June 2015 Archives

Learning ROS for drones, episodes 2 and 3

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From Victor Mayoral Vilches via ros-users@

As announced a few days, we published episodes 2 and 3 of our Learning ROS series. Over these two new episodes we explain how create a ROS package that allows a drone to autonomously takeoff, do stuff (or idle as it's our case) and land (source code). Watch out the last part of the video (minute 8:58) where we show a life demo of the code developed during the session.

We've got good feedback so far with several comments pointing out the quality of the audio. We'll try fixing this in future videos we record. Feel free to through ideas on what kind of stuff you'd like to see explained that could be helpful for your research/classes.

ROS Answers Cleanup Week

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From David Lu!! via ros-users@

I am unofficially declaring this week ROS Answers Cleanup Week!

I encourage everyone to do the following between now and the end of June:
1) Log into answers.ros.org
2) Click your screenname at the top of the screen to view your profile.
3) Examine the list of questions you've asked to find questions that
don't have an accepted answer or are still open.
4a) Close the questions that are outdated.
4b) Accept an answer if a decent answer exists.
4c) As a last resort and you're still desperate for answers, update
the question with relevant information that might help your question
get answered.
5) Profit! (and/or the satisfaction of making this central tool to our
community a little cleaner)

And if you don't have any unanswered questions please take a few minutes to answer a few for others. 

Learning ROS for drones

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From Victor Mayoral Vilches via ros-users@

At Erle Robotics we've been pushing Linux-based robotic brains for making robots and drones for the last year. Our technology is being used in many Universities and research centers around the world and with the feedback obtained from our users and community, we've decided to put together a series about Learning ROS oriented to autonomous vehicles that use APM

Or watch below: 

We wish to make this material as useful as possible to as many as we can reach. Feedback is welcome either here or directly to victor [at] erlerobot.com.

ROSCon 2015 Registration Open

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Hi Everyone,

We're happy to announce that registration is open for ROSCon 2015.  You can register here. Early registration discounts are available until September 1st.

Full details on ROSCon are below. Along with registration, the Call for Proposals is still open, and if you are interested in being a sponsor please see our prospectus.

Your ROSCon 2015 Organizing Commitee

ROSCon 2015 is a chance for ROS developers of all levels, beginner to expert, to spend an extraordinary two days learning from and networking with the ROS community. Get tips and tricks from experts and meet and share ideas with fellow developers from around the globe.

ROSCon is a developers conference, in the model of PyCon and BoostCon. Following the success of the inaugural ROSCon in St. Paul, Minnesota, the second version in Stuttgart, Germany, last years event in Chicago, Illinois, this year's ROSCon will be held in Hamburg, Germany. Similar to previous years, the two-day program will comprise technical talks and tutorials that will introduce you to new tools and libraries, as well as teach you more about the ones you already know. The bulk of the program will be 30-40 minute presentations (some may be longer or shorter). To submit a proposal please read the Call for Proposals.

If you don't want to make a formal presentation, you should still bring your new project or idea to ROSCon! There will be sessions of Lightning Talks, which are 5-minute mini-talks that are scheduled just-in-time at the conference. There will also be open space for Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) meetings, impromptu hacking sessions, and informal presentations.

If you are looking for information on past ROSCons see their separate websites including past programs, slides and videos of the presentations are available from their programs: ROSCon 2012 Program, ROSCon 2013 Program, and ROSCon 2014 Program.

As more information becomes available this years program will be filled out here.

Gazebo survey

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Last year we sent out a survey asking what the community would like to see from simulation. http://gazebosim.org/blog/survey_2014

We didn't get to everything on the list, but we did keep busy. A few highlights from the past year are:

1. Improved documentation and tutorials
2. Easier installation: Gazebo will be in Ubuntu Vivid
3. Windows support: Still working on an installer
4. Aerodynamics and subsurface water simulation

We'd like to get your feedback again. The following is another survey with 13 short questions. 


Thanks your time and support,

Interested in developing software for autonomous cars?  So are we!  And we'd love to have your help.


Here in Silicon Valley we are working on advanced research for autonomous vehicles.  We have collaborations with local labs and startups, connections to other global Renault-Nissan research groups (CA, France, Japan), and most importantly our own autonomous test vehicle.  This summer we're looking to host 1-2 interns, specifically to learn about autonomous vehicles and contribute to our autonomous software development.


Who: Renault Innovation Silicon Valley (RI-SV)

Where: 1215 Bordeaux Drive; Sunnyvale, CA 94089

What: internship developing software for autonomous driving

When: late June - mid September (dates flexible)


We are looking for students who have:

-          Background in CS, robotics, ME, or some combination thereof

-          Familiarity with vehicles and/or robotics problems

-          Interest in autonomous vehicles

-          Experience with Linux, C++, and ROS


If you are interested, want more information, and/or think driving around the only autonomous Renault in the US is a cool way to spend the summer, please contact Shad Laws at shad.laws@renault.com

2nd ROS Meetup in Korea!

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We held the 2nd ROS Korea users seminar & meetup event in Seoul, Korea on 23-24 of May 2015, hosted by OROCA (www.oroca.org), one of the largest Korean robotics community.


The seminar covered overview for introduction of ROS, rospy, SLAM, navigation, rocon, moveit, DIY mobile robot and drone.

See the links below for the presentation slides, example codes and pictures of this meetup.

Presentation slides

Example codes


For the past year, OROCA community has been effort to expand open robotics software in Korea. We want to continue this activity with ROS. We are tentatively planning to hold 3rd ROS meetup in Korea on November. 

