February 2017 Archives

Actin-ROS Interface

From Neil Tardella

Actin is a powerful commercial control and simulation framework used in several industrial and government robotic systems. Energid, the developer of Actin, is now providing a ROS Kinetic stack and a ROS plugin base class for Actin that supports Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Actin now also includes URDF reader support in Linux builds.

The open source ActinROS code is available on Github at the following link:


The repository includes plugins and example applications for using Actin with ROS. A lightweight version of Actin ships with Robai Cyton robots.

TUT-RIM: Collaborative Intelligent Heavy Machinery and Robotics

From Eero Heinänen

The TUTRIM project was motivated by the possibilities to increase productivity and safety at worksites by using autonomous mobile robots. With cooperation between four departments of Tampere University of Technology (Intelligent Hydraulics and Automation, Automation Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Systems, Signal Processing) we implemented an unsupervised, autonomous multi-robot worksite in the domain of civil engineering.

The main task was to get the independent, autonomous and heterogeneous robots to cooperate to achieve a common goal in a partially known environment. For this purpose ROS was a reasonable choice as it enables different communication types to be used and it acts as an abstraction layer in the message exchange between dissimilar robots. Also, we used ROS Industrial to integrate one industrial robot to the system. Other components of the worksite are a wheel loader, a micro aerial vehicle and a kinect-based localization system at the industrial robot station.

For more information please see: http://vision.cs.tut.fi/projects/tutrim/index.html

ROS binary logger package

From Enrico Villagrossi

We would like to announce the release of the new ROS binary logger package. The package is designed to be an alternative to rosbag when:

  1. multiple and long messages acquisitions are required (the binary files have smaller dimensions)
  2. only the offline data analysis is required and no replay of the experiment is necessary in ROS (e.g. data analysis with MATLAB)

The usage of binary files allows to reduce the dimensions of the log files and allows to speed up the post processing of such files (e.g MATLAB spend ~0.1s to unpack 300MB of binary file). The package allows to record some common ROS message such as: sensormsgs/Imu, sensormsgs/JointState, geometry_msgs/WrenchStamped, etc... New message types can be easily added and the users are encouraged to contribute. Two MATLAB scripts are also provided to unpack the binary file.

You can find the code here: https://github.com/CNR-ITIA-IRAS/binary_logger More information and a short description can be found in the repository.

Contacts: Manuel Beschi manuel.beschi@itia.cnr.it - Enrico Villagrossi enrico.villagrossi@itia.cnr.it

From André Araújo

We are pleased to announce the 2nd edition the international summer course RobotCraft 2017: Robotics Craftsmanship International Academy, from 3rd of July until 3rd September, in Coimbra, Portugal. Besides providing a general overview of the science and art behind robotics and teaching the basis, the course have a strong component of ROS, starting from the integration of the developed mobile robot during the course, to the high level AI routines implementation in ROS.

In the 1st version, RobotCraft 2016,

we hosted 65 students coming from all over the world, from different nationalities, with distinct formation fields and degrees, from BSc to PhD students.

The robotics international school is organized by Ingeniarius, Ltd in association with Faculty of Sciences and Technology of University of Coimbra, and the Robotics Group from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department,

The course will promote:

  • Concepts and theorems for the introduction to robotics, describing the history of robotics and its evolution;

  • Understand the potential use of ROS framework;

  • Integration of the developed mobile robot in ROS;

  • Development of multi-robots and AI algorithms in ROS;

  • Acquire C/C++ programming skills;

  • Acquire basic 3D modelling and printing concepts, applied in the design of robotic platforms;

  • Acquire basic electromechanical concepts, applied in the development of robotic platforms;

  • Understand the potential use of Atmel microcontrollers, using the Arduino platform;

  • Understand the use of sensors (e.g., range finders, encoders, cameras) and actuators (e.g., servo motors, stepper motors, DC motors) used in robotics;

  • Explore and apply the concepts of networks and different communications architectures to robotics;

  • Explore and apply concepts of artificial intelligence in robotics;

  • Consolidate concepts learned during the modules for the full design of a mobile robotic platform, including 3D design, electromechanical assembly, low-level and high-level programming, and artificial intelligence.

For more info please check, http://robotcraft.ingeniarius.pt/ .

See you soon in Coimbra!

Announcing ROSCon 2017: September 21st and 22nd in Vancouver

We're happy to announce that ROSCon 2017 will be held September 21-22, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, Canada. IROS 2017 will be held at the same venue September 24-28, so plan to attend both of these great events!

More details will be forthcoming. In the mean time you can get more information about ROSCon by reviewing past ROSCon events 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, or 2012. Where you can find the past presentations listed and most include both slides and video recordings.

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

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