December 2011 Archives

Taylor Veltrop's announcement to ros-users

Hi Everyone,

A year ago I released my first video of Kinect robotics when I loosely controlled a KHR (mini humanoid).

Now I have "completed" the robot avatar project. A treadmill, HMD, Wii remotes, Kinect, and NAO have all been integrated together using ROS to create a fully immersive experience. I really feel like my "self" is in the place of the robot while using this.

Here is a video demonstrating it, I use the interface to brush my cat remotely.

Actually it looks like the project is not really complete after all... Something I realized when filming this is that I need to add 2-way audio...

Hope you enjoy the video! Happy new year!


Jingle Bells from Uni Freiburg

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Our NAO humanoid plays Jingle Bells for Christmas on a glockenspiel / xylophone. The robot can read a single-track song derived from MIDI and plays it on the instrument. Implementation by Stefan Band and Jonas Delleske.

Merry Christmas from the Humanoid Robots Lab at the University of Freiburg!

Announcement by Dominic Létourneau (IntRoLab, Université de Sherbrooke) to ros-users

Hello ROS users,

The ManyEars project propose a robust sound source localization and tracking method using an array of eight microphones. The method is based on a frequency-domain implementation of a steered beamformer along with a particle filter-based tracking algorithm. Tests on a mobile robot show that the algorithm can localize and track in real-time multiple moving sources of different types over a range of 7 meters. These new capabilities allow robots to interact using more natural means with people in real life settings.

The ManyEars project is available here :

IntRoLab has released new ROS packages for the ManyEars library on GitHub. IntRoLab's packages and documentation are available here :



Dominic Létourneau, ing., M.Sc.A.
IntRoLab - Intelligent / Interactive / Integrated / Interdisciplinary Robot Lab
Université de Sherbrooke

Announcement by Michael Carroll (Auburn University) to ros-users

Greetings ROS Users,

I am please to announce a new stack that I've been working on: ROSOSC. Code and documentation for my "beta" release are available immediately on the wiki.

ROSOSC is a set of utilities and nodes for interacting with Open Sound Control hardware and software devices.

One of the main features is the ability to interact with TouchOSC (created by hexler:, the iOS application, to create dynamic, touch-interactive, control surfaces that can be used with ROS. These control surfaces can be composed of several different types of controls, such as push buttons, toggle buttons, faders, rotary knobs, labels and LEDs. Most of the controls support two-way communication with ROS, which allows users to change color, position, size, and visibility of all of the controls on the page via ROS topics.

There are two main ways of interacting with TouchOSC with ROS:

  • Using a "default handler" - Simply create a layout file in the freely available TouchOSC editor, and then launch the ROS touchosc_bridge node. All of the controls on the page will show up as topics that can be published to/subscribed to using ROS.
  • Using a "tabpage handler" - Users can also create a python module that can directly interface with OSC clients. There are many features available to developers, including multiple client support, client join/quit callbacks, and client tabpage switching callbacks. More can be found out on the wiki and API documents.
    • API Docs are available on the ROS wiki
    • Two tabpage handlers are included out of the box:
      • Diagnostics_handler - a tabpage for viewing diagnostics and aggregate diagnostics data
      • teleop_handler - a tabpage for broadcasting command velocity messages to holonomic and differential drive robots.

I hope that you find this useful in your robotics projects, and I'm excited to see some of the future uses of the TouchOSC and Open Sound Control interfaces.

To get an idea of the basic features, I have made some YouTube videos:



New CoroWare ROS repository for Corobot

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Announcement by Morgan Cormier (CoroWare) to ros-users

Dear ROS community,

I would like to announce a new ROS repository which include a stack of packages for the robot Corobot, made by CoroWare:


Thank you for your attention,
Morgan Cormier

Announcement by Filip Muellers to ros-users

Hi all,

I would like to announce a new ROS repository:

It contains one package with some useful example files and a graphical tool for creating and editing launch files. You can easily compose computation graphs with a few mouse clicks, connect ROS nodes, run, test and change them. For more details including more pictures and a tutorial video please also visit

Thanks for your attention.
Filip Muellers

By popular demand, the deadline for submitting a proposal for a ROSCon session has been extended to 11 December 2011. Please send proposals to

Call for Proposals: ROSCon 2012

Hilton Garden Inn St. Paul City Center
St. Paul, Minnesota
19-20 May 2012 (immediately following ICRA)

Details: Proposals: Questions:

ROSCon 2012 is a chance for ROS developers of all levels, beginner to expert, to spend an extraordinary weekend learning from and networking with the ROS community. Get tips and tricks from experts, network, and share ideas with fellow developers from around the globe.

ROSCon is a developers' conference, in the model of PyCon and BoostCon. The two-day program will comprise tech talks and tutorials that will introduce you to new tools and libraries, and teach you more about the ones you already know. The bulk of the program will be 30-40-minute presentations (some may be longer or shorter).

Want to present at ROSCon? Submit a proposal! For details on proposing, go to

If you don't want to make a formal presentation, you should still bring your new project or idea to ROSCon!

There will be several sessions of Lightning Talks, which are 5-minute mini-talks that are scheduled just-in-time at the conference. There will also be open space for Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) meetings, impromptu hacking sessions, and informal presentations.

On behalf of the ROSCon 2012 Organizing Committee:

Ryan Gariepy, Clearpath Robotics
Brian Gerkey, Willow Garage
Cédric Pradalier, ETH Zürich
Matthew Williamson, Heartland Robotics

Robotic Open Platform

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Robotic Open Platform (ROP) aims to make hardware designs of robots available under an Open Hardware license to the entire robotic community. It provides CAD drawings, electric schemes and the required documentation to build their own robot. In the near future, standard electromechanic interfaces between the various robot components will be presented to enable the possibility to combine hardware components of various groups into one robot. By making the robots modular, users are encouraged to develop their own components that can be shared with the community.

In software, the Robot Operating System (ROS) is nowadays acknowledged as a standard software platform and is used by numerous (research) institutions. This open source software is available to everyone and by sharing knowledge with the community there is no need to 'reinvent the wheel', hence drastically speeding up development. Similarly, Robotic Open Platform (ROP) functions as a platform to share hardware designs available to all research groups within the community.

rviz Qt prototype available for testing

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Announcement from RViz SIG Coordinator Dave Hershberger to ros-users

Rviz is moving from the wxWidgets library to the Qt library as of the ROS Fuerte release. This transition to Qt will improve RViz compatibility on more platforms and better integrate with future GUI tools. For more information on the motivation for these changes, please refer to the RViz and ROS GUI SIGs:

This is a fairly big change to the code. The internal plugin API is changed and the Python API will be different (when I get it implemented). The GUI appears and behaves mostly the same as the wx version, most of the differences coming from the differences in style between wx and Qt and not from intentional changes. For a list of major changes, see visualization_experimental/ChangeList.

An early but fairly complete, version of the new code is available in the temporary visualization_experimental stack, which works with ROS Electric. It is available in the ros-electric-visualization-experimental debian package. This version does not have python support implemented yet, but all the built-in display types, tools, and view controllers work. I encourage rviz users to try the new version (called rviz_qt for now) before Fuerte so I can fix bugs and make the transition as smooth as possible.

Please report bugs and feature requests to the same place as usual for rviz, but with "qt" in the keywords field, like so: report a bug, request a feature, list existing tickets.


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