October 2011 Archives

Qbo Robot Visits Willow Garage

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Qbo_PR2_IMG_0797.JPGThecorpora has made a great commitment to open source with Qbo, a robot with great robotics technology for everyday consumers. To work on integration ideas, Qbo and his friend, Francisco Paz, stopped by Willow Garage to meet the team and Willow Garage robots, such as the PR2. You can checkout photos of Qbo hanging out with PR2 and other robots at Thecorpora's blog.

Also on the way from Thecorpora is a new Android phone application for Qbo that provides telepresence; hear, see, and communicate with Qbo as if you were in the same room. Imagine getting Qbo to go where you want or direct it using Google's speech recognition software. This new app makes Qbo a telepresence in any room. For details, see their blog post and video.


Weeding in organic orchards is a tedious process done either mechanically or by weed burning. Researchers at University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University created the ASuBot (Aarhus and Southern Denmark University Robot), a self-driving tractor, to handle navigate around trees in organic orchards. Weeding is done using gas burners that the ASuBot makes sure is not damaging the trees.

ASuBot is built on a Massey Fergusson 38-15 garden tractor outfitted with a SICK laser range finder and Topcon AES-25 steering. It is able to navigate autonomously without the use of GPS antennas, which would not work under shaded trees and would also make the robot more costly.

The FroboBox, the ASuBot's on-board computer, is a Linux-powered computer running the FroboMind software that runs on top of ROS. FroboMind provides a common, conceptual architecture for field robots and has already been integrated with five different platforms.

For more information about ASuBot and FroboMind, please see fieldrobot.dk.

New repository: pal-ros-pkg

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Announcement from Adolfo Rodríguez Tsouroukdissian to ros-users


We are proud to announce the initial release of PAL Robotics' ROS packages. An overview of the available stacks and packages can be found here: http://www.ros.org/wiki/pal-ros-pkg

On the one hand, we are making available the virtual model of our humanoid service robot REEM, so you can test your algorithms on REEM, in the context of a simulated environment. On the other hand, we are making available a motion retargeting stack that allows to perform unilateral teleoperation of REEM from live motion capture data. The latter was developed by our intern Marcus Liebhardt, in the context of his M.Sc. diploma.

Further developments of these packages are already in preparation, so stay tuned for more!.


The PAL Robotics staff.
Announcement from Daniel Stonier (Yujin Robot) to ros-users

Hi Ros userland,

This is an announcement to offiicially update the status of ros electric on windows. To summarize what is there:

Mingw Ros

For those who want to make windows apps (namely qt apps) whilst still developing in linux. This is working with the basic ros, ros comms and any message (msgs/srv) package. 

The status is fairly complete for what it is intended to handle - mostly development of testing/debugging apps. However if you have an itch, feel free to scratch it.

Msvc Ros

Getting ros to natively compile with the ms compilers.

  • Currently using the ms express 2010 compiler to build a 32-bit sdk (libs and headers) for the core ros/ros_comm/message packages
  • Uses rosbuild2 & nmake for a complete msvc build environment.

Call for Helpers

As you can see, the basics are functional (namely rosbuild2 functionality) and we've done some testing here at Yujin/Korean government groups to sort out a few of the porting issues. However, there's still quite a few areas that really need some work. You can see a list of the primary jobs we're targeting on the roadmap

I've posted a stack proposal review on the win_ros pages - if you want to be involved in the direction of the stack, feel free to ramble on the review page.

If you would also like to be involved more directly with development, please get in touch with me via email. A good linux/ros developer + windows developer should be able to push this in a good direction as it needs good integration on both sides. I'm a linux control engineer, so if you are an experienced windows developer it would be especially useful - I can bridge whatever gaps there are to the linux world and ros build framework.

Daniel Stonier (Yujin Robot).

Announcement by Armin Hornung, Humanoid Robots Lab, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg to ros-users

I'm pleased to announce a major update and rewrite of Freiburg's footstep planner in the humanoid_navigation stack, mainly contributed by Johannes Garimort. The planner is now much faster and builds on SBPL. In addition to the previous D* Lite implementation, this now enables anytime planning e.g. with ARA* or AD*.

The ROS interface was largely kept compatible and you can interact with the planner using RViz as planning GUI (instruction on the wiki page). You can check out the humanoid_navigation stack from alufr-ros-pkg.

Best regards,

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

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