March 2016 Archives

Job Openings at a Carnegie Mellon spin-off

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From John Tommasi

A Carnegie Mellon spin-off building robots that will live and work amongst people. The robots will be deployed this year.  They are a small company focused on solving big problems with robots in a fast-paced, creative environment. There are 10 people in the company, eight are engineers and four hold PhDs.

2 locations:  Pittsburgh, PA or South Bay Area, CA


Highly skilled Software Engineer with hands-on experience in robotics systems.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Develop software infrastructure and tools for mobile robots

Lead software quality assurance, testing and validation

Develop, refine and optimize algorithms for autonomous robots


Minimum 2-6 yrs. experience in software development

Excellent C/C++ and python programing skills

Experience with ROS (very deep experience !)

Experience with development in Linux and Windows environments

Experience with distributed version control software (git, mercurial, etc.)

Strong problem solving skills and fast learner. Strong analytical skills

·         Multithreading experience

Availability for travel overseas

Nice to Have

Experience with Agile development

Experience with database design

Experience with embedded operating systems and development

Strong UI/UX experience


If you are interested please contact John Tommasi:


The first step in doing something new, useful, and exciting with ROS is -- without exception -- learning how to use ROS. Ralph Seulin is part of CNRS in France, which, along with universities in Spain and Scotland, collaboratively offer a masters course in robotics and computer vision that includes a focus on ROS. Over four semesters, between 30 and 40 students go through the program. In this talk, Seulin discusses how ROS is taught to these students, as well as what kinds of research they leverage that knowledge into.

Before Seulin's group could effectively teach ROS to students, they had to learn ROS for themselves. This was a little bit more difficult way back in 2013 than it is now, but they took advantage of the ROS Wiki , read all the books on ROS they could get ahold of, and of course made sure to attend ROSCon. From there, Seulin developed a series of tutorials for his students, starting with simulations and ending up with practical programming in ROS on the TurtleBot 2. Ultimately, students spend 250 hours on a custom robotics project that integrates motion control, navigation and localization, and computer vision tasks.

Seulin also makes use of ROS in application development. One of those applications is in precision vineyard agriculture because, as Seulin explains, "we come from Burgundy." Using lasers mounted on a tractor to collect and classify 3D data, a prototype robot tractor can be used to analyze vineyard canopies and estimate leaf density. With this information, vineyards can dynamically adjust the application of agricultural chemicals, using just the right amount and only where necessary. Better for plants, better for humans, thanks to ROS.

ROSCon 2015 Hamburg: Day 1 - Ralph Seulin: ROS for education and applied research: practical experiences from OSRF on Vimeo.

Next up: Dirk Thomas, William Woodall (OSRF) & Esteve Fernandez Check out last week's post: Daniel Di Marco of Bosch

ROS-Industrial Training Class April 6-8

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From Christina Gomez

Southwest Research Institute is hosting a ROS-Industrial Training Class April 6 - 8, 2016 in San Antonio Texas. Wednesday at 8 am, we begin with a functional check of the VM's, and end with a dinner in downtown San Antonio. A more detailed agenda can be found at the ROS-I website.

The classroom portion is similar to the training held last year with the same curriculum and lab option for Descartes. Please bring a laptop to the class with the ROS-I training Virtual Machine pre-installed. This class is geared toward individuals with a programming background who seek to learn to compose their own ROS nodes. Day 1 will focus on basic/introductory ROS concepts. Day 2 will examine motion planning using MoveIt! as well as the Descartes planner and Perception concepts. Day 3 offers a lab programming exercise (with a choice of): 

  • Simple Perception Lab
  • Simple MoveIt! Application
  • Simple Descartes Application.
  • Pick and Place Application

Registration is now open:

Book your hotel by March 22 to receive the discounted room rate! Details can be found at the ROS-I website.

Thank you for your interest in ROS-Industrial.


