December 2014 Archives

From Josh Langsfeld via ros-users@

Hello all,

I've been a heavy user of the new Julia programming language ( for my research since the summer and believe it would be a great fit for the ROS community. In a sentence, I've found it combines the expressiveness of Python with the natural mathematical syntax of Matlab with the speed and type safety of C++.

In support of this idea, I've written a Julia package that provides near-native interfacing with ROS in the same vein as rospy or roscpp. This includes automatic generation of Julia types for messages and Julia scripts can be invoked through rosrun or roslaunch in the same manner as Python.

The package itself and more details are here:
For those interested in learning some more technical details about Julia I highly recommend browsing the manual at:

Please feel free to send me any questions and I'm looking forward to working with anyone who might find this a good option to explore.

Engility: Junior Software Engineer Position

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from Moe Ali via ros-news@
  • Use and modify existing Robot Operating System (ROS) software such as Gazebo and various simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithms such as HectorSLAM and rgbdSLAM in software simulations and on hardware such as turtlebots and quadrotos
  • Integration of hardware such as rgbd cameras and laser scanners in a ROS/Linux environment and on Odriod or similar single board computers
  • Ability to work on a team with other engineers to develop autonomous systems
  • Able to communicate ideas clearly and efficiently
  • Perform test and analysis to verify and validate system performance
  • Perform simulation configuration management and control and produce simulation documentation
  • Good programming skills in C++
  • Experience with ROS
  • Familiarity with Linux
  • BA/BS in Computer Science or Computer Engineering
  • Ability to obtain and maintain an active security clearance
  • MA/MS in Computer Science or Computer Engineering

ROS Answers Crosses 20,000 Questions

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Thanks to all our community members asking and answering questions on we have passed 20,000. 

The 20,000th question was asked by @mutzechai on Dec 23rd well less than a year after our 10,000th question was asked in March. 

The average rate of questions has been 37 questions per day. And we have a 70% answered rate. 

Thanks again to everyone contributing to the site. if you've asked a question and not marked it answered. Please consider revising it with more details or to add clarity. 

And likewise consider trying to answer one question each time you're on the site. 

Art using ROS

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Two recent art installations have leveraged ROS. 

In Portland Shelley Jordan and Kurt Rohde created

(Lost) in the Woods

For more information see this review

In Paris, Diller Scofidio + Renfro created 

Musings on a Glass Box

For more information see the announcement from the Cartier Foundation

Below is their online video

Support OSRF!

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Cross posted from

When we started the ROS project back in 2007, our goal was to build an open robotics software platform for students, engineers, entrepreneurs, and anyone else to freely use and modify. In 2012, we took the next step by founding OSRF as an independent non-profit organization to pursue that mission, with responsibility for both ROS and Gazebo. Today, we see these tools used worldwide to teach concepts, solve problems, and build products in ways that we couldn't have imagined at the beginning.

We couldn't be happier with the size and breadth of the collaborative community that we've built together, and we're grateful to everyone in the community for the roles that you've played.

You won't be surprised to hear that it costs money to run OSRF. We employ a small team of amazing individuals, we operate an office in the Bay Area, and we run a suite of online services on which the community depends.

Since our founding, OSRF has enjoyed generous financial support from government agencies and private industry, for which we're very grateful. We hope and anticipate that that support will continue in the future. But now, as we approach the end of OSRF's third year, we're trying something new: asking you, our users, for support.

If you rely on ROS and/or Gazebo in your lab, your startup company, your weekend projects, or elsewhere, please consider donating to OSRF. Your donation will support our people and infrastructure so that we can spend (even) more time developing and maintaining the software and services on which you depend.

As one example, if everyone who visits the ROS wiki between now and the end of the year donates just $2, we'll have our costs covered for next year to manage, update, and host all of our online services, including the wiki. Donations in any amount are welcome. Give more, and we can do more.

Donate to OSRF today.

Thank you for your support.

Contributions to the Open Source Robotics Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, will be used at its discretion for its charitable purposes. Such donations are tax-deductible in the U.S. to the extent permitted by law.

