived in early with rosjava on hydro even though it hasn't actually bleeped on the ros news radar yet. 

This is finally that bleep to say that we're reasonably happy (and using it ourselves fairly actively) with the current state of the rosjava/android build environment for hydro and we'll endeavour to keep it stable 'as is' (apart from bugfixes) for the remainder of the hydro release.

So what is in the box?


  • Partially Catkinized - each gradle super project is a catkin package
    • You can now do entire workspace builds and CI with one command
  • Ros Gradle Plugins: take alot of the repitition out of the build.gradle files
  • Debs - you no longer need to build every stack to build your own sources
  • A Maven Repo - you don't even need ros to access/build with the rosjava jars, just point to our maven repo on github.
  • Messages - each package now compiles into its own jar (no superblob)

  • Android Studio/Gradle - uses the new adt build environment from google
    • IDE/Command Line/CI are now all compatible
  • AAR's : takes advantage of the new .aar's for android libraries
  • Partially Catkinized : can do entire workspace builds on these too.
    • with .aar's we can really scale up now
  • A Maven Repo : just point to this instead of having to build everything
    • don't need to build any sources to build your single application anymore!
Places to look for documentation are at:

And join us on the rosjava sig google group for feedback/questions/news!


PS A big thank you to Damon Kohler for assisting us in getting rosjava in better shape for hydro and also to the users who endured alot of rapid changes and gave great feedback early in the upgrade.

PPS What's coming for igloo? Expect a true rosjava message generator...somewhat awkwardly compiling rosjava messages is very quickly reaching an annoying threshold of unbearably biblical proportions!

ROS-Industrial Event - March 5th, 6th

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From Paul Hvass via ros-news@

We are delighted to invite you to attend our next Members' Meeting for the ROS-Industrial Consortium. We will commence on March 5th with a one-day training session focused on application development. This session is free for Consortium Members and $750 for non-Members. The training is appropriate for anyone with a robotics background and wondering, "What can I do with ROS-Industrial?". Training topics will include pick and place application development, calibration, perception, and planning. Day 2 is reserved for Consortium Members only and will include technical roadmapping activities and a review of current and future focused technical projects.

Agenda Summary

March 5: Training
0730Pickup at the Hotel
0800-0830Registration and Light Breakfast
0845-1015Training Block 1
1030-1200Training Block 2
1200-1330Lunch and Demonstrations
1330-1500Training Block 3
1515-1645Training Block 4
1645Wrap Up, Transportation to Hotel
1900Networking Dinner at Acenar on the San Antonio Riverwalk
March 6: Members' Meeting
0730Pickup at the Hotel
0800-0830Registration and Light Breakfast
0830-0845Welcome and Introductions
0845-0915Consortium Administrative Updates
0915-1200Technical Roadmapping
1200-1330Lunch and Keynote
1330-1400Current Focused Technical Project Updates
1400-1600New Focused Technical Project Discussions
1600-1630Open Discussion
1630-1700Wrap Up
1700Transportation to Hotel
1900Networking Dinner at Paesanos on the San Antonio Riverwalk


Registration is required, but is free for members.  Non-members may attend the training for a fee.


A block of rooms has been reserved at the: 
Drury Plaza Hotel Riverwalk 
105 South St Marys Street 
San Antonio, Texas 78205 

To reserve your room at the special rate, please use code: "ROS-I Consortium"


The nearest airport is San Antonio International.  A rental car is not required; airport to downtown shuttles are available for $19 and taxis are approximately $30.  Venues will be within walking distance or via the Consortium-provided shuttle.


Gazebo feature survey

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From Nate Koenig via ros-users@

Hello all,

We understand that simulation is an important component within ROS. We are working on Gazebo's road map for the rest of this year, and could use your input.

Below is a link to a survey that lets you rank new simulation features. Please take a few moments to complete the survey, and help us guide the direction of Gazebo for 2014.


Updated ROS cheat-sheet for Hydro + Catkin

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From Ryan Gariepy via ros-users@

Hi all,

We've put together an updated ROS cheat-sheet for Hydro+catkin. Check it out here.

Feedback and suggestions are always welcome!



The Mathworks has released a ROS Support package for Matlab. You can create ROS nodes directly in Matlab. As well as run a ROS Master from within Matlab. 

For more information see www.mathworks.com/ros

Bloom 0.4.5 Released

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From WIlliam Woodall on ros-users@

I just released a bug fix version of bloom, 0.4.5.

There are note worthy changes in this version:

- Added checks for rosdistro version to help with the REP-0141 rollout
- Python2/3 bilingual support, so bloom should be installable and usable with Python3

Expect another patch release soon (0.4.6) to support REP-0141, and then a new minor release soon after that with some improvements and features (0.5.0).

Also the documentation is now on Readthedocs.org:


ROS internship opportunites

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In the last week several internship opportunities have been announced on ros-users@. The 4 emails are summarized below. 

1. Yujin Robots Internship Program Kick-Off

Hello everyone!

We are happy to announce the start of Yujin Robot's internship program inviting both locals and internationals.