Daniel Di Marco is part of Deepfield Robotics, a 20 person agricultural robotics startup within Bosch. Deepfield makes robots that can, among other things, visually locate and then brutally destroy weeds by pounding them into the dirt. In order to deliver software to their customers, Deepfield decided to create its own build farm, and Di Marco's ROSCon presentation explains why managing a build farm internally is a good idea for a startup.

A build farm is a system that can automatically create Debian packages for you, while running integrated unit tests and generating documentation. OSRF already supports all of ROS with its own build farm, so why would anyone want to set up a build farm for themselves instead? Simple, says Di Marco: it's something you should do if you actually want to make money with your robots.

If ROS is a part of your thriving robotics business, running a build farm allows you to do several important things. First, since you're hosting your code on your own servers, you can maintain control over it, protecting your intellectual property and any proprietary components that you may be using. Second, you can use your build farm to distribute your packages directly to your customers, who are (presumably) paying you, and not to just anybody who swings by and wants to snag them. And lastly, you can decide what versions of different packages you want to keep using, rather than being subjected to upgrades that may not work as well.

Di Marco concludes by discussing why Docker is an easy and reliable foundation for a build farm, and how to get it set up. Most of the process has been scripted, thanks to some hard work at OSRF, and Di Marco walks us through an initial deployment to help you get your own build farm up and running.

ROSCon 2015 Hamburg: Day 1 - Daniel Di Marco: Docker-based ROS Build Farm from OSRF on Vimeo.

Next up: Ralph Seulin, Raphael Duverne, and Olivier Morel (CNRS - Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comte) Check out last week's post: Ruffin White of Georgia Tech

Localization expert wanted at Synapticon

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From Nikolai Ensslen via ros-users@

at Synapticon we're urgently looking for an expert in localization and navigation with good experience in ROS and with LIDARs and/or comparable sensors. Gazebo and control theory skills are a plus. 

Your job would be a responsible software development role in a project for autonomous control of vessels in docking situations.

Fixed-term and freelance contract is possible. Location could be whether Stuttgart, Germany or Redwood City, California. For periods, the project requires to travel to San Diego or Miami.


Synapticon is building the most comprehensive platform to create powerful control systems and complementary services. Our technology delivers best-in-class performance, ultimate flexibility and unparalleled accessibility. We dramatically reduce the time required to develop R&D prototypes of advanced systems and turn them into optimized custom designs for our client's series products. Leading innovators in research and industry are working with Synapticon to create some of the most progressive products in robotics, industrial appliances and electromobility.

Synapticon provides you with an environment that believes that everything is possible. Who is strongly moving things forward, at Synapticon will generally receive strong support rather than obstacles. We're living an honest and appreciating community of friends working together, in which authority comes from capability, not from hierarchy. Our common dream is enabling the future and actively help building it.

Sounds interesting? Please send us your CV and anything else that explains your background and motivation

Jose Luis Blanco via ros-users@

The Mobile Robot Programming Toolkit (MRPT) project has been accepted
[1] in GSoC 2016!

Since some of the proposed projects deal with wrapping existing
algorithms as ROS packages, I wondered whether some OSRF members, or
other interested parties, would be interested in participating as
mentors or, at least, backup mentors.
We still do not know how many slots will be assigned to the
organization, but I would feel more comfortable with more mentoring
volunteers, just in case :-)

Please, feel free to distribute this among interested students as well.

For more info see the GSoC ideas page in [2]. Projects #2, #3, #4 & #5
are the ones focused on ROS.



OSRF accepted for Google Summer of Code 2016

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Do you want to spend the summer coding on Gazebo or ROS? OSRF has been accepted for GSoC and we are looking for talented students who want to participate as remote interns. 

Accepted students will participate in real-world software development, contributing to robotics projects and engaging with the global robotics community, all while getting paid.

Check out our GSoC site and don't forget to visit our ideas page, which lists projects that we're interested in. Feel free to ask questions and propose suggestions at The student application period starts March 14th.

