January 2016 Archives

ROS Seattle User Group Meetup

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From Lucas Walter via ros-users@

I'd like to set up a meetup to occur in February for ROS users in the Seattle area pending working out scheduling with attendees.  Likely it would be on a week night for two or three hours at a restaurant or bar or a room with a screen if we can set that up.  Periodic meetings to follow if there is sufficient interest.  

There is a LinkedIn ROS Seattle group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8457866.  If you are interested but don't use LinkedIn feel free to email me directly, and if LinkedIn proves unsuitable meetup.com or another invite system can be used.  Once the spam problem abates I'll make an entry on http://wiki.ros.org/Events, and get an announcement onto the ros.org blog with a time and date.

Currently there is a modest contingent of members from the University of Washington, and a handful who use it in industry or for personal projects.  It would be great to start out with informal discussion of projects and at later meetups have short length presentations from scheduled speakers.

ROSCon Program Video - Brian Gerkey

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Cross posted from the OSRF Blog

ROSCon is an annual conference focused on ROS, the Robot Operating System. Every year, hundreds of ROS developers of all skill levels and backgrounds, from industry to academia, come together to teach, learn, and show off their latest projects. ROSCon 2015 was held in Hamburg, Germany. Beginning today and each week thereafter, we'll be highlighting one of the talks presented at ROSCon 2015.

Brian Gerkey (OSRF): Opening Remarks

Brian Gerkey is the CEO of the Open Source Robotics Foundation, which oversees core ROS development and helps to coordinate the efforts of the ROS community. Brian helped found OSRF in 2012, after directing open source development at Willow Garage.

Unless you'd like to re-live the ROSCon Logistics Experience, you can skip to 5:10 in Brian's opening remarks, where he provides an overview of ROSCon attendees and ROS user metrics that shows how diverse the ROS community has become. Brian touches on what's happened with ROS over the last year, along with the future of ROS and OSRF, and what we have to look forward to in 2016. Brian also touches on DARPA's Robotics Fast Track program, which has a submission deadline of January 31, 2016.

ROSCon 2015 Hamburg: Day 1 - Opening Remarks from OSRF on Vimeo.

Next up, Mark Shuttleworth from Canonical.
From Enrique Fernández Perdomo via ros-users@

Dear ROS and robotics community,

I simply want draw your attention to the 2nd edition of the 'Learning ROS for Robotics Programming' book that I finished last year, together with some colleagues.

You can find the book here:

And all the book (source code) tutorials here:

You can also read about the book contents on this post:

Feel free to file any PR or issue on the repository, if something doesn't work.
We'll try to solve them asap, either for ROS hydro, indigo or jade.

IMHO, the tutorials are easy to follow on their own, but if you have any problem, there's the book... or just ask us (create an issue on the repo).

I also want to say thanks to all the people who has ever contributed to the ROS wiki and ROS answers, helping many of us to learn ROS and use it efficiently. With this book and code we just want to put our two cents back.

I hope you enjoy it and learn something!
From Mirko Bordignon via ros-users@

individuals and teams from industry and academia are invited to submit an application for the upcoming euRobotics Technology Transfer Award, which will be a part of the "European Robotics Forum" to be held in Ljubljana 21-23 March 2016(http://www.erf2016.eu/).


Detailed information on the application procedure is available at http://www.erf2016.eu/index.php/techtransfer-award/

In case of questions you can contact Martin Hägele at martin.haegele@ipa.fraunhofer.de

Announcing roslaunch graph generator

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From Brett Ponsler via ros-users@

I thought it would be useful to be able to generate a graph of the tree of files and nodes used by a particular launch file. After not being able to find anything capable of doing this, I wrote a quick python script to do just that and thought I would share it with everyone.

It's fairly simple to use, but feel free to message me if you have any questions, issues, or suggestions for improvements.

Job posting for Intelligrated

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From Matt Lamping

I am a corporate HR recruiter with Intelligrated, we have posted robotics engineering positions with your newsgroup in the past.  I'd like to post the following position that is open in our St Louis, MO facility:


There is quite a lot of interesting development activity with robotics in the warehousing and logistics field.  Intelligrated is a premier leader in this space and is looking for Software Engineers with Robotics/expertise to support our expanding robotics research and development group.   If you are interested in pursuing an exciting career that combines computer vision, robotics, software engineering, and automation, then this R&D is the opportunity for you!


