January 2012 Archives

coroware_logo.jpgPress release from CoroWare

Kirkland, WA - January 31, 2012 - CoroWare, Inc. (COWI.OB), today announced a new upgrade offer for existing CoroBot® Classic and CoroBot Explorer unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) customers. These upgrades will help bring earlier CoroBot UGV models up to date, and will enable a new class of CoroBot applications based on ROS from Willow Garage.

The ROS software platform is rapidly becoming the standard for open robotics development, and has a large and active developer community. CoroWare's ROS Upgrade Program will help its customers migrate their existing CoroBot UGV platforms, which is based on Linux and Player software distributions, to Robot Operating System (ROS), which has been deployed on unmanned ground vehicles, air vehicles, and surface vehicles around the world.

"Willow Garage is delivering the ROS software platform with which vendors, such as CoroWare, can provide affordable and open mobile robot platforms that robot scientists need for prototyping robotics applications," said Brian Gerkey of Willow Garage. "CoroWare's announcement today will help grow the community of robotics researchers and educators who are building applications based on ROS."

CoroWare's ROS Upgrade Program includes an initial assessment of the CoroBot that the customer purchased. For some customers, software upgrades will only be required and will be free of charge. For other customers who purchased older CoroBot models, hardware upgrades may be required and will be priced accordingly.

"CoroWare's ROS Upgrade Program will give our customers a greater choice of ROS-based applications and software modules to run on their existing CoroBot platforms", said Andrew Zager, product marketing engineer at CoroWare. "Because ROS is not limited to any robotics platform, we look forward to migrating any third party mobile robots and applications to ROS in the future."

CoroWare's ROS Upgrade Program for all CoroBot platforms is available now. Customers may get further details by visiting our website at robotics.coroware.com; or sending e-mail inquiries to sales@coroware.com, or contacting us at 1-800-641-2676, option 1.

Announcement from Arnaud Ramey (University Carlos III of Madrid)

Hello ROS users!

I am happy to announce to release of a image_transport plugin for float images, mainly aimed at broadcasting compressed Kinect depth images. More details follow. I hope this might be useful for other users and would be happy to hear feedback! (that would justify the hours of work to get to that result :) ).

For more information, including installation instructions, please see the ros-users post.

Link: Announcing compressed_rounded_image_transport

We are please to announce the availability of ROS as a DVD installer that will install Ubuntu 10.04 and a basic configuration of ROS. The disk is also bootable as a LiveDVD, so you can get started without reformatting your hard drive.
64-bit ROS DVD
32-bit ROS DVD

In addition to this exciting news, we are also happy to be able to make available these great ROS t-shirts.
ROS Electric Emys t-shirt
ROS Diamondback t-shirt

We are setting aside $10 per DVD and $3 per shirt for the creation of a ROS Foundation which would be modeled after the Mozilla foundation. In the event that there are problems creating the foundation, we will donate the funds to the EFF. If you have any questions or feedback let us know.

I Heart Engineering

planet.ros.org is live

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Hi ROS community,

We finally created a planet (an aggregation of developer blogs) as is common among big open source projects (kernel, python, ubuntu, fedora, apache ...).

Please enjoy: planet.ros.org/

Wanna join ? have any comment/bug to report ? Please follow the instructions on the website !

Vincent Rabaud

Robotnik Summit software for ROS

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Announcement from Roberto Guzman from Robotnik to ros-users

Hi ROS community!

A ROS stack for the Summit robot is available. The repository includes the necessary simulation nodes, teleoperation and some autonomous navigation.

Please add the Google Code repository to the index:


Best Regards,


Raven II open-source surgical robots

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The Raven II is helping the open-source community advance the state of the art in surgical robotics. In a joint venture between the University of Washington and UC Santa Cruz, the National Science Foundation funded the development of seven identical Raven II surgical robots. Each system has a two-armed surgical robot, a guiding video camera, and a surgeon-interface system built on top of ROS.

These surgical robots are linked via the Internet so researchers can easily share new surgical robotics research and developments. Five Raven II robots are being given to major medical facilities at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Nebraska, UC Berkeley, and UCLA.

According to Blake Hannaford at the University of Washington:

"These are the leading labs in the nation in the field of surgical robotics, and with everyone working on the same platform, we can more easily share new developments and innovations."

For more information, please see the UC Santa Cruz press release and this gizmag.com article.


Announcement from Shaun Edwards of Southwest Research Institute®

Dear ROS community:

We are proud to announce the ROS-Industrial software repository.

