June 2010 Archives

ROS C Turtle Alpha 2 Released

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sea-turtle-hires.pngC Turtle Alpha 2 has been released. This update includes numerous bug fixes, including a new ROS 1.1.10 release. This updates fixes bug reports with Gazebo permissions issues, ros::Time issues, tf, Lucid 32-bit binary packages, and more. We appreciate the efforts of the community to make C Turtle as stable as possible -- please keep those reports coming!

NOTE: The new debian packages have a "version 8" suffix, e.g. ros-cturtle-ros_1.1.10-8. They should finish building shortly.

Box Turtle updates:

Change lists

ROS C Turtle Alpha 1 Released

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sea-turtle-hires.pngROS C Turtle Alpha 1 is now available for developers. The is an alpha release of the upcoming distribution that is being used to test the integration of the many new features and components that will be released with C Turtle. C Turtle is intended to be backwards compatible with Box Turtle, though many APIs that were deprecated in Box Turtle have been removed. This early release will allow developers to test compatibility.

Debian packages are available for this release, including binary builds for Ubuntu Lucid Lynx. Any of the current ROS installation instructions will work for C Turtle by simply substitution "cturtle" for "boxturtle". You can also use the SVN externals URLs that we have setup for each variant.

As this is an alpha release, we ask that developers who use it provide as much feedback as possible, including filing bug tickets for any issues found.

Armin Hornung from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität has announced version 0.2 of the nao stack:

Version 0.2 of Freiburg's "nao" stack for Aldebaran's Nao humanoid has just been released. Major changes are the compatibility with NaoQI version 1.6 and the new omnidirectional walking engine (detailed changelist: http://www.ros.org/wiki/nao/ChangeList ).

Files are available packaged at:

or via source checkout from Freiburg's ROS repository:

The stack documentation at http://www.ros.org/wiki/nao was extended and adjusted to this new version.

I'm open for feedback and suggestions!


ROS 1.1.8 released, feature frozen

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ROS 1.1.8 has been released. This is the feature freeze release of ROS. Future releases in the ROS 1.1.x series will be bug-fix only, and ROS 1.2 will be based on the features and APIs of this release. Now that ROS is feature frozen, we encourage developers to test integration with ROS 1.1.8 and report any problems you find. This release should be backwards-compatible with ROS 1.0, though we have removed APIs that were deprecated in the ROS 1.0 release.

To report bugs, please use the ROS issue issue tracker.

This release focused on new features for rosbag and rxbag, as well as new APIs for rosbuild, new std_msgs/Time and Duration msgs, and a rosclean tool for easily removing log files. Please see the full change list for more details.

The SVN tag will will be using for testing the ROS 1.2 release candidates is: https://code.ros.org/svn/ros/stacks/ros/tags/cturtle

We will soon be releasing an alpha version of ROS C-Turtle, so please stay tuned.

-- your friendly neighborhood ROS development team

CCNY ROS pkg release

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CCNY Roboticsannouncement from the CCNY Robotics lab on ros-users

Dear ROS community,

The Robotics Lab at the City College of New York is releasing a collection of ROS tools that we are developing for our research. The packages, which are BoxTurtle-compatible, are grouped in the ccny-ros-pkg stack. Documentation is available on the ROS wiki.

We have made an effort to include a screenshot and youtube video demonstrating the usage of each single package on the corresponding wiki page. The packages also come with a pre-recorded bag and demo launch files, allowing developers to quickly test and get started with using the tools.

