February 20, 2017
The humanoid robot TALOS has been officially presented at LAAS-CNRS (Toulouse, France)

This Thursday TALOS robot made the first steps towards the future! The high-performance humanoid robot developed by PAL Robotics has been officially presented at the LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse (France). A first demonstration of capabilities such as walking, grasping advanced control took place at the leading French research institution.

This is the first platform of the TALOS robot series from PAL Robotics, and is named PYRENE. It will be used by the LAAS-CNRS’ Gepetto team to perform research about navigation, anthropomorphic movements and interaction with the environment. The mission is to put TALOS in a new concept of factory, in which can take part in tasks that are physically demanding or performed in hostile conditions for humans.

The following developments that Gepetto team will make with PYRENE consist on making the robot walk in accidented surfaces, lift heavy weights and improve its interactions to be safe and efficient. PAL Robotics designed TALOS to become the next generation of humanoid robots by integrating advanced electronics and sensors on the inside.

TALOS is fully torque control, which is enabled by torque sensors in all its joints and, in the end, makes the robot suitable for safe Human-Robot Interactions. This is also enhanced with EtherCAT communications, a system that makes its data network faster (its control loop running at least at 1KHz) and facilitates fast reactions to any external force.

TALOs Robot

The PAL Robotics’ humanoid robot can also walk dynamically at a maximum speed of 3Km/h. Its 7-DoF arms have a 6Kg payload each with the arm stretched, being able to nimbly use heavy industrial tools. TALOS’ software is 100% ROS capable, like all the other robots of the PAL Robotics’ family.

The post The humanoid robot TALOS has been officially presented at LAAS-CNRS (Toulouse, France) appeared first on PAL Robotics Blog.

by cvivas on February 20, 2017 03:03 PM

February 15, 2017
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

by Tully Foote on February 15, 2017 01:54 AM

February 08, 2017
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

by Tully Foote on February 08, 2017 06:14 PM

February 07, 2017
2nd Edition of International Robotics Summer School: RobotCraft 2017

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!

by Tully Foote on February 07, 2017 12:44 AM

February 02, 2017
ROS Testing, Continuous Integration, and Deployment RIC Web Meeting

From time to time the ROS-Industrial Consortia hold focused meetings based on member interests and requests.  We recently held such a meeting on 1/31/17 to discuss testing, continuous integration, and deployment.  The meeting brought experts from the ROS community to present on tools and best practices for developing and deploying production systems that are built on ROS.  Specific presentations included:

  • Tully Foote  (OSRF) - Continuous integration and Test on the ROS Build Farm
  • Isaac Saito (TORK) - ROS-Industrial CI
  • Phillip Reed (SwRI) - Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Deployment
  • Jeremy Adams (Intelligrated) - Lightning Talk - Using Mocks and Fakes in ROS
  • Florian Weißhardt  (Fraunhofer IPA) - Lightning Talk - Automated Test Framework – Testing Applications in ROS

The purpose of the meeting was to inform ROS users about existing options and encourage further discussions within the ROS community on topics related to testing, CI, and deployment. These discussions will continue on ROS Discourse.


by Paul Hvass on February 02, 2017 11:53 PM

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.

by Tully Foote on February 02, 2017 11:41 PM

February 01, 2017
Factory-in-a-day Newsletter #5

Submitted by: Wibke Borngesser, M.A., Technische Universität München

Click on the image above to read the full newsletter.

Click on the image above to read the full newsletter.

by Paul Hvass on February 01, 2017 03:49 AM

Tango ROS Streamer

From Ruben Smits via ROS Discourse

Dear ROS community,

For developers who want to write robotic applications on the Android platform, or who want to extend their robot with new sensors for indoor positioning and 3D perception, Intermodalics created the ROS Streamer App for Tango.

This Android app for Tango compatible devices provides real-time 3D pose estimates using Tango's visual-inertial odometry (VIO) algorithms, camera images and point clouds into the ROS ecosystem. The app and code are freely available for download in the Play Store and Github. More information can be found on the ROS wiki page. The application has been developed in close cooperation with Ekumen and Google.