Springer Book on ROS: Call for Chapters

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From Anis Koubaa of Springer Publishing via ros-users@


With respect to our last interaction about editing a complete reference book on ROS, I am happy to inform that the official call for chapters for the Springer Book on Robot Operating Systems is now open. 

The book will be published by Springer under the book series "Studies in Systems, Decision and Control". 

We look forward to receiving your contributions to make this book successful and useful for ROS community. The call for chapters website (see above) presents in details the scope of the book, the different categories of chapters, topics of interest, and submission procedure. 
In a nutshell, abstracts must be submitted by January 05, 2015 to register the chapters and to identify in advance any possible similarities of chapter contents. Full chapters submission is due on March 01, 2015.
Submissions and the review process will be handle through EasyChair

Each chapter will be reviewed by at least three expert reviewers, one at least should be a ROS user and/or developer. 
We look for the collaboration of ROS community users to provide reviews and feedback about proposals and chapters to be submitted for the book. If you are interested to participate in the review process, please consider filling in the following reviewer interest form

We look forward to receiving your contribution for a successful ROS reference!

Just to emphasise that submission of full chapters is on March 01 and that abstract are on January 05
If some authors would like to submit more than one chapter and would like to have an extension, please let me know in advance.

ARDrone autonomous indoor navigation by 3D slam

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From Jim Lin

Hello, everyone

I just want to demonstrate our lab's recent result (also my bachelor thesis). 
It combined several ROS packages, for example, "ardrone_autonomy", "tum_ardrone", "MoveIt" and "tum-vision/lsd_slam" to make ARDrone 2.0 automatically explore unknown area and avoid obstacle by using OctoMap created from lsd_slam.

We used some matrix operation to re-scale the lsd_slam to real world scale. 
The purpose of the project is to emphasize the whole motion can be achieved by low-cost vehicle with monocular camera.

The experiment video is as follows.

Robox and IT+Robotics are excited to announce the first fully ROS-compliant Robox motion controller, the uRmc2, and the cROS library.

The uRmc2 is one of the Robox's push product, and it has been designed to best exploiting the distributed electronics such as drivers and remote I/O. This motion controller can be employed in many motion control application, from the simplest ones (one or two controlled axes), to the most sophisticated ones (dozens of controlled axes) and even in presence of a high number of axes it can ensure a data exchange rate of 500Hz (2ms).

In collaboration with Robox, IT+Robotics realized cROS, a lightweight, single thread, full ANSI C ROS client library, that enables C programmers to quickly interface with ROS Topics, Services, and Parameters.
cROS has been developed with robustness and efficiency in mind, ant it has been designed to address any embedded system that is provided with a basic C compiler and, being single thread, it is well suited also for systems that comes without any operative system. IT+Robotics plans to make available an open source version of the cROS library in Q1 2015.

The Robox controller enhanced with the cROS library system offers the following features:

  • Topic subscriber and publisher capabilities
  • Services provider capabilities
  • Implement the whole Master, Slave and Parameters Server ROS APIs (missing only some minor functions)
  • Management and development of the logging features exposed by the ROS tools
  • Management almost any type of ROS messages, included a complete support to the ROS industrial messages

The last feature means that the system can communicate with any other ROS nodes without the message packages installed.
The messages are generated at runtime: only the *.msg and/or *.srv files are required.

The enhanced Robox controller has been used for the first time in an industrial project where a team of robot manipulators were managing metal parts to be weld.

Here the contacts:

- uRmc2 ROS compliant motion controllers:
- cROS library:

Edmonton Users Group

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From Craig Sherstan via ros-users@

I'd like to announce a new ROS Users Group in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Our focus is on teaching and exchanging knowledge. We're open to academics, industry and hobbyists. If you're in the area sign up for our mailing list on

Our first meetup is Jan. 15, 2015 at 6:30 PM at Startup Edmonton (

New SIG: Perception

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From Vincent Rabaud via ros-users@

Hi all,

as discussed with some of you at ROSCon, there is an interest for a vision SIG.

