April 2012 Archives

New Repository rosruby

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Announced by Takashi Ogura on ROS-users mailing list

Hi ros-users.

I'm ROS hobby user in Japan.

I start rosruby project (which means ruby ROS client), and now you can try it.

Here is document for install and try some pub/sub, service samples.

https://github.com/OTL/rosruby/wiki/rosruby (I'm testing electirc, ruby 1.8.7 and ubuntu 11.10)

rosruby is not tested fully yet, but it works with simple applications.

I want your precious feedbacks!

Because trunk is not stable, I released current version as v0.1.0. you can also download it from here.


I am not heavy ruby user. Honestly, rosruby is my first ruby application....

Thank you.

New Repository pkganeshpk

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Posted on ROS-users mailing list


My name is Ganesh P Kumar, and I'm a student at Autonomous System Technologies Research & Integration Laboratory (ASTRIL), at Arizona State University, USA.

This to announce the phspline_trajectory_planner ROS stack, developed by my advisor, Dr. Srikanth Saripalli and myself. This stack extends the navigation_experimental stack to make goal_passer follow a path generated by a certain spline called PH Spline.

Documentation: http://robotics.asu.edu/2012/04/phspline-trajectory-planner/

Repository (hg) : https://bitbucket.org/pkganeshpk/phspline_planner

Could the ROS indexers please take note and let me know?

Regards, Ganesh P Kumar

ROS Fuerte!

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ROSFuerte_poster1.jpgROS Fuerte is now officially available!

With each ROS distribution, we've focused on making great robotics libraries work together easily, and with this release we've made many changes under the hood to make it simpler and cleaner for you to integrate your software into the ROS ecosystem.

ROS Fuerte includes major new releases of Gazebo 1.0 and PCL 1.5, and the core ROS libraries have been rewritten to be standalone: you can now easily use ROS messages in non-ROS frameworks. These standalone messages are made possible by a brand new, CMake-based build system and release toolchain that also greatly improve cross-platform and cross-compilation support. Cross-platform support has also been improved by an RViz port to Qt.

ROS aims to make robotics code more reusable, and this release is a strong new foundation for the next generation of great robotics libraries.

Install ROS Fuerte

Please see the ROS Fuerte page for more information on what's new in Fuerte, how to migrate from Electric, and how to download the release.

Thanks to Synapticon and I Heart Engineering for becoming ROSCon 2012 Silver Sponsors! You'll be able to meet representatives from both companies during the event.


I Heart Engineering

Thanks again to our Founding/Platinum sponsors: Clearpath Robotics, Heartland Robotics, Willow Garage, Bosch, and Yaskawa. Thanks also to our Gold Sponsors, Yujin Robot and CoroWare.

ROS Fuerte Release Candidate 3

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fuerte2.pngROS Fuerte Release Candidate 3 is now available. This update contains bug fixes to rospack and roscore.

Ubuntu users: If you have a previous install of ROS Fuerte Beta, please use "sudo apt-get update; sudo-apt-get upgrade" to make sure that all packages are properly updated.

Non-Ubuntu users: Installation instructions for the experimental platforms like OS X and Arch are still in progress, so we encourage users of those platforms to help test and contribute.

romeo stack annoucement

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romeo_hardware_main1.pngAnnouncement by Thomas Moulard to ros-users

Hello everyone,

I am pleased to announce the release of the romeo stack for ROS. This stack is a joint work with François Keith.

Romeo is a 143-cm humanoid robot designed by Aldebaran Robotics.

Its full description is available here:


The romeo stack contains the URDF model of this robot and its associated meshes.

This robot is AFAIK the first humanoid robot whose full description is freely available in ROS (i.e. kinematic chain, dynamic information and meshes). We would like to thank Aldebaran Robotics for authorizing us to publish these data.

The package is still not yet complete (we are missing the hands, the eyes and the sensors position for instance) but we will be updating it as soon as possible. We wlll also provide SRDF and contact zones information (see rcpdf stack).