Intermodalics is committed to maintain and improve the app, so stay tuned for new features and improvements. As an open source project we invite you to propose or contribute new features as well.

Future updates will contain even more Tango features such as area learning (SLAM) and 3D reconstruction.

We hope that this application and code will facilitate the use of Tango devices in robotic applications.

The Intermodalics Apps Team apps@intermodalics.eu

by Tully Foote on February 01, 2017 12:20 AM

January 25, 2017
Siemens Position: Research Intern – Machine Intelligence, Advanced Robotics, Automation & Control
Click the image to view the full document.

Click the image to view the full document.

by Paul Hvass on January 25, 2017 08:27 PM

January 24, 2017
2017 MoveIt! update pt.2; Stopping motion on NEXTAGE needs your help
From TORK blog:


In the previous post we introduced one of the many new features that were added to MoveIt! with its first update in 2017. Next feature we want to mention is the “stop motion”, which we’ve received many questions from our NEXTAGE users about.

Other than situations where you need to stop robots to move for the safety reasons, there can be many cases you want to stop/cancel/halt your robot for your application. The standard way to achieve this in MoveIt! had been lacking, which is finally organized this time (lead by a student at GSoC project by the way).

It works well with Pepper robot on simulation. You see in the following Youtube video (link in case you don't see the video pasted) that the arm stops as soon as the “stop” button on RViz was clicked.

This nice feature, however, does not YET work with the NEXTAGE Open. Don’t worry much, there’s a work going on already and we confirmed a patch submitted from a community member solves the issue on simulation! We just need to test the patch on the real NEXTAGE Open robot, and this is where we need a help from the robot owners. If you think you can help us testing with your own robot, please contact TORK at info[a_t]opensource-robotics.tokyo.jp or joint the discussion at the ticket for this issue on Github so that we’ll communicate with you. Thank you for your understanding toward the opensource!

by Isaac Saito (noreply@blogger.com) on January 24, 2017 04:02 PM

January 11, 2017
First Global ROS-I Community Web Meeting

Thanks to our presenters, Dr. Conghui Liang (who also hosted), Georg Heppner, Dr. Suraj Nair, and Louise Poubel for an inspiring Global ROS-I Community Web Meeting on 10 January 2017! For details, scroll to abstracts and links below the video.

Host: Dr. Conghui Liang (Research Fellow), Robotics Research Center, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (representing ROS-Industrial Consortium Asia Pacific)


  • Dr. Conghui Liang (NTU): An Introduction of RADOE (A*STAR Industrial Robotics Project) and ROS related projects in NTU (video link)
    • RADOE (Robot Application Development and Operating Environment) is developed based on ROS and ROS-Industrial. It is an incorporation of high-level robotic software and useful tools that have been developed in the A*STAR industrial robotics research program for diversified robotics application developments in the manufacturing sector. In this talk, an overview of the RADOE motivation, architecture design, function modules, and several application demos will be presented.
  • Georg Heppner (FZI): ReApp Project – MDE for ROS & Generic IO for FANUC Robots (video link)
    • Reusable Software Apps for Robotic Applications (ReApp) based on ROS-Industrial is nearing its completion. This presentation will give an introduction into its core ideas and tools for model-driven engineering of ROS packages with semantic support. Additionally, the implementation of the Generic I/O communication package which was used for a FANUC industrial robot in one of ReApps pilot demonstrators will be covered.
  • Dr. Suraj Nair (TUM CREATE): Robotics at TUM CREATE, Singapore: Insight into ROS based Projects (video link)
    • TUMCREATE, Singapore is a research outpost of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Germany. Although its main focus is on future mobility applied to public transportation, the robotics activities at TUMCREATE have been expanding rapidly. This presentation will focus on the various robotics activities at TUMCREATE with special emphasis on the Aviation Challenge 2 project. For each of the activities, the connection to ROS will also be presented.
  • Louise Poubel (OSRF): Gazebo UX Test Drive (video link)
    • Gazebo is one of the most used simulators in the ROS community. It has been under heavy development for the past few years and its most recent version, Gazebo 7, comes with several new tools and features for new and experienced users alike. Updates include not only improved GUI tools and documentation for new users, but also tools that streamline the workflow for experienced users. In this presentation, many of these new features will be demonstrated from within Gazebo.