Get ready for a robotics coding summer!

ROS-Industrial Google Summer of Code

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From Shaun Edwards via ros-users@

I'm happy to announce ROS-Industrial will be participating in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) ( ) under the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) umbrella.


GSoC is a great way for students to participate in open source projects and get paid.  It's also a great way for an open source project to get some work done and grow their communities.  ROS-Industrial has had several successful GSoC projects in the past and many of the students continue on as members of our community.


If you are an interested student, or know of one, please check out our idea page: ( ) .  Students have until 3/25 to submit proposals against these ideas to GSoC.  More details on the timeline can be found here: .  I would encourage students who want to propose to reach out ( )with any questions or ideas they might have about suggested projects.  For GSoC rules, check out: 

From Peter Soetens via ros-users@

Since our previous email to this list, 6 roboticists got hired, we need more !

Intermodalics creates software for robots. We're based in Belgium, Europe.

We're a young team of engineers that could convince many companies and organisations world-wide of making industry-grade reliable robotic systems out of open-source software. We create software for autonomous drones, 2D/3D perception and autonomous navigation and manipulation.

Do you want to work in a team of Ubuntu/ROS/PCL programmers and get your hands on the most advanced robotic hardware and software world-wide ?

Then please have a look on our jobs page: and apply at Intermodalics !

At Intermodalics, we believe that you should enjoy what you do. For us, work is about having fun, being challenged, and finding balance. We define our success based on both the quality of the work we deliver, and the quality of the lives we lead. 

When you work at Intermodalics, you will help solve problems on the edge of what is possible. You will have time to take space from difficult problems, to mull things over in the shower, and to think deeply about your work. We focus on making the right decisions and on the quality of our products.

Intermodalics is creating software for robots world-wide, get in touch with us to learn more!

ROS on Lego Mindstorms EV3

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From Christian Holl via ros-users@

If you are interested in running ROS on the Lego EV3 Brick,
then you might want to checkout my EV3 Yocto Image (alpha) and the node I created for it.

Getting Started is here:

Sources for the node you can find here:

And the Yocto Layer I created  for it is there:

The node uses ROS Control to initialize and control the joints and read sensors.
You should be able to use the standard ROS Control controllers for velocity and position for the joints.

Also I already provided a controller for every EV3 Sensor. The basic idea is that
the ev3_manager node runs on the EV3 while ROS Master and everything else
runs on your PC and you load controllers with launch files on your PC.
That's because the EV3 has a tiny RAM so even running ROS Master, seems to be too much for it,
and also you do not have to compile software for it.

If you have problems, suggestions or comments visit my Github Repo or write me directly.

I hope you have fun with it and it is useful for you.

btw: The ROS packages are done by the meta-ros layer so currently the ROS version on the brick is indigo

ROS Spotlight: Stanley Innovation

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At Stanley Innovation we are engineers who build robots for fun and are eager to solve difficult hardware, software, and electrical problems for mobile robotics solutions.  We love creating turn-key robots for commercial and university researchers and our primary goal is to have you spend more time working on your killer app, and less time tinkering with hardware.


Stanley Innovation is a robotics engineering company headquartered just north of Boston, MA, USA--an area renowned for robotics innovation.  Our company was founded by former Segway engineers who were part of the development team for the embedded software and hardware for the new Segway® RMP (Robotic Mobility Platform).  We specialize in solution development for robotics and embedded systems with all the necessary equipment in-house. We have a very close and very unique relationship with Segway that allows us to continue the development of RMP and provide end customers with customized solutions using RMP technology.

RMP platforms are the most robust mobility platforms on the market because they leverage the years of experience and millions of dollars that were poured into the Segway Personal Transport; RMPs include the same safety architecture and the same reliability.

Stanley Innovation is a Segway Technology Integrator and Reseller. We are also the creator and exclusive provider of the RMP V3 systems which enables the full ROS Stack integration across all of the RMP platforms.