Thomas Moulard

ROS Fuerte Release Candidate 2

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fuerte2.pngROS Fuerte Release Candidate 2 is now available. This in a minor update that includes new versions of RViz and Gazebo.

Ubuntu users: If you have a previous install of ROS Fuerte Beta, please use "sudo apt-get update; sudo-apt-get upgrade" to make sure that all packages are properly updated.

Non-Ubuntu users: Installation instructions for the experimental platforms like OS X and Arch are still in progress, so we encourage users of those platforms to help test and contribute.

Q.bo now available for order

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Q.bo, the open source hardware/software mobile robot from Thecorpora, is now available for order as as Basic or Complete kits (ranging from €499.00-€2,299.00). A basic Q.bo features HD webcams and can be upgraded with ultrasonic and Xtion Pro sensors.

Congrats to Thecorpora on the Q.bo launch!

Q.bo website

Open Source Robotics Foundation

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Open Source Robotics Foundation

Willow Garage has announced the Open Source Robotics Foundation, which will sponsor the development of ROS and Gazebo and aims to generally "support the development, distribution, and adoption of open source software for use in robotics research, education, and product development."

From the announcement:

The mission of the OSR Foundation is "to support the development, distribution, and adoption of open source software for use in robotics research, education, and product development." You will find this mission on the new OSR Foundation Web site, but not much else. In the coming weeks, we will be expanding on our goals, our short- and long-term plans, and the individuals and organizations that will be leading the OSR Foundation. For now, contact OSRF for more information or to get involved.

The first initiative of the OSRF will be participation in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, announced recently. The DARPA Robotics Challenge, or DRC, will launch in October 2012 and offers a $2 million prize "to whomever can help push the state-of-the-art in robotics beyond today's capabilities in support of the DoD's disaster recovery mission." The full announcement of the initiative specifically mentions the Fukushima nuclear accident as a recent example of a potential robotic application although other recent disasters such Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill at Deepwater Horizon also quickly come to mind.

DARPA today sponsored a Proposer's Day Workshop where more information about the Robotics Challenge is available via Webcast. During the Webcast, Nate Koenig from Willow Garage gave a brief talk on the current and future state of the open source Gazebo robot simulator, which will be extended by the OSR Foundation to support the DARPA Robot Challenge.

The DARPA Robotics Challenge supports the National Robotics Initiative announced by the Obama Administration in June 2011.

Announcement by Filip Muellers to ros-users

Hi all,

I have implemented nice new features for the rxDeveloper 1.3b and need some feedback. I would like to improve this new features.

New features:

  • automatic generation of source code from specifications - the specfile-editor allows you to create python and c++ templates. for c++ files the CMakeLists.txt can be modified automatically, too.
  • rosdep install and rosmake can be executed graphically for a selected package (component creation tab)
  • specfiles can be created by fetching information from running ROS processes (component creation tab)

The rxDeveloper runs on Diamondback, Electric and Fuerte beta.

For more information, sources and tutorials please visit rxdeveloper-ros-pkg/.

Filip Muellers

ROS Fuerte Release Candidate 1

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fuerte2.pngROS Fuerte Release Candidate 1 is now available. Thanks to all who have filed bug reports and provided patches to fix issues during the ROS Fuerte Beta process. Barring any last-minute issues, this release candidate will be the official ROS Fuerte release, so we encourage all users to try this release out.

Ubuntu users: If you have a previous install of ROS Fuerte Beta, please use "sudo apt-get update; sudo-apt-get upgrade" to make sure that all packages are properly updated.

Non-Ubuntu users: Installation instructions for the experimental platforms like OS X and Arch are still in progress, so we encourage users of those platforms to help test and contribute.

An Oddwerx Visit

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crosspost from WillowGarage.com

The folks from Oddwerx came to Willow Garage for a visit recently.  For those who aren't already familiar with Oddwerx, it is a very cool initiative to turn an iPhone or Android phone into an autonomous robot.    In the first video you can see how Ted Larson, Bob Allen and Brandon Blodget from Oddwerx took a PS3 Game Controller and plumbed it together to send its ROS messages to an Oddwerx Robot running its own ROS node for controlling the motors and legs.  They took advantage of the existing ROS packages which support interacting with the PS3 joystick, which is in use on many robots including the PR2.   