by Paul Hvass on January 11, 2017 11:17 PM

January 06, 2017
Announcing the release v0.6 of RAPP Platform and RAPP API

From Manos Tsardoulias

We are happy to announce the v0.6 version of RAPP Platform and RAPP API, oriented to provide an online platform for delivering ready-to-use generic cloud services to robots!

The changes in comparison to v0.5.5 follow:

  • RAPP Platform Web services now support authentication via a tokens mechanism

  • Several new functionalities were introduced in the form of ROS nodes along with the respectful API web calls. These include object recognition via a Caffe wrapper (http://caffe.berkeleyvision.org/), e-mail management, geolocator, hazard detection in a household environment (detects if lights were left on or doors open), human detection, news explorer, path planning and a weather reporter.

  • Web services: Introduced a framework developed on-top of hop.js for easily implementing Web Services (documenation)

  • Python Platform API was refactored, supporting high level API and advanced API implementations, as well as static request and response objects.

  • RAPP Platform Wiki has been updated with the current description of all nodes, including full tutorials on how to create a new functionality, a new web service or even robotic applications.

  • RAPP Platform scripts (installation and deployment) were transferred in a separate repository

You can download a ready-to-launch VM containing the RAPP Platform v0.6 from here. Furthermore RAPP Platform v0.6 is already publicly launched in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki premises. You can find more information on how to invoke its cloud services here.

Links of interest:

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/.

by Tully Foote on January 06, 2017 07:41 PM

January 05, 2017
First MoveIt! Update in 2017. Using it on NEXTAGE pt.1
From TORK blog:

New version of MoveIt! binary 0.7.6 is just released for ROS Indigo, first time in 2017 (for sure!) and first release since June 2016. This version comes with some long-wanted features (along with bug fixes of course) that we’re trying out using NEXTAGE simulator.

1. Changing trajectory velocity and acceleration during runtime

Changing the speed of the trajectory during runtime has been one of FAQs from NEXTAGE users who use MoveIt!, let alone many MoveIt! users on the globe. Now through MoveIt! RViz plugin you can conveniently configure that on the fly on the spinboxes added.


To configure that programmatically, see this tutorial that explains chainging MotionPlanRequest topic would do the work.

TORK is actively contributing the development and maintenance of MoveIt!.

by Isaac Saito (noreply@blogger.com) on January 05, 2017 03:01 AM

January 04, 2017
New Package PlotJuggler

From Davide Faconti

I would like to announce PlotJuggler, a Qt based application that allows the user to load, search and plot data. Many ROS user would use MATLAB or rqt_plot for this purpose, but these solutions might be frustrating to use when the data to be analyzed is considerably large.

PlotJuggler is meant to be a better alternative to rqtplot and rqtbag, providing a more user friendly interface.


  • Multiplot: add multiple curves to a plot. Arrange plots in rows, columns, tabs and/or separate windows.

  • Zoom: easily zoom a plot. You can lock the X axis of all of the plots.

  • Save/Load layouts: one you have organized your layout, you can save it on a file to be reused later.

  • Complete Undo/Redo: CTRL-Z does what you would expect it to do.

  • DataLoad plugins: easily load CSV or rosbags.

  • DataStreaming plugins: subscribe to one or multiple ros topic(s) and plot their data live.

  • RosPublisher plugin: re-publish the original ROS messages using the interactive tracker.

You can get a first impression of how PlotJuggler works here

PlotJuggler: a desktop application to plot time series. from Davide Faconti on Vimeo.

PlotJuggler: live streaming of a ROS Topic from Davide Faconti on Vimeo.

PlotJuggler: loading and re-publishing messages from ROS bags from Davide Faconti on Vimeo.