Intelligrated offers a rewarding career path, comfortable work environment, competitive compensation, and excellent benefits.


You will collaborate with the members of the robotics development team on the integration of motion, vision and perception based robotics solutions. This position is located in St. Louis, Mo and is an excellent opportunity for a motivated and creative software engineer to be a part of multiple exciting robotic based development projects that include integration of robotic motion, vision and simulation to be used in material handling systems.



- Develop real time motion planning algorithms and vision based perception systems for use in robotic software solutions for material handling systems

- Develop new functionalities as well as maintain the current code

- Follow rigorous design control methodology and write concise requirements specifications, architecture specifications, and design description, verification plans, and test cases.

- Developing software applications to work with the simulations to emulate actual production rates to prove system functionality

- Work concurrently with robotic design engineers, controls engineers and other software engineers as designs are being developed and finalized Performs unit testing of software and assists in the verification and validation process.

- Manages schedules, meet and adhere to development goals.

- Provides planning and status information to project manager.


2-3 years of experience in software development in a real-time operating system environment in C/C++ preferred. Will consider entry level candidates based on educational background Practical and/or theoretical knowledge of any of the control of multi degree of freedom robots, Kinematic and Dynamics of robotic manipulators, trajectory generation and path planning, or real-time operating systems.


Must have a strong working knowledge of programming and design relating to computer vision algorithms and machine learning.

Experience with ROS, QNX, Ubuntu, Multi-threaded and multi-process programming desired Experience with TCP/IP networking desired Experience developing test procedures and testing modules desired Excellent communication and documentation skills.

Experience industrial robotics or material handling (logistics) industry a plus.


Master's or PhD level in electrical engineering, computer science, or related field.


EEO Employer F/M/Disabled/Vets

Intelligrated (www.intelligrated.com<http://www.intelligrated.com) is a leading North American-based, single-source provider of intelligent automated material handling solutions that drive distribution and fulfillment productivity for retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers around the world. Through a broad portfolio of automation equipment, software, service and support, Intelligrated solutions optimize processes, increase efficiency and give businesses a competitive edge.  Intelligrated designs, manufactures, integrates and installs complete material handling automation solutions including conveyor systems, sortation systems, palletizers, robotics and order picking technologies - all managed by advanced machine controls and software. Solutions include industry-leading Intelligrated-manufactured Alvey(r), RTS(tm) and IntelliSort(r) brand equipment and Knighted(r) warehouse management (WMS), warehouse control (WCS) and labor management software.

Every project is backed by Intelligrated's 24X7 multilingual technical support and access to lifecycle service through a network of national, regional and local service centers. From concept to integration to lifecycle support, Intelligrated automation delivers distribution and fulfillment success.

ROS Web Control Center

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From Lars Berscheid

The ROS Control Center is a universal tool for controlling ROS robots. It runs in the browser using a websocket connection androslibjs from RobotWebToolsIn general, the ROS Control Center offers an easy way to
  • show nodes, topics and service names,
  • subscribe and publish messages,
  • call services,
  • show and change parameters.
Furthermore, it contains features like custom formatting for your own message and service types, a console output and a battery status view. A camera stream view based on the Web Video Server is implemented, many standard message and service types (from common_msgs or std_srvs) work out of the box. It can save multiple robot configurations and has a built-in mode to hide unimportant topics and services. And even better, you can check it out online!

Find more infos at https://github.com/gaug-cns/ros-control-center. Feedback and contributions are really welcome!
From Manos Tsardoulias

Dear all,

We are happy to announce the first open-source versions of RAPP Platform and RAPP API, oriented to provide an online platform for delivering ready-to-use generic cloud services to robots!

RAPP is a 3-year research project (2013-2016) funded by the European Commission through its FP7 programme, which provides an open source software platform to support the creation and delivery of robotic applications. Its technical objectives include the development of an infrastructure for developers of robotic applications, so they can easily build and include machine learning and personalization techniques to their applications, the creation of a repository from which robots can download Robotic Applications (RApps) and upload useful monitoring information, as well as developing a methodology for knowledge representation and reasoning in robotics and automation. More information on RAPP can be found at http://rapp-project.eu/.

One of the most important parts of RAPP is the RAPP Platform, along with the RAPP API. RAPP Platform is a collection of ROS nodes and back-end processes that aim to provide generic web services to robots. The main concept of RAPP Platform aligns with the cloud robotics approach. RAPP Platform is divided in two main parts: the RAPP ROS nodes and the RAPP Web services.