There are also quite a few packages dealing with audio (speech to text, text to speech, source separation ...) and there is definitely interest for touch, heat, emotion recognition ...

That's why we've renamed the old SIG for perception pipelines (that never got any post at!forum/ros-sig-perpip) to!forum/ros-sig-perception.

It is now a SIG where people can discuss about anything a robot can sense and its interpretation. Enjoy !

From Pouyan Ziafati via ros-users@

Dear All,

I am happy to announce  the release of the retalis package for ROS. The Retalis language  supports a high-level and an efficient implementation of a large variety of robotic sensory data processing and management functionalists. 

Please see the description, tutorial and performance evaluation at

Best regards,
from Ryan Gariepy via ros-users@

Clearpath Robotics Inc. specializes in the design and manufacture of
unmanned vehicle solutions for everyone from small local businesses to
some of the best known companies on the planet. We began by offering
platforms and services to support robotics R&D, and have now expanded
beyond the world of R&D into commercial and industrial unmanned

We employ a multidisciplinary group of highly talented people who live
and breathe robotics.  We believe that work must have a high "cool"
factor and every day should bring new knowledge. We need more people
on our team who are willing and able to bring the state of the art to
practical applications. Clearpath, our partner companies, and our
clients are making tremendous advances in automating the world, and we
want you to be a part of it!

All positions are located in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. 1-5
years relevant work experience and a related graduate degree are
recommended, but exceptions can be made. Due to the volume of
applicants we receive, providing reference letters and portfolio work
with your application is *highly* recommended.

Individual job details, requirements, and application instructions can
be found at the following links:

Perception/SLAM (
Controls/Planning (
Multi-Robot Systems (

Updated package: razor_imu_9dof

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From Kristof Robot via ros-users: 

I am happy to announce Hydro and Indigo versions of razor_imu_9dof, a
package that provides a ROS driver for the Sparkfun Razor IMU 9DOF
It allows assembling a low cost Attitude and Heading Reference System
(AHRS) which publishes ROS Imu messages for consumption by packages
like robot_pose_ekf.

Major updates (see Changelog [1] for details):
- catkinized
- upgraded to be fully compatible the ROS navigation stack (and in
particular robot_pose_ekf)
- major upgrade of the wiki documentation (

Video demonstrating the use of razor_imu_9dof with robot_pose_ekf to
improve odometry -  .

For more information, and detailed instructions, see

I'd like to thank Tang Tiong Yew for the good work on the previous
Fuerte and Groovy versions, and Peter Bartz for the excellent
Last but not least, a big thanks to Paul Bouchier, who triggered this
upgrade, and was a major contributor overall.


Kristof Robot


Scientist position at Honda Research Institute

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From Alper Ayvaci via ros-users@

Scientist (Job Number: P13F01) 

HRI in Mountain View, California, has an opening for a Scientist conducting research in the area of computer vision based sensor fusion for mapping, localization, and related problems. Algorithms will be implemented online to process input from cameras and other sensors including IMU's, GPS, and sensor data transmitted over automotive CAN bus. The successful applicant will be a part of a research team developing and implementing a real-time robotic perception platform supporting research on advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving. 

His/her responsibilities include: 
* Research on sensor fusion for localization and mapping 
* Develop software implementing proposed algorithms 
* Employ sensor fusion techniques with multi-modal data 
* Setup and run module regression tests using large collections of sensor data 
* Benchmarking results against ground truth data 

* PhD degree in Computer Science, EE or related field 
* Strong experience in an area such as SLAM, filtering, sensor fusion 
* Broad knowledge of computer vision, robotics and machine learning 
* Experience with online sensor processing of cameras, lidar, GPS, CAN bus 
* Excellent programming skills in C++ and Linux 

* GPGPU programming, runtime optimization 
* Experience programming in robotics application frameworks such as ROS (Robot Operating System) 
* Working knowledge of popular libraries such as OpenCV, PCL and Eigen 
* Experience working with GIS data and coordinate systems 

To apply, please send a cover letter and your resume to 

with the subject line clearly indicating the job number you are applying for. 
Name your attachments as "" 

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

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