PlotJuggler is still in its "alpha" stage and under heavy development. I would like to get some feedback from the community to understand how this tool need to evolve.

You can find the code here: https://github.com/facontidavide/PlotJuggler

NOTE: you will also need this package too https://github.com/facontidavide/rostypeintrospection

by Tully Foote on January 04, 2017 08:59 PM

December 23, 2016
TIAGo ROS Simulation Tutorial 2 – Autonomous robot navigation

The second pack of open-source ROS tutorials for TIAGo’s simulation in Gazebo enables the robot to navigate autonomously in indoor spaces. Learn how to create a map with gmapping, localize itself in the space and do path planning avoiding obstacles in real time with the TIAGo Tutorials. PAL Robotics team puts available tutorials in TIAGo robot navigation among other tasks that TIAGo can perform in its public simulation to make it accessible for everyone interested.

Creating a map with gmapping

TIAGo can create a map of the environment around it by using the laser range-finder on the base. The map is required to use afterward AMCL based localization to match laser scans with the map to provide reliable estimates of TIAGo’s pose in the map. All steps are detailed on the Tutorial in order to map the area commanding TIAGo with the keyboard. After completing the map, it can be saved and can be used to perform autonomous localization and path planning. This is an example on how the map is created by TIAGo:

ROS Tutorial: TIAGo gmapping in simulation.

ROS Tutorial 2: TIAGo gmapping in simulation.

Localization and path planning

Make TIAGo locate itself and plan a path between two points of interest with the second part of the ROS Navigation Tutorials for TIAGo. This tutorial shows how to make TIAGo navigate autonomously provided a map. The collaborative robot is able to detect and avoid obstacles using the base laser and the RGB-D camera on its pan-tilt head.

ROS Tutorial: TIAGo localization in simulation.

ROS Tutorial 2: TIAGo localization in simulation.

First, the built up of laser scans map should be created using the previous mapping Tutorial. Second, the map created in the previous tutorial should be opened following the steps here, which will show it in rviz as a result. Different kinds of information will be overlaid on top of the map, amongst other:

  • Particle cloud: a cloud of small red arrows representing the amcl filter particles, which spreads around the robot. A concentration of the particles indicates a growing confidence on its position estimate.
  • Global costmap: regions around obstacles which are used by the global planner in order to compute paths to navigate from one point of the map to another without getting too close to the static obstacles registered during mapping. More details can be found here.
  • Local costmap: similar to the global costmap, but it is smaller and moves with the robot, it is used to take into account new features that were not present in the original map. It is used by the local planner to avoid obstacles, both static and dynamic, while trying to follow the global path computed by the global planner. More details can be found here.
  • Laser scan: lines in dark blue represent the points measured with the laser of the mobile base. This scan is used to add/remove obstacles both in the global and local costmaps.
  • RGBD scan: lines in magenta represent the projection of the point cloud reconstructed by the RGBD camera of the head onto the floor. This artificial scan is also used to add/remove obstacles to the global and local costmaps. This scan is useful to obtain a 3D information of the environment, detecting obstacles that are higher or lower than the laser scanner plan.
Autonomous TIAGo robot navigation path.

ROS Tutorial 2: Autonomous TIAGo robot navigation path.

All this information is used as described in the Tutorial to enable TIAGo locate itself correctly in the given space. Besides, this enables as well the TIAGo autonomous navigation with rviz, that sends the robot to a desired point that it needs to reach. The action should be completed through the shortest path and avoiding obstacles as well.

We want to see your developments!

Find other tutorials on Control, MoveIt!, Open CV and PCL at TIAGo’s ROS Wiki, which will be detailed soon in our blog as well. Share your awesome results with us by sending them to: marketing@pal-robotics.com.

The post TIAGo ROS Simulation Tutorial 2 – Autonomous robot navigation appeared first on PAL Robotics Blog.

by Judith Viladomat on December 23, 2016 10:52 AM

December 22, 2016
Clearpath Robotics launches a new ROS based Amphibious Robot: Warthog UGV

From Clearpath Robotics

Clearpath Robotics, a leading provider of mobile robotic platforms for research and development, announced the release of Warthog - a large, amphibious, all-terrain mobile robot designed for application development. Warthog enables researchers to reliably test, validate, and advance their robotics research faster than ever before in real world conditions, whether on land or in water.