ROS has become the preferred operating system for robotics research and development. If you want to use these two amazing components together, then you will need Stanley Innovation as your sole source provider for V3 RMPs.


Please feel free to visit our Stanley Innovation Resources page where Spec Sheets, User Manuals, URDF and CAD model files can all be downloaded from the Stanley Innovation website. 

Stanley Innovation has also created and maintains ROS libraries and information about the V3 RMP lineup in the ROS Wiki.

Click here to see a brief video of our ROS Robotic products in action

Click here to see an example of a ROS enabled autonomous, 3D mapping RMP, integrated by Stanley Innovation

Contact Stanley Innovation by email or phone:

If you'd like us to spotlight your project here, send us a note at info AT osrfoundation DOT org. Previous spotlights

New books for learning Robot Operating System

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I am Lentin Joseph, Entrepreneur | Author of two books in R.O.S. I like to share my books links and promo video of both of the book

YouTube Promo Video : 

YouTube Promo Video : 

Originally posted on

Morgan Quigley is first author of the authoritative 2009 workshop paper on the Robot Operating System. He's been Chief Architect at OSRF since 2012, and in 2013, MIT Tech Review awarded Quigley a prestigious TR35 award. In addition to software development, Quigley knows a thing or two about hardware: he helped Sandia National Labs design high-efficiency bipeds for DARPA, and he also gave Sandia a hand with the development of their sensor-rich, high-DOF robotic hand.

Quigley's ROSCon talk is focused on small (but not tiny) microcontrollers: 32-bit MCUs running at a few hundred megahertz or so, with USB and Ethernet connections. While these types of processors can't power smartphones or run Linux, they are found in many popular embedded systems, such as the Pixhawk PX4 autopilot. Microcontrollers like these would be much easier to integrate if they all operated under a standardized communication protocol, but there are enough inconvenient hoops that have to be jumped through to run ROS on them that it's usually not worth the hassle.

ROS 2, which doesn't rely on a master node and has native UDP message passing, promises to work much better than ROS on distributed embedded systems. To make ROS 2 fit on a small microcontroller, Quigley demonstrates a few applications of FreeRTPS, a portable, embedded-friendly implementation of the network protocol underlying ROS 2.

After showing the impressive results of some torture tests on a Discovery board, Quigley talks about what's coming next, including a focus on even smaller microcontrollers (like Arduino boards that communicate over USB rather than Ethernet). Eventually, Quigley suggests that ROS 2 will be small and light enough to run on the microcontrollers inside sensors and actuators themselves, simplifying real-time control.

ROSCon 2015 Hamburg: Day 1 - Morgan Quigley: ROS 2 on "small" embedded systems from OSRF on Vimeo.

Next up: Ruffin White of Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech Check out last week's post: Roman Bapst of ETH Zurich and PX4

ROS driver for PMD CamBoard pico flexx

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From Thiemo via ros-users@

I created a ROS driver for the PMD CamBoard pico flexx (a very small ToF sensor) and I would like to share it with you.

The ROS driver publishes point clouds, depth, ir and noise images through ROS topics, supports dynamic reconfigure, nodelets with zero copy transfers and comes with a fully configurable launch file and a detailed readme.

The sources can be found on our GitHub:

Information on the device itself can be found here:

Some device features:
- size: 68 x 17 x 7.25 mm (WxHxD)
- measurement range: 0.1 - 4 m
- FPS: 5 to 45
- resolution: 224 x 171

ROS Live Worldwide Virtual Meetup Report

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From David Lu! via ros-users@

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week's ROS Live meeting on
Robot Description Formats.

You can listen to the audio and see notes here:
It has also been released as a podcast for those of you who are so inclined.

To continue the discussion about the future of Robot Description
Formats, OSRF has set up a Discourse page.

You can vote on topics for the next meeting on this page:

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