Fashion was front and center in this second video when the Oddwerx robot "grew" purple hair.  In addition to responding to PS3 ROS messages, the robot was programmed to send audio/video to enable teleoperation.  Since ROS employs publish/subscribe, multiple subscribers can just listen into the live video feed.

Oddwerx is now a Kickstarter project.   If you share their vision to turn smartphones into mobile robotic ROS platforms, then support this effort on Kickstarter.

ROS Fuerte Beta 2 Released

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ROS Fuerte Beta 2 is now available. Many thanks to all who have contributed bug reports. A special thanks to following individuals, who have improved Fuerte compatibility on non-Ubuntu platforms:

  • Arch (+ GCC 4.7): Traveler Hauptman
  • OS X: William Woodall
  • Fedora: Steven Bellens

Installation instructions for ROS Fuerte Beta 2

Ubuntu Fuerte Beta 1 Users: in order to update to Beta 2, please run:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

(or uninstall Beta 1 first)

It looks like the TurtleBots at ClearPath Robotics are having some springtime fun. I wonder if there are any TurtleBot easter eggs you can find.

New Repository usc-clmc-ros-pkg

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From Mrinal Kalakrishnan of USC to ros-users

Hello ros-users,

We've had this repository around for a while, but it wasn't indexed because I never made an announcement here. So, here it is:


These packages are from Stefan Schaal's CLMC lab at the University of Southern California. It currently includes stacks/packages for the following:

  • Dynamic Movement Primitives
  • STOMP motion planning
  • PI^2: path integral reinforcement learning
  • Xenomai-compatible version of rosrt
  • Generic inverse kinematics with constraints
  • Various other random utility packages

Many of these packages also exist in the Willow repositories, but the ones here are usually newer. Disclaimer: we tend to run a little behind on upgrading packages to newer ROS releases. Please email the package maintainer if you have trouble getting something to work.

This bitbucket repository is a read-only hg mirror of the actual git repository where we develop code https://github.com/usc-clmc/usc-clmc-ros-pkg. The mirror exists so that we can continue to use git and still be able to have all our stacks in a single repository. Please let me know if there's a better way to deal with this.

Thanks, Mrinal

ROS Fuerte Beta 1 now available

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ROS Fuerte Beta 1 is now available. ROS Fuerte provides a new build system foundation for ROS, with low-level ROS libraries, including ROS messages, now much more accessible to non-ROS frameworks. Installation instructions for both apt-based (Ubuntu) and source installation are available on the ROS wiki. We appreciate your assistance in improving installation instructions for non-Ubuntu platforms.

A migration guide is available that covers ROS Fuerte changes, including migration from deprecated features that were removed in this release. ROS Fuerte features major changes to the build system that are mostly backwards compatible, but will eventually require more significant migration in future releases like ROS Groovy Galapagos. Tools like rosdep and roslaunch have more significant changes.

Please report any issues on the relevant bug trackers, which are usually linked from the bottom of wiki pages for a particular library/stack/package/tool.

More technical descriptions of the changes in ROS Fuerte Beta 1 are available here:

Link: ROS Fuerte Beta 1 Installation

New Repository hacdc-ros-pkg

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Announcement from Andrew Straw of HacDC on the ros-users mailing list

I wanted to announce a ros repository maintained by HacDC:


It contains packages useful for doing the assignments and such from the HacDC robotics course material located here: http://wiki.hacdc.org/index.php/RoboticsClass2011. It's been a while since I last announced a repository, so I'm not sure what info is required in an announcement these days. If the repository crew needs more info than the link above, just let me know.

My personal favorite package from this repository is floating_faces -- a set of cubes suitable for use in gazebo that are texture mapped with faces of students from the robotics class. These cubes are useful for experimenting with the opencv face tracking while using gazebo.

best regards, -andrew

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

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