"ARGO XTR (Xtreme Terrain Robotics) has a terrific record of manufacturing rock-solid outdoor platforms," says Julian Ware, General Manager for Research Solutions at Clearpath Robotics. "Combined with our expertise in robotics, we've developed rugged platform suitable for a wide range of robotics applications in mining, agriculture, forestry, space, and environmental monitoring."

Warthog's light-weight aluminum chassis, low ground pressure, passive suspension system, and 24" traction tires allow it to easily traverse a variety of tough terrains including soft soils, thick muds and steep grades, all while carrying up to 272 kg of payload. With built-in bilge pumps and an IP rating of 67, Warthog is fully weather-proof and amphibious, capable of moving through deep waterways at up to 4 km/h, or travel at speeds of up to 18 km/h while on land. The all-electric, skid steer platform has expandable power allowing for a runtime of 6 hrs, and can be outfitted with quad tracks for ultimate traction and maneuverability in snow and sand.

"ARGO XTR is excited to partner with a progressive robotics company like Clearpath with our platform," says Jason Scheib, ARGO XTR Robotics Program Director. "The combination of our proven experience in amphibious and extreme terrain environments with our platforms with the progressive software and sensor integration from Clearpath Robotics, has created a second to none solution for a myriad of research and commercial applications."

Designed for end-to-end integration and customization, Warthog includes an internal computer, IMU, wheel encoders, and mounting racks, as well as accessible user power and communication ports for integrating sensors, manipulators, and other third-party hardware. Warthog is shipped with the Robot Operating System (ROS) preconfigured and a Gazebo simulation model, allowing researchers to get started quickly with existing research and widely available open-source ROS libraries.

For more information, visit www.clearpathrobotics.com/warthog-ugv

by Tully Foote on December 22, 2016 01:29 AM

December 21, 2016
Celebrating 9 Years of ROS!

This year marks the occasion of ROS turning 9 years old! Through these years ROS has grown into a strong world-wide community. It's a community with a large variety of interests: from academic researchers to robotic product developers as well as the many robot users. Academic use of ROS continues to grow. Citations of the first ROS paper "ROS: An Open-Source Robot Operating System" has grown to 2,871.

To get a better sense of what's happening in the ROS community, if you have not already done so, I highly recommend reviewing the ROSCon 2016 program. You can also find all the video recordings in this gallery. ROSCon 2016 was another great event bringing ROS community members together to share how they're using ROS to solve their challenges. As the goal of ROSCon is to share information between the entire community we record the talks and make them available online. We've sold out our venues the last two years and are looking forward to another ROSCon next fall!


Part of understanding our growing community is to try to measure it. For the last 6 years we've been generating metrics reports. These reports can give a sense of aggregate what's happening in the ROS community. Our most recent report is from July 2016. David Lu has put together plots of several of the metrics across the last 6 years which can be quite informative.

This year we wanted to dig a little deeper into the code metrics, so we downloaded the source of all of packages listed in the Indigo Igloo rosdistro and ran some analysis.

  • The total line count is over 14 million lines of code
  • There have been 2477 authors
  • And 181509 commits
  • Averaging 73.3 commits per author

You can see the commits as a function of month in this graph.


Our committers are active around the world as evidenced by the commits coming in at all hours of the day.


And the git commits record 24 different time zones (out of 39 possible).

Analyzing the repository for significant lines of code using SLOCCount shows:

  • 4,077,199 significant lines of code.
  • This represents an estimated 1,236 person-years of development.
  • For a sense of scale, that is an average of 137 developers contributing full time over the last 9 years!

For those of you curious about the breakdown by language lines of code, it is as follows:

  • cpp: 2608592 (63.98%)
  • python: 553332 (13.57%)
  • ansic: 297629 (7.30%)
  • xml: 280615 (6.88%)
  • lisp: 149439 (3.67%)
  • java: 135343 (3.32%)
  • ruby: 26484 (0.65%)
  • sh: 21120 (0.52%)

This only represents the packages publicly released into the Indigo rosdistro index.