  • The RAPP ROS nodes are back-end processes providing generic functionality, such as Image processing, Audio processing, Speech synthesis & Automatic speech recognition (ASR), Ontology & Database operations, as well as Machine Learning algorithms.

  • The RAPP Web services are the front-end of the RAPP Platform. These expose specific RAPP Platform functionalities to the world, thus any robot can invoke specific algorithms, simplifying the work of developers. The developed web services utilize HOP, a language dedicated to programming reactive and dynamic applications on the web.

Finally, RAPP API is the software means to invoke a RAPP Platform service via C++, Python or JavaScript from any computational system (either in-robots or standalone such as PCs and laptops).

Links of interest:

From Dave Coleman via ros-users@

I'm happy to announce the release a bunch of packages I've worked on and found useful over the years. They have been used in mine and other's research at the University of Colorado Boulder, as well as in the Amazon Picking Challenge and other external projects for companies. They all have decent documentation in their README.md file, example launch files, utilize Travis CI, and have been released in Indigo and Jade. As always, please help in making them even better!

Rviz Visual Tools
Ever wanted to make visualizing data in Rviz easier? rviz_visual_tools provides a ton of helper functions for visualizing different types of shapes and data in Rviz in an efficient way.

MoveIt! Visual Tools
Want to visualize multiple RobotStates while also showing different trajectories, trajectory lines, and grasp positions? moveit_visual_tools contains all the functionality of rviz_visual_tools while also providing visualization of many of the MoveIt! data types. It also makes it easy to add collision objects to your planning scene.

OMPL Visual Tools
Add to the functionality of Rviz and MoveIt! visual tools with even more specialized features for OMPL data types and for introspecting your sampling-based geometric OMPL planners. ompl_visual_tools is specially good for working in 2D or 3D spaces.

ROS Control Boilerplate
Want to get started with ros_control for your next robot/robot upgrade? ros_control_boilerplate contains lots of working example code for the RRBot (as seen in Gazebo) as well as many helper utilities such as loading joint limits from rosparam and URDF, recording trajectories to file, playing back from file, etc.

MoveIt! Sim Controller
moveit_sim_controller is a pass-through non-physics based simulator for quickly testing your ros_control robot offline. It also allows you to load your robot's initial state from a SRDF (semantic robot description format) state instead of the default 0's state.

TF Keyboard Cal
Don't want to worry about more specialized calibration techniques for moving your /tf transforms to different locations? tf_keyboard_cal lets you use your computer keyboard to tweak the 6 dof transform of a frame quickly and intuitively, and even load/save the settings from file.

ROS Param Shortcuts
The package rosparam_shortcuts provides lots of helper functions for all sorts of datatypes to be easily loaded from parameter server with good user feedback if the parameter is missing. This package enforces the philosphy that there should be no default parameters - everything must be defined by the user in yaml files (or launch files or where ever) otherwise your program should not run.

Two New Message Types
For those interested, I've created cartesian_msgs for commanding a robot's Cartesian end effector position (instead of by joint values), and I've also released graph_msgs for sending graphs of nodes and edges across ROS topics.

I hope these are helpful to your robotics projects!

UpDroid announces the UP1

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From Kartik Tiwari

UpDroid's UP1 is a programmable ROS robot that consists of a modular hardware and a software IDE that can be accessed over Wi-Fi. The software IDE is called UpCom and is served by the robot over the network. The programming environment consists of tabs with the option to choose from editor and console (default tabs) or user defined application specific tabs. Mentioned below are the hardware specs for the robot:

- 1.4GHz Dual core intel atom
- ATmega2560 micro-controller for low level motor control
- 5DOF arm
- 4 wheeled drive
- 4 IR sensors for low level obstacle avoidance
- Dual cameras for stereoscopic imaging (optional replacement with Intel's real sense)
- Audio IN/OUT

The robot ships with low level API calls that can be used to develop sophisticated behaviors. APIs include wrappers for move-it group, point cloud data, color detection etc.

For more information visit our website and see the robot in action below.

New book: "Mastering ROS for Robotics Programming"

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From Lentin Joseph

Here is a new book for mastering your skills in Robot Operating System(R.O.). The book title is "Mastering R.O.S for Robotics Programming" and this is one of the advance book on R.O.S currently available in the market. 