ROS-Industrial is a BSD-licensed ROS stack that contains libraries, tools and drivers for industrial hardware. The goals of ROS-Industrial are to:

  • Create a community supported by industrial robotics researchers and professionals
  • Provide a one-stop location for industry-related ROS applications
  • Develop robust and reliable software that meets the needs of industrial applications
  • Combine the relative strengths of ROS with existing industrial technologies (i.e. combining ROS high-level functionality with the low-level reliability and safety of industrial robot controllers).
  • Create standard interfaces to stimulate "hardware-agnostic" software development (using standardized ROS messages)
  • Provide an easy path to apply cutting-edge research in industrial applications, using a common ROS architecture
  • Provide simple, easy-to-use, well-documented APIs

ROS-Industrial is at pre-1.0-release level. It currently supports ROS control (arm navigation with collision free path planning) for the Motoman SIA10D and DX100 controller. The software works with actual hardware or a simulated robot in rviz.

Check out a video of our progress so far:

We'd like to invite others to use this software and contribute new applications and interfaces, particularly ROS drivers for different industrial robot platforms.

Special thanks to early contributors:

Southwest Research Institute®
Yaskawa Motoman Robotics
Willow Garage

Link: swri-ros-pkg

Robotics Internships at Bosch

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Announcement by Benjamin Pitzer (Bosch) to ros-users

Dear ROS Users,

The Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, CA is looking for highly motivated robotics researchers and developers interested in contributing to ROS and being part of the PR2 Beta Program as part of our internship program.

We currently have the following openings:

Robotics Research Intern
Details: http://www.bosch.us/content/language1/html/9938.htm

Robotics Software Engineering Intern
Details: http://www.bosch.us/content/language1/html/10002.htm

Robotics Hardware Development Intern
Details: http://www.bosch.us/content/language1/html/10009.htm

Please use the "Email Resume" link on the job description page to apply.

Best regards / Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Benjamin Pitzer

Robert Bosch LLC

Announcing humanoid_walk 0.1

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Announcement by Thomas Moulard (LAAS) to ros-users

Dear ROS users,

I am pleased to announce the first release of humanoid_walk.

This release provides C++ and ROS interfaces to allow humanoid robot walking trajectories generation.

Humanoid walking algorithms often take a set of footprints as input and provide feet and center of mass trajectories as output. These reference trajectories are then forwarded to the real-time controller.

This stack provides generic interfaces in order to wrap walking generation algorithm into ROS. It also provides an easy to use trajectory generator which can be used to generate motion.

The stack is available here: http://www.ros.org/wiki/humanoidwalk
...and is hosted on GitHub: http://www.github.com/laas/humanoid

Bug reports, comments and patches are welcomed!

Announcement by Mario Prats Sánchez of University of Jaume-I to ros-users

Dear ROS Users,

We are happy to announce a new ROS repository with packages being developed at University of Jaume-I, Spain (UJI):

svn checkout --username anonsvn --password anonsvn https://forja.uji.es/svn/uji-ros-pkg/trunk/

It currently contains two stacks

We will be adding more packages as they become ready. Hope it is of interest to the ROS community

Best regards Mario.

Announcing ROS Android Sensors Driver

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ros_android_logo.pngAnnouncement by Chad Rockey (maintainer of laser_drivers to ROS users

Hi ROS Community,

I've been working on a driver that connects the sensors in Android devices to the ROS environment. At this time, it only publishes sensor_msgs/NavSatFix messages, but I will soon introduce sensor_msgs/Imu and sensor_msgs/Image to publish data from accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, and front/rear cameras.

To get more information and to install, please see the following:

To file bugs, request features, view source, or contribute UI, translation, or other improvements, please see the Google Code project:


I hope everyone finds this useful and I look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing cool uses for Android devices in robotics.

- Chad Rockey


Zeroconf on Android Review

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Announcement by Daniel Stonier of Yujin to ros-users

Hi all,

Just a quick bump for those that might be interested in zero-configuration on android. I've got a rough working implementation with a couple of demo apps. The underlying jmdns still has a few rough edges, but am currently working with the developer to fix these. Since we're actively looking at issues now, it is probably an appropriate time to query others who might have an interest in seeing feature x or y to be implemented.

There is a review page at on the ROS wiki. Links to docs, code and demos can be found there.

If you have any comments, please add them there.

Daniel Stonier

New face recognition package

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Announcement by Pouyan Ziafati of University of Luxembourg and Utrecht University to ros-users

Dear All,

I am happy to announce a new ROS package (face_recognition) for face recognition in video stream. The package provides an actionlib interface for performing different face recognition functionalities such as adding training images directly from the video stream, re-training (updating the database to include new training images), recognizing faces in the video stream, etc. (For more info see the README file)

The package is accessible from the git repository:


Best regards,
Pouyan PhD Candidate,
Utrecht University & University of Luxembourg

Announcement to ros-users from João Quintas of University of Coimbra

Available at isr-uc-ros-pkg repository through isr-uc-ros-pkg.googlecode.com.

This stack is intended to implement auction-based protocols for MRS.

Best regards,

João Quintas
Mobile Robotics Laboratory
Instituto de Sistemas e Robotica

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

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