The current collection of packages includes:

  • gpsd_viewer: a map viewer for GPS position data provided by gpsd_client.
  • artoolkit - a meta-package which downloads and installs ARToolkit locally.
  • ar_pose - an ROS wrapper for ARToolkit, capable of tracking the position of single or multiple AR markers relative to the camera, broadcasting the corresponding transforms, as well as publishing visualization markers to rviz.
  • laser_scan_splitter - a tool which takes a LaserScan message as input and splits it into an arbitrary number of segments.
  • laser_ortho_projector - a tool which takes a LaserScan, as well as a position of the laser in a fixed frame, and outputs the orthogonal projection of the scan, invariant to the roll-, pitch- and z- position of the laser.
  • point_cloud_filter - a threshold filter for PointCloud messages, which filters points based on values from any of the cloud's additional channels, such as "confidence" or "intensity"

Additional tools scheduled for release this summer include a driver for the AscTec Autopilot for use with AscTec quadrotor UAVs. We are looking forward to hearing back from you with comments and suggestions on how to improve our software.

William Morris,
Ivan Dryanovski,
Gautier Dumonteil

We're getting close to being feature-complete for most of the C-Turtle stacks. There has been a flurry of releases with the expected functionality for the next distribution release, and we will be stabilizing these over the next several weeks as we finalize C-Turtle.

Change lists

Robots Using ROS: Robotino

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Robotino is a commercially available mobile robot from Festo Didactic. It's used for both education and research, including competitions like RoboCup. It features an omnidirectional base, bumps sensors, infrared distance sensors, and a color VGA camera. The design of Robotino is modular, and it can easily be equipped with a variety of accessories, inluding sensors like laser scanners, gyroscopes, and the Northstar indoor positioning system.

REC has been supportive of the Openrobotino community, which provides open-source software for use with the Robotino, and now, they are providing official ROS drivers in the robotino_drivers stack. Their current ROS integration already supports the ROS navigation stack, and you can watch the video below that shows the Robotino being controlled inside of rviz.

We're very excited to see commercially available robot hardware platforms being support with official ROS drivers. There are over a thousand Robotino systems around the world and we hope that these drivers will help connect the Robotino and ROS communities.

brownBrown is pleased to announce the first of a series of summer software releases, beginning with a new BoxTurtle-compatible release of the Brown ROS Pkg.

As usual, the full details are available at:


Highlights include:

  • the aforementioned BoxTurtle compatibility
  • probe has become gscam, and is now compatible with the ROS camera interface, this means any camera or image source available to gstreamer can now be a calibrated part of an image_proc pipeline
  • a new node, ar_recog, exposing most of the functionality of ARToolKit through ROS messages
  • pr2_keyboard_teleoperator, providing full teleoperation of the PR2 from the keyboard
  • position_tracker, a simple odometry correction service

Please check it out and help us make improvements, and be on the look-out for more releases in the coming weeks, including: an ARTag odometry system, an improved NAO v1.6 compatible version of our NAO drivers, and more.


cross posted from willowgarage.com

Our Gazebo engineers have been hard at work bringing improvements to the Gazebo user interface and the simulation quality of the PR2 robot. These improvements will be available with the forthcoming release of ROS C-Turtle. Included will be the option to create simple shapes (boxes, spheres, and cylinders) and light sources (point, spot, and directional) within the GUI, while a simulation is running. This capability lets a developer dynamically change and even create a simulation environment on the fly. These modifications can be saved to file, and reloaded as needed.

You will be able to use the mouse to select and manipulate every object in the simulation. Once an object is selected, three rings and six boxes appear around the object. The rings allow you to rotate the object in all three axes, and the boxes provide a mechanism for translation. This manipulation interface provides a convenient and intuitive tool with which to modify a simulation. It's also possible to pause and modify the world by pressing the space bar, or simply selecting the pause button.

In addition to these GUI improvements, more ROS service and topic interfaces will be added in the new Gazebo release. For details on the proposed Gazebo ROS API, please check out this tutorial.

The upcoming version of Gazebo will also include improvements to the model of the PR2 robot. With the help of some graphic artists, we've added detailed meshes and textures to the PR2 model. These new meshes not only improve the appearance of the PR2 in simulation, but also improve the way sensors such as laser range finders interact with the robot. These new details, along with GPU shaders, create a realistic simulation of the PR2.

Gazebo's enhanced representations of the real world demonstrate the power of developing and debugging algorithms using Gazebo. Check out the videos below to see the new features in action!

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

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