April 2013 Archives

ROS Industrial presents Basic Developer's Class

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Event Title: ROS-Industrial Basic Developer's Class June 4-6, 2013


Event Description: We are delighted to invite you to attend the ROS-Industrial Basic Developer's Training class, which will be held June 4-6, at Southwest Research Institute, in San Antonio, TX. The class will provide a hands-on introduction to ROS and ROS-Industrial, and it will culminate with hardware integration exercises with live industrial robots and peripherals. The class is FREE to Full/Associate Members of the ROS-Industrial Consortium. Others may attend for a fee. For your convenience, we are also offering for you to purchase the preconfigured small form factor ROS-I PC that you will use during the class. To learn more about the class, please browse to the website: http://rosindustrial.org/ric/events.htm

New BRIDE release 0.2.0

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From Alex Bubeck of Fraunhofer IPA via ros-users@

Hi ros-users and bride-users,

I would like to announce the new release of BRIDE for ROS.

In addition to multiple small fixes these are the new features of the 0.2.0 release:

* Graphical creation of System models: Components can now be added graphically to the system model. No xml hacking any more!

* Coordinator development: You can develop state machines in BRIDE now, so called Coordinator Components. They make use of the Capability Components in you system by triggering actionservers or serviceclients. The Coordinator models are code generated into SMACH components and appear as regular components in the system diagram.

* Action support in code generation: ActionServers are now auto-generated. Only the execution_callback has to be implemented in the user code in the corresponding user_code section.

* Standalone compiler: In the bride_compiler package there is a standalone compiler to use the code generation without Eclipse. Code generation can also be triggered by running "make regen" in the terminal for updating after changes in the model.

As the templates are in the separate bride_templates package, it is now easier to recommend changes in the templates and improve them in smaller iterations.

As usual the installation instructions are on the http://www.ros.org/wiki/bride/ wiki page and the updated tutorials are athttp://www.ros.org/wiki/bride/Tutorials/. The binary releases are currently in the build pipeline and should be available soon.

Feel free to give feedback directly, by mailing-list or post bugs and feature requests at https://github.com/ipa320/bride/issues.
Cross posted from osrfoundation.org

OSRF folks know that students love Open Source software, Robotics and flip flops. If you would like to expose to real-world software development during the summer, contribute to Gazebo, ROS or CloudSim projects, and be engaged with the Robotics community while get paid, check out the GSoC 2013 [1] and the OSRF dedicated site [2]. We have created an ideas page [3] with some potential projects. Feel free to ask questions and propose suggestions at gsoc2013@osrfoundation.org. The student application period starts on April  22. Be ready for a Robotics coding summer!.
From John Schulman at UC Berkley via ros-users@

Hi all,

I'm announcing the release of trajopt, a library for trajectory optimization. More specifically, trajopt is designed for planning collision-free paths for robot arms and mobile manipulators.

Trajopt is built on top of OpenRAVE. You can define your optimization problem in Python or C++ in JSON format and then call the optimizer.

Some highlights of trajopt:
- It's fast. It solves arm planning problems in simple environments in about 150ms (converging to a locally optimal solution)
- It reliably finds collision-free paths, especially with multiple initializations. FWIW it solves 100% (204/204) of problems in our benchmark collection
- It performs well on very high-dof problems, e.g. jointly optimizing over the arms and base of a mobile manipulator, or optimizing over all of the joints of a humanoid robot.
- A wide variety different costs and constraints are implemented. (Pose constraints, velocity constraints, static stability, and more.) You can write your own cost and constraint functions in python or C++.

The technical details are described in a paper, which is linked to on the front page of the documentation.

This code is at an early stage of development. I'd be grateful to hear about any problems, questions, or comments.

New Package: arl_ardrone_examples

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From Parker Conroy via ROS Users

Hi ros-users,

I'd like to add this package (https://github.com/parcon/arl_ardrone_examples) to the known software list. 

 This basic release is designed to help roboticists and hobbyist new to the AR drone quickly be able to command the robot. A variety of simple nodes are included to show users how to takeoff, land, reset, and fly the AR drone. Nodes for the purposes of helping users use the cameras will be included soon in a update. 

~Thank you
Parker Conroy
From Tingfan via ROS Users

Hi all,

Here's a prototype of matlab_bridge built on top of rosjava.
Thanks to automatic code generation in rosjava and native java support
in matlab.
I don't have to deal with dynamic linking problems as typical
mex-function approach would encounter.
The result is a  cross-platform ros_matlab_bridge.


The current implementation depends on an old version of rosjava (Jan 2012).
I was wondering if it worth the effort to rewrite the code to catch up
with the new rosjava APIs.
Comments welcome.

Thank you very much.

A New Robot Joins the ROS Community

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Over the past few years ROS has grown incredibly fast. ROS support now exists
for a wide range of robots, such as manipulators, UAV's, surface vessels, ground
vehicles, humanoids, and many more. With Clearpath Robotics' introduction of
Grizzly, a whole new category of robots is added to ROS: the Robotics Utility


Designed for the most aggressive of agriculture, mining and defense robotics
research programs, Grizzly is an ATV-sized robotic platform built to perform
like a tractor with the precision of an industrial robot. It can pull a plow, carry
a massive 600 kg payload, and mount a wide range of standard utility vehicle

Grizzly is a ROS-native robot, allowing users to pull from a huge resource of
information and code, as well as cooperate with a fast growing community of
experts. Using ROS also allows code to be ported from one robot to another,
enabling you to take your lab research into the field quickly and easily.

Grizzly is aptly named. This bot is equipped with an extremely powerful drivetrain
delivering a maximum drawbar pull of 6300 N (1400 lbf). It can survive the
toughest tests, providing modularity while maintaining the rugged and robust
design, which has become a Clearpath trademark. With 26" all-terrain tires and
an oscillating front axle, Grizzly can conquer large obstacles with all four wheels
securely on the ground. It also offers top of the line control system performance.
Independent high power DC motors with individual closed loop control give fine
control even in the toughest terrain, while high resolution encoders and an array
of internal sensors provide detailed feedback on the robot's state.

ROS welcomes Grizzly to the community!

If you're looking for more information, check out the Clearpath Robotics Grizzly

We're pleased to announce that the ROS project will soon be hosted by Oregon State University's Open Source Lab (OSL) (http://osuosl.org/). The OSL provides services to many open source communities. We are pleased to join the ranks of projects like Drupal and kernel.org. We'd like to thank Willow Garage for providing hosting and infrastructure for the entire ROS community for over 5 years.

We'd also like to thank Lance Albertson, Carlos Jensen, and Bill Smart for welcoming us to the OSL. We look forward to working with Oregon State and the OSL to provide ongoing hosting as well as exploring ways to improve ROS infrastructure for the greater community.

In the coming weeks, we'll migrate the wiki, ROS Answers, and the Ubuntu package repository from Willow Garage to the OSL. We'll announce more detailed plans as they come together and we'll do our best to minimize disruptions during the migration.

As you might imagine, hosting for these critical services, which are heavily used around the world and around the clock, costs money. We need your help! A big thank you to the ROS-Industrial Consortium, which has stepped up to support part of this cost. If your organization can financially support ROS project hosting, please contact us at info@osrfoundation.org.

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

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