Note that the tools only worked on Git repos so code from other source control systems was excluded. There are also a few projects which predate ROS but have ported to use ROS and their history is included.

We're looking forward to continuing growth through 2017 leading up to the 10-year anniversary of ROS. With the Beta 1 version of ROS 2.0 out, there will be space for new development. We're looking forward to our next release, Lunar Loggerhead, to coincide with Ubuntu's next release, Zesty Zapus. With both of these, the ROS community can continue to rely on the many libraries, tools, and capabilities they have come to know and enjoy, as well as begin to experiment with the new features in ROS 2.0

Another exciting project to watch is the upcoming TurtleBot 3! The TurtleBot and TurtleBot 2 have been great platforms for learning and prototyping. However by packing that same capability into a smaller platform with more punch we look forward to it providing another avenue to grow the ROS community.

We write these anniversary posts to help give you a sense of how ROS has been doing over the past year, but we'd certainly encourage you to find out for yourself. Get involved. Write or edit a wiki page. Answer a question on ROS Answers. Come to ROSCon. And, when you're ready, think about helping to maintain ROS itself, or even contributing a brand new ROS package.

OSRF is doing great, but the long-term success of ROS depends on every member of the incredibly awesome ROS community. If you're already an active part of the ROS community, we can't thank you enough; and if you're not, think about how you can help ROS grow and thrive for the next nine years, and beyond.

by Tully Foote on December 21, 2016 07:28 PM

Dynpick force-torque sensor ROS driver update thanks to opensource contribution
From TORK blog:

ROS device driver for force-torque sensor Dynpick, one that TORK joins its maintenance, has been known to work for a discontinued product only so far. Now someone in the opensource community just confirmed that the package works with a product that’s still available!

Products confirmed to work has been and will be updated on the driver’s wiki page. Report, questions can be posted on its Github page.

And as always, may the power of opensource be with you. Happy holidays!

by Isaac Saito (noreply@blogger.com) on December 21, 2016 09:33 AM

December 20, 2016
RIC- Europe Event Recap (Part 2): ROS-Industrial Training and Conference 2016

Note: Part 1 of the RIC-Europe Event Recap covered the ROS-Industrial training and was posted last week and can be found below.

This year’s ROS-Industrial Conference was upgraded, and held over two days with 21 talks, more than doubling last year's ten talks. Brian Gerkey from the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) and formerly of Willow Garage, where ROS was born, gave the first keynote which talked about the origins and recent and upcoming developments of ROS. He gave also an overview about the development and current status of the community and presented a variety of industrial use cases using open source software. Prof. Michael Beetz, an authority in the field of cognitive robotics, delivered the second keynote. His presentation dealt with the very important topic of digital infrastructure to empower service robots with a shared and open knowledge base, as market and technology developments foresee different robots in different environments performing different tasks. The presented platform openEase is possibly the most advanced open-source platform for a web-based knowledge service allowing for collection, storage and inspection of activity data for robot and human tasks.

Dr. Brian Gerkey opened the ROS-Industrial Conference with a keynote about the origins of ROS and recent developments.

Dr. Brian Gerkey opened the ROS-Industrial Conference with a keynote about the origins of ROS and recent developments.

Next up, companies ZenRobotics, PAL Robotics and next47 (a Siemens company), gave an overview about how ROS powers their business, or, in the case of next47, is seen as a common trait for up-and-coming robotics startups. After that, the participants got an overview of the most interesting technical developments going on in ROS and ROS-Industrial. Some of the works were presented recently at ROSCon and IROS in South Korea less than a month before, and we were glad to update our audience on such recent content. Part of the technical talks were:

  • A presentation of the service robot Care-O-bot from Fraunhofer IPA, held by Dr. Ulrich Reiser
  • A case-study on the ROS navigation stack and about deterministic timing for ROS, presented by Ingo Lütkebohle from BOSCH Corporate Research
  • Matthias Gruhler from Fraunhofer IPA presented a solution to improve the navigation of industrial service robot fleets using cloud computing
  • A status update about ROS 2.0 and about OPC UA was given by Matthias Keinert from University of Stuttgart The first conference day came to an end with insights into Team Delft’s technologies enabling their win of the Amazon Picking Challenge. Last but not least, Martin Hägele, head of department robot and assistive systems at Fraunhofer IPA, gave a detailed overview about ongoing developments in the worldwide robotics market. His talk covered both industrial and service robots and presented data which is collected annually by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) and published in the “World Robotics Report.”
Prof. Michael Beetz presented the second day's keynote.

Prof. Michael Beetz presented the second day's keynote.

Prof. Martijn Wisse from TU Delft opened the second conference day and described a new funding strategy for ROS-Industrial focused Technical Projects set to start in 2017. Further technical talks complemented the morning session with the following content:

  • Bernard Dieber from Johanneum Research talked about application-level security for ROS-based applications
  • Real-Time Extension to ROS was the topic of the presentation from Jan Carstensen, working at Leibniz Universität Hannover
  • A framework for quality assessment of ROS applications was presented by André Santos from INES TEC

For the ROS-Industrial consortia it is important to offer not only technical knowledge during the events but also to transfer knowledge about non-technical but highly relevant topics such as “best practices” related to open-source software and ROS. One example is the question of how to deal with safety regulations when using ROS. Theo Jacobs from Fraunhofer IPA presented some “do’s and don’ts’” with respect to safe software and to the development and application of ROS components. He gave some information about the ISO standardization committees and their procedures for establishing standards. Carsten Emde from the Open Source Automation Development Lab gave insights into open source in industrial automation, which is in fact already a reality in this business domain. He spoke about Linux and some well-known and also less well-known hurdles for its use in automation and how they are or will soon be taken, such as SIL2 certification for base components of a Linux RTOS, currently undergoing at OSADL.

Dr. Catharina Maracke from the Software Compliance Academy held the last non-technical talk about “Unterstanding License Compatibility and Compliance Risks and Processes in Free Open Source Software”. She informed, among others, about different types of licenses, their advantages and constraints and the OpenChain project that aims to address free and open source software-related friction points in the software supply chain. It was the second talk Dr. Maracke gave for the ROS-Industrial consortia, marking a continued collaboration given the interest expressed by our community in these topics. Both Fraunhofer IPA and the RIC-EU consortium are specifically concerned to keep the attention high on these matters as they often represent the reasons why open source software has still some difficulties to be widely adopted within the more conservative industrial automation environment.

Get-together during the breaks

Get-together during the breaks

Before the conference wrapped up, the following topics were presented in a last technical track:

  • Sebastian Brunner from German Aerospace Center (DLR) spoke about RAFCON, a graphical tool for task programming
  • Ontology-driven tools for robot application development were the aim of the ReApp project that was presented by Dr. Björn Kahl from Fraunhofer IPA
  • Pablo Quiles Velilla ended the track with his presentation about drag&bot, an innovative and easy way for industrial robot programming

All in all, the ROS-Industrial training and conference offered extensive technical and non-technical knowledge, a variety of best practices and was also a good opportunity to get in contact with the ROS and ROS-Industrial communities and to widen the network. Thanks again to the colleagues from FH Aachen, to all speakers and of course to all participants of the event(s)!

For your reference, the detailed agenda of the whole event as well as all slides from the speakers can be found here. A picture gallery from the training as well as from the conference is available here. Please have in mind: The follow-up event in 2017 will be the ROS-Industrial Summit at RoboBusiness Europe 2017 on April 20-21 in Delft, the Netherlands. The next ROS-Industrial conference is planned for the first half of December 2017.


by Karin Röhricht on December 20, 2016 10:29 PM

December 19, 2016
Announcing ROSComponents online store

From Román Navarro via ros-users@

I'd like to announce a new online store for robots, sensors and components supported by ROS: https://www.roscomponents.com

Why ROS-Components?