We'd like to give special thanks to OSRF, ROS development teams, many ROS users and our sponsors KIRIA, Yujin Robot, Gaitech and ROBOTIS.

Software Engineering Positions at Zoox

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From Taylor Arnicar via ros-users@

Zoox is a rapidly-growing, well-funded startup in Menlo Park building an autonomous vehicle for the future. We're looking for top software engineers and robotics experts to join us on our epic adventure.

A bit about us

Our team has its roots in a decade of research from the Stanford Autonomous Driving Team, which won the $1,000,000 prize in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. Our engineers are writing ground-breaking software in an industry that's experiencing explosive growth. We're pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the field of autonomous driving every day. In addition to a great work environment, competitive pay, generous stock options, on-site gym, and free meals, we offer full health, vision, and dental insurance benefits.

Your role

At Zoox, you'll collaborate with a team of world-class engineers with diverse backgrounds in areas such as AI, robotics, mechatronics, planning, machine learning, controls, localization, computer vision, rendering, simulation, distributed computing, design and automated testing. You'll master new technologies while working with us on code, algorithms, and research in your area of expertise to create and refine key systems and move Zoox forward. Working at a startup gives you the chance to manifest your creativity and make a big difference in the final product.

This will be a challenging but extremely rewarding job. If you want to solve hard problems and make incredible software with us, please put in an application for one of our open positions at https://zoox.recruiterbox.com/.


  • Bachelors degree in engineering, math, or a related field
  • Solid understanding of ROS
  • Fluency in C / C++
  • Extensive experience with programming and algorithm design
  • Strong mathematics skills

Bonus points

  • Masters / PhD in computer science or related degree
  • Publications in your field
  • Experience with path planning
  • Experience with deep learning
  • Experience with computer vision
  • Experience with GPU programming
  • Experience with autonomous robots
  • Experience with SLAM
  • Experience handling large data sets
  • Experience with OpenGL or QT
From Lentin Joseph


A new book for learning ROS and Robotics. The book Learning Robotics using Python takes a different approach for learning ROS. Most of books are based only about ROS but not mentioning about how we can build a robot and apply ROS on it. This book teaches ROS with the help of Python programming language by building an interactive autonomous mobile robot. 

The book was written by Lentin Joseph who is the CEO/Founder of a Robotic Startup called Qbotics Labs from India. The company is researching on autonomous navigation in mobile robots for an year ago and build a robot prototype having autonomous capability and having extra features like Artificial Intelligence, Speech Recognition and Synthesis, Vision Capabilities. 

The company is planning to release this robot named as Chefbot which is mainly used to serve food in hotel/restaurants. Because of the software used is mostly from open source community, company planning to release robot as open hardware and grow a community for improving the existing robot. Qbotics Labs also serves clients for helping their machines to work as autonomous.

The book uses stable version of ROS ,i.e ROS Indigo and installed on latest Ubuntu L.T.S 14.04.02. The code is also compatible with ROS Jade. The book start with a very basic introduction about Robotics and jumping to the mechanical design of robot using open source tools. After building the successfull 2D and 3D model of the robot, we can see an introduction to ROS and  simulation of Chefbot using ROS and Gazebo. The Chefbot simulation is adapted from Turtlebot simulator. 

After successfull simulation in Gazebo, we can see the hardware designing of robot , i.e the electronics components needed to build the robot and its selection. After selecting proper components, we can see the sensor and actuator interfacing with embedded boards and interfacing embedded boards to ROS using Python. 

The Chefbot have sensors like Kinect, ultrasonics sound sensor, Motor encoders etc. We can see the detail interfacing of each sensor with ROS. The Kinect is interface to ROS and we can see how to work with  depth to pointcloud package 

In addition to that, we can see speech recognition and synthesis in robot using ROS and Python and Implementing some kind of Artificial Intelligence using ROS and Python.

After all interfacing , we can see the final integration both in hardware and software and build the complete robot.

The robot need a controller GUI, so a GUI is building using PyQt and can see debugging using ROS rqt.

After building GUI, we can see the calibration and testing of robot before the deployment of robot.

Also i am happy to say that i could launch the book as part of ICRA 2015 !!!!

The book is available  in PACKT website also Amazon.com  
Lorenzo Riano via ros-users@

The Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, California, is looking for an exceptional candidate to join the personal robotics team. The candidate will mainly focus on navigation, control and motion planning for robotics. To apply please visit the website https://your.bosch-career.com/en/web/us/us/applying_us/jobsearch_9/-/cui/job/ZRB_UNREG_SEARCH/EN/5543AFAF21C817D0E10080000A032126

Perform research, develop, implement and evaluate algorithms for navigation in indoor environments
The developed algorithms must be adaptable to a variety of platforms, sensors and environments
The candidate will work in an inter-disciplinary team on an exciting project with a potentially large impact worldwide

PhD in Robotics, Computer Science or related field
Excellent knowledge and proven expertise in developing navigation solution for mobile robots
Working knowledge of optimal control methods and optimization methods
Excellent C++ programming expertise is required as well as proven expertise in working with large code bases
Excellent knowledge of ROS is required
Working experience with at least one mobile robotic platform is required, more than one is a plus
Python and Java knowledge is a plus
Proven system integration and software architecture skills
Knowledge of Linux, and development on Linux systems preferred
The ability to develop, understand and implement complex algorithms efficiently and correctly
Experience with modern software engineering tools & Experience working independently in a large software setting
Excellent communication skills and demonstrated ability to multitask and deliver on challenging software development tasks

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

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