February 2012 Archives

Announcing teleop stack

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Announcement from Kevin LeBlanc to ros-users

Hi everyone,

I'd like to let you know about a teleop stack I've developed to allow generic tele-operation "source" devices (such as keyboards, joysticks, etc.) to be used interchangeably to control generic tele-operation "sink" devices (such as robot bases, pan-tilt units, robot arms, etc.).

I know there are a number of tele-operation and joystick stacks and packages out there, but many of them are doing nearly identical things in slightly (and frustratingly) different ways. The purpose of this stack is to avoid the rewriting of source or sink specific code for different source-sink combinations, and to provide a common interface for a variety of tele-operation sources.

The code can be downloaded here:


More information can be found here:


Comments and feedback welcome!


New executive based on coroutines

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Announcement from Stéphane Magnenat of ETHZ ASL to ros-users

Dear ROS community,

I am happy to announce the availability of teer. Teer, which stands for task-execution environment for robotics, is a Python library proposing the use of co-routines (called tasks) to implement executives. Teer is an alternative to executives based on state machines such as smach. Please find more details, including installation instructions, tutorials, examples, and a reference documentation on:


Kind regards,


Announcement from simulator_gazebo maintainer John Hsu to ros-users

Hi All,

The new simulator_gazebo 1.6 release and the pr2_simulator 1.8 release shipped with ROS Fuerte, are based on the Gazebo 1.0.0 release candidate which is now considered API stable.

On the Gazebo side, major changes from Electric simulator_gazebo (pre gazebo-1.0.0-RC) to the Fuerte version (gazebo-1.0.0-RCX) can be found on the Gazebo change list wiki page. Notably, the new Gazebo plugins have been redesigned to be more flexible to the end-users, but unfortunately, this means the new plugin API is not backwards compatible with the old version. To convert old style plugins to the 1.0.0-RC plugin, please take a quick look at the plugin tutorials, in particular, this tutorial tries to provide an overview on the conversion process. For additional reference, you can also take a look at the updates in gazebo_plugins and pr2_gazebo_plugins packages. For questions or troubleshooting the conversion process, please make use of ROS Answers or the gazebo mailing list.

Lastly, you might have noticed that the gazebo project has been migrated from sourceforge to kforge (see the gazebo project page on kforge), please submit gazebo-specific tickets to the new trac and feel free to checkout the mercurial repository.

Thanks, John

Announcement from Armin Hornung, Humanoid Robotics Lab, Uni Freiburg

I'm pleased to announce the release of OctoMap 1.4, along with the updated octomap_mapping ROS stack for electric (see octomap.sf.net/ and ros.org/wiki/octomap_mapping). The updated viewer and visualization library "octovis" is available separately in the octomap_visualization stack.

The main new features since the latest stable 1.2 release are a new generalized IO functionality and file format for octrees, support for per-voxel color information in a specialized tree class (e.g. from the Kinect) and full support for Linux, Mac OS and Windows (the latter still experimental). The API remained mostly unchanged.

Ubuntu packages for ROS electric are being built and will be available in your package manager soon. Until then, you can get the octomap_mapping stack from http://code.google.com/p/alufr-ros-pkg/.

Your friendly neighborhood OctoMap team

Announcing ros_rt_wmp

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Hello ROS users,

I am announcing the release of ros_rt_wmp. The ros_rt_wmp is a ROS node capable of replicating whatever ROS topic or service in another computer wirelessly connected with the source without the need of sharing the same roscore.

As an example consider a team of robots building cooperatively a map. The robots have to exchange their laser and pose information. However if the network that connect the robots is not completely connected and they can't use an infrastructure network (an outdoor chain network for example) there is no way to share data among robots using the ROS.

The ros_rt_wmp allows to distribute/decentralize a complex robotics system in multiple computation units in a transparent form: the only requisite is to know which data from other robots we need in each one of them.


The package is young (it is probable you'll find bugs) but it seems to work quite well.

Best regards,

crossposted from WillowGarage.com

Willow Garage is proud to announce our collaboration with Adept Technology. Along with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), the three organizations are working together to contribute to the ROS-Industrial project. There is more information in Adept's official announcement.

ROS-Industrial has now demonstrated control of an Adept Viper 650, 6-axis industrial robot arm. This is the second robot vendor that has demonstrated a ROS-Industrial interface. This achievement demonstrates the ability of ROS-Industrial to leverage the functionality and capablities within ROS across different robot vendor hardware and configurations. Because ROS-Industrial aims to standardize the interfaces to industrial arms in general, high level application functionality will be able to be deployed across hardware platforms. Even today, the capabilities within ROS-Industrial, including path planning and dynamic pick and place, far exceed the capabilities of any commercially available robot software. ROS-Industrial enables new applications and broadens the industrial robot market.

Please see the ROS-Industrial site to find out more.

OMPL 0.10 released

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We are happy to announce a new release of OMPL, version 0.10. All OMPL users are recommended to update to the new version. It includes the following changes:

  • Windows support
  • Added a primer on sampling-based motion planning and OMPL.
  • Added an implementation of SyCLoP, a new multi-layered meta-planner that combines discrete search with a sampling-based motion planner. Implementations of Syclop with RRT and EST as the low-level planners are provided.
  • Added an implementation of EST for planning with controls.
  • New generic interface for parameter settings for almost anything that is user-configurable. This was done to simplify reading parameters from an input file (see next bullet).
  • New benchmark program that allows one to easily specify benchmark problems with simple configuration files.
  • New state spaces for Dubins vehicles and Reeds-Shepp vehicles. This allows one to use any geometric planner to compute feasible paths for such vehicles. See the demo program demo_GeometricCarPlanning.
  • Added state serialization, deserialization, state space signatures.
  • Added the notion of DirectedControlSampler.
  • Added path hybridization, a technique for combining several solutions to a motion planning query to form a better bath. We also introduced a utility class called ParallelPlan that runs several planner instances in parallel and (optionally) uses path hybridization.
  • Added a more advanced path shortcutting method.
  • Added support for FCL collision checking library. PQP is actually still faster, and is therefore still the default.
  • All versions of EST and SBL use the new PDF class to sample more efficiently from empirical probability distribution functions.
  • Added a wrapper for boost::numeric::odeint to support high-order numerical integration of ordinary differential equations.
  • Added support for multiple solution paths in a Goal datastructure.
  • Added StateSpace::getValueAddressAtLocation() to allow faster indexing in states using state space names.

Point your browser to http://ompl.kavrakilab.org/download.html to download the latest version.

Announcing neobotix robot drivers

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Dear ROS community,

I would like to announce our robot stacks:

In these stacks you can find hardware drivers for all the robots by neobotix. Additionally there are example configurations for the mobile robots mp-500 and mpo-500.

see also (videos):

Best regards
Timo Hackel

roscon19-20 May 2012 (immediately following ICRA)
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Important links:

Please join us this May for the inaugural edition of ROSCon!

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.

We received an overwhelming number of session proposals, which made for some tough decisions in the review process, and an acceptance rate of 27%. The program includes in-depth coverage of fundamentals, like tf and URDF, and introductions to higher-level concepts, like motion planning and multi-robot systems. We'll also hear about interesting applications of ROS, from teaching to field robotics. And we have two excellent keynotes, from Morgan Quigley of Stanford (and original author of ROS) and Julia M. Badger of NASA JSC.

We have some great sponsors to thank: Bosch, Motoman, Clearpath, Heartland, Willow Garage, CoroWare, Schunk, and Yujin. We're excited to have such strong industry support!

Registration is now open at roscon.ros.org.

If you have any questions, send email to info@roscon.ros.org.

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

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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