Currently we have three openings in the areas of driver and application development for embedded Linux and web-based collaboration framework development (related with ROCON [1]). Check out the recruitment section on Yujin Robot's website [2] for more information about each available position and how to apply.

Don't miss the chance to get real-life experience in robotics and robot service development!

Your Yujin Roboticists

2. Robotics Internships at Bosch

Dear ROS Users,

The Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, CA is looking
for highly motivated robotics researchers and developers interested in
our 2014 internship program.

We currently have the following openings:

Robotics Hardware Engineering Intern

Robotics Research Intern

Robotics Software Engineering Intern


3. Internships at Google

Hello ROS users,

We are currently looking for extremely talented and motivated students with strong software skills and a background in robotics and/or computer vision to work on an exciting new project at Google.

If you're interested in an internship please send your resume to duhadway@google.com.

Thank you,

Charles DuHadway

4. Ph.D. Student Position on Dynamic Reflective Language Integration with FPGAs for Robotic Applications at Mines de Douai and ENSTA Brest

The position is available now. Interested candidates may apply as soon as possible. 

Title: Ph.D. Student Position on Dynamic Reflective Language Integration with FPGAs for Robotic Applications

Location: Mines de Douai and ENSTA Brest (France)

Advisor and contacts: 

Profile: the candidate must must hold a recent Master of Science degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering and must have solid skills in dynamic reflective language (Smalltalk).

Description of the work:
The goal of this PhD is to study Smalltalk integration with FPGAs for robotic applications. This integration will enable us get the best from both worlds. Developers are provided with a high-level dynamic reflective language (Smalltalk) for building and debugging their applications. Still, we can have high performances by projecting part of the programs into FPGAs. These reconfigurable hardware chips can achieve performance faster than C programs, while consuming much less energy.

The work to do can decompose into the following tasks:
-Build reference robotic applications fully in Pharo Smalltalk using actual robots (see http://car.mines-douai.fr/robots/)
-Analyze these applications to identify critical parts to project on FPGAs to significantly increase performances (speed, energy)
-Do the actual projection to FPGA and evaluate performances of the transformed applications
-Generalize the approach and define a methodology for turning Smalltalk code into FPGA
-Propose a solution to automate the methodology

The Ph.D student will receive a grant which net amount is approximately 1420 euros per month for 3 years (36 months).
He will be co-supervised by Loïc Lagadec from the ENSTA-Bretagne (Lab-STICC, Brest) and Jannik Laval, Luc Fabresse and Noury Bouraqadi from Ecole des Mines de Douai (CAR, http://car.mines-douai.fr/). 
The first 18th month will be spent in Douai (Lille area), while the last half of the PhD will be spent in Brest.
However, during the full 3 years, there will be a strong interaction with co-supervisers from both labs.

-A Robust Layered Control System For A Mobile Robot. R. Brooks. IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation. Vol. 2. Num 1. March, 1985.
-RCS: A Cognitive Architecture for Intelligent MultiAgent Systems. J.S. Albus and A. J. Barbera. Proceedings of the 5th IFAC/EURON Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles (IAV 2004). Lisbon, Portugal, 2004.
-Handbook of Robotics. Bruno Siciliano and Oussama Khatib editors. Springer. 2008.
-Multi-Level Simulation of Heterogeneous Reconfigurable Platforms. D. Picard and L. Lagadec. International Journal of Reconfigurable Computing. 2012.
-High-level synthesis for FPGAs: From Prototyping to Deployment. Jason cong and stephen neuendorffer and juanjo noguera and kees vissers and zhiru zhang. IEEE Transactions on Computer-aided design of integrated circuits and systems. Vol. 30. Num 4. April, 2011.
-The MOLEN Polymorphic Processor. S. Vassiliadis and S. Wong and G. Gaydadjiev and K. Bertels and G. Kuzmanov and E. Moscu Panainte. IEEE Transactions on Computers. 2004.

PR2 Support transferred to Clearpath Robotics

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From Clearpath Robotics via ros-news@

Clearpath Robotics welcomes the PR2 robot and community to its growing family


(Menlo Park, CA and Kitchener, ON, Canada - January 15, 2014)  Willow Garage, the developer of PR2, announces the immediate transfer of support and services responsibilities to Clearpath Robotics, a leader in mobile robotics for research and development.  Willow Garage's development of PR2 along with the Robot Operating System (ROS) has produced the world's leading mobile manipulation platform for research and development.  Willow Garage will continue to sell its remaining stock of PR2 systems while Clearpath Robotics now becomes the sole provider of hardware and software support to current and future PR2 customers.  Interest in PR2 systems should continue to be directed to Willow Garage through its portal at www.willowgarage.com, while members of the PR2 community should direct correspondence to www.clearpathrobotics.com.


"Willow Garage is committed to continue to support customers of its PR2 personal robotics platform,"  said Scott Hassan, Founder and Chairman, Willow Garage.  "I am delighted that Clearpath Robotics will be fulfilling that commitment at least through 2016."