This book discussing advanced concepts in robotics and how to implement it using R.O.S. It starts with deep overview of the R.O.S framework, which can give you a clear idea of how R.O.S really works. During the course of the book, you will learn how to build models of complex robots, and simulate and interface the robot using the R.O.S MoveIt! and R.O.S navigation stack.

After discussing, robot manipulation and navigation in robots, you will get to grip with the interfacing of I/O boards, sensors, and actuators to R.O.S. 

One of the essential ingredients of robots are vision sensors, and an entire chapter is dedicated to the vision sensors and its interfacing in R.O.S.

You can also see the hardware interfacing and simulation of complex robots in R.O.S and R.O.S Industrial. 

Finally, you will get to know the best practices to follow while programming in R.O.S.

There are 12 chapters and 481 pages on this book. The main contents of the book are given below
  1. Introduction to R.O.S and its package management
  2. Working with 3D robot modeling in R.O.S
  3. Simulating  robots using R.O.S and Gazebo
  4. Using the R.O.S MoveIt! And Navigation stack
  5. Working with Pluginlib, Nodelets and Gazebo plugins
  6. Writing R.O.S controllers and visualization plugin
  7. Interfacing I/O boards, sensors and actuators to R.O.S
  8. Programming Vision sensors using R.O.S, Open-CV and P.C.L
  9. Building  and interfacing differential drive mobile robot hardware in R.O.S
  10. Exploring the advanced capabilities of R.O.S MoveIt!
  11. R.O.S for Industrial Robots
  12. Troubleshooting and best practices in R.O.S
This book is written by Lentin Joseph who is the CEO/Founder of a Robotic startup called Qbotics Labs from India. He is also an author of a book called "Learning Robotics using Python" which is also about R.O.S. 

The book uses R.O.S Indigo and installed on latest Ubuntu L.T.S 14.04.03. The codes are also compatible with R.O.S Jade. 

The book is designed in such a way that even beginners can take up all topics. If you are a robotics enthusiast or researcher who wants to learn more about building robot applications using R.O.S, this book is for you. In order to learn from this book, you should have a basic knowledge in R.O.S, GNU/Linux, and C++ programming concepts. The book will also be good for professionals who want to explore more features of R.O.S.

The book is published by PACKT and here are the links to buy the book

You will get complete information about the book from book website

Invitation to the first Danish ROS Meetup

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From Karl Damkjær Hansen via ros-users@

The first Danish ROS Meetup:

Thursday February 18th 2016
Aalborg University
Section for Automation and Control
Fredrik Bajers Vej 7, C3-203
9220 Aalborg

At ROSCon 2015, a handful of Danish ROS experts met and decided that it was about time that we had a proper Danish ROS Meetup. These experts came from both industry and academia, and both the southern and the northern part of the country.
We want to invite all Danish ROS users to this meetup. Whether you are a user, aficionado or expert, we want you to come. We will share our experiences with ROS and present our different projects that use ROS and hopefully kick-start a useful Danish ROS network.

Participation is free, just send an email to kdh@es.aau.dk to let us know that you are coming.

Please consider presenting your work with ROS. This may be anything from a presentation of a project using ROS to a tutorial on a package that you maintain. Please send an email with your topic to kdh@es.aau.dk

10:30-12:00 Morning session
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-13:30 Tour of the Automation and Control laboratories
13:30-15:30 Afternoon session

We hope to see you in Aalborg in February.
Robotic regards,
Karl Damkjær Hansen

New package: joystick_sdl

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From Mike Purvis via ros-users@

A small Christmas present to share, especially for non-Ubuntu ROS users:

For myself as a Mac user, it's long been a thorn in my side that I'm unable to plug in a joystick to drive around real and simulated robots-- when rviz, Gazebo, rqt, and everything else in ROS runs under OS X, why do I have to start a VM just to do a little teleoperation?

Please give it a try and let me know your thoughts,

ROS Support for Blue WorkForce Ragnar Robot

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ROS-Industrial software developers at Southwest Research Institute have collaborated with the product development team at Blue WorkForce to create a ROS package for their Ragnar robot. The Ragnar is a 4-legged delta style robot designed to be affordable and reconfigurable for a variety of work volumes and tasks. Special thanks to:

  • ROS-I Team: Jonathan Meyer, Alex Goins, and Jeremy Zoss
  • Blue WorkForce Team: Michael Frederiksen and Preben Hjørnet

The source code can be found at: https://github.com/Blueworkforce/ROSRagnarEDU

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

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

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