"The PR2, along with ROS, changed the pace of robotics research and created history," said Matt Rendall, CEO at Clearpath Robotics. "We've been a champion of ROS since the start, so we understand and value the PR2 community and their work. We're ecstatic to take on service responsibilities for this piece of history, and advance development within the community."


The PR2 is a compliant mobile manipulation platform built by Willow Garage.  Released for production in 2010, the robot's safe, modular design spurred groundbreaking research in the fields of autonomy, mobile manipulation, and human robot interaction. The standardized platform enables researchers to share their work and leverage the open source software community (ROS); today over 1000 software libraries exist for the 40 PR2's in use in over a dozen countries. 


Clearpath Robotics has been a longstanding partner of Willow Garage as an early adopter of ROS, the first manufacturing partner for Turtlebot, founding sponsors of the annual ROS developers conference, ROSCon, and Clearpath's CTO, Ryan Gariepy, is a founding board member for the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF).


In order to provide continued customer excellence for PR2 support, Clearpath Robotics is currently hiring Open Source Software Engineers. (http://www.jobscore.com/jobs/clearpathrobotics/open-source-support-engineer/bCzfUeyq8r44AXiGakhP3Q?ref=rss&sid=68).

ROS Usage Survey

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Please help us by taking a couple of minutes to fill out this ROS usage survey:

It's just a handful of questions and can be completed very quickly.

We're doing this survey to help us understand how people are using ROS
and which parts of ROS are most valuable to the community. The survey
results, which we'll share with everybody, will help us to prioritize
our development efforts.

Announcing rosR and rosR_demos for groovy and hydro

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From André Dietrich of Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Fakultät für Informatik on ros-users@

The aim of this contribution is to connect two previously separated worlds: robotic application development with the Robot Operating System (ROS) and statistical programming with R. This fruitful combination becomes apparent especially in the analysis and visualization of sensory data. We therefore introduce a new language extension for ROS that allows to implement nodes in pure R. All relevant aspects are described in a step-by-step development of a common sensor data transformation node. This includes the reception of raw sensory data via the ROS network, message interpretation, bag-file analysis, transformation and visualization, as well as the transmission of newly generated messages back into the ROS network.

See also: http://journal.r-project.org/archive/2013-2/dietrich-zug-kaiser.pdf
rosR: http://wiki.ros.org/rosR
rosR_demos: http://wiki.ros.org/rosR_demos
or: http://eos.cs.ovgu.de/dietrich/

ROS Development Update

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I wanted to highlight some recent changes that I hope people will find useful.  Following on the recent new website for ROS, http://www.ros.org/ (Which I highly recommend you checkout if you haven't already.) we've been doing some more housekeeping to make things easier to use on our various websites. 

We have updated the CSS styles for the wiki, improving the look and feel for things like buttons and font spacing. We have also added some new information to package pages, for example: http://wiki.ros.org/roscpp_tutorials On this page you will notice the new badges for "Released", "Continuous Integration", and "Documented". This should give users more information at a glance for packages which are documented on the wiki. Additionally, there is now a "Jenkins Jobs" link on the right hand side "Package Links" box. If you click this it will expand to list all of the build farm jobs related to this package and their status. We will add more information to the package pages as we can, suggestions and pull requests are welcome.

We have also just launched the http://status.ros.org site. This site gives you an overview of the status of our services as well as some realtime metrics. This site is hosted externally, so we can communicate outages and progress on repairs even when our other infrastructure is down. We would encourage you to follow @rosorg or add our RSS feed/signup for email notifications on the http://status.ros.org site directly.

We're also actively working on preparing for ROS Indigo Igloo. A major part of this perparation has been preparing for Python 3. If you'd like more information on that there's a thread on ros-release@code.ros.org http://lists.ros.org/lurker/message/20131231.003813.311b5072.en.html and we have recently update REP 3 for Indigo http://www.ros.org/reps/rep-0003.html#indigo-igloo-may-2014 Also in perparation for turning on the Indigo buildfarm we have removed all Fuerte jobs from the farm. Fuerte packages will continue to be available however it will not be possible to build new packages. 

While I'm on the topic I'd like to encourage all maintainers to make sure that they're on the ros-release mailing list to make sure to stay up to date on release specific information and discussions. 

I'd also like to encourage everyone to send announcements and updates on their projects here to the ros-users mailing list or submit them to ros-news@googlegroups.com for posting on the ROS Blog. And if you're blogging about ROS related content submitting your blog to http://planet.ros.org/ where you can get an RSS feed of ROS related activities. One of the strengths of ROS is it's large user community sharing project updates and announcements is a great way to contribute to the community. 

2013 was ROS's strongest years with more and more people releasing packages against both Groovy and Hydro. The packages available for these distros have grown to be more than 750 and 850 respectively. 

Thank you to everyone who's contributed already and to everyone else I encourage you to start by making a small contribution such as answering a question on http://answers.ros.org or updating or extending a wiki page. 

Happy New Year!

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

Please submit content to be reviewed by emailing ros-news@googlegroups.com.

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