In recent years, ROS has become the standard in Service and Research Robotics, and it's making great advances in the Industry.

Most of the robots and components in the market support ROS, though sometimes finding which are really supported, what ROS version they make use, and how to get them is a difficult task. One of our main purposes is to make it easier and simpler for the customer, linking the products with their ROS controllers, explaining how to install and configure them and showing where to find useful information about them.

All the products in the site are supported by ROS, either available directly in the ROS distribution or through their source code. The ROS community has a new meeting point in ROS Components!

ROS as standard

From ROS-Components we strongly believe that ROS is and will be the standard in Robotics for many more years. Therefore we want to encourage roboticists to use it (whether you are not already doing so) as well as manufacturers to give support to it.

Supporting ROS and its Community

As you know, the ROS core is currently being maintained by the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF), which is an independent non-profit R&D company leading the development, maintenance of ROS versions and hosting all the necessary infrastructure.

From ROS Components we try to encourage the use of ROS as well as its maintenance and growth. Therefore we are going to donate part of the benefits of every sale to the OSRF. So, every time you buy in ROS Components, you'll be contributing to the ROS maintenance and development.

by Tully Foote on December 19, 2016 09:02 AM

December 16, 2016
RIC- Europe Event Recap (Part 1): ROS-Industrial Training and Conference 2016

Note: Part 2 of the RIC-Europe Event Recap will cover topics and presentations presented at the conference. This article will be posted next week.

We had a full house at this year’s event combining ROS-Industrial training, managed by our colleagues from FH Aachen with guest lectures from representatives of PPM AS and IT+Robotics srl, and the ROS-Industrial Conference. From November 2 to November 4, Fraunhofer IPA, the managing organization of the ROS-Industrial Consortium Europe, hosted the event in Stuttgart with in total about 70 participants during the three days. The training and conference were combined and showcased updated formats. For participants, it was easier to attend both activities to get the most out of their visit.

For the training session, we collaborated with our new Consortium member FH Aachen. Thanks to Josef Schleupen who coordinated with his colleagues Harshavardhan Deshpande, Heiko Engemann, Jannik Hoppe and Patrick Wiesen, this event was very successful, especially in providing hands-on sessions for all participants. We covered the main aspects of ROS in one day by giving an introduction into ROS and ROS-Industrial, an overview about ROS-powered robotics and the community. During the first day, FH Aachen tutors presented and tutored the participants in hands-on sessions, performed in pairs, on the usual topics of perception (sensor technologies, image processing and ROS visualization), localization (transformation, mapping & navigation) and manipulation (unified robot description, path-planning with MoveIt!, Gazebo Simulator). During the morning of the second day, some ROS-I specific packages were presented by PPMS AS and IT+Robotics srl. During the training, attendees had the chance to get a condensed overview of what ROS can do for them, to see three different robot arms in action, and use an ad-hoc developed mobile platform.

Some impressions from the ROS-Industrial training:



by Karin Röhricht on December 16, 2016 11:48 AM

December 15, 2016
TORK to co-host Toyota HSR workshop for users
From TORK's blog:

TORK has been partnering with the “HSR” welfare robot’s dev team at Toyota Motors Corporation (TMC). In 2014 and the last year 2015 we worked together with them for the hackathon.
This year we worked with TMC again to host developers workshop at 4 venues in Japan. In addition to going over the robot’s unique features and programming using ROS, we particularly focused on utilizing the online community designated for HSR owners, which TMC initiated in 2015 and maintains by themselves (membership-only as of today). Goal is that participants get hands on experience in interacting on the developers community so that they can accelerate their own development, which also contributes to develop the community size and maturity, which the developers ultimately appreciate. That said the seminar series this time is the beginning of building the community’s life cycle as TMC’s dev team intended.    

DSC_0302 CIMG3749 tokyo20_crop IMG_20161108_112241 IMG_20161108_111225 DSC_0312

Also discussed is problem isolation – engineers often need to figure out the types of problems and post questions at the best community per incident. This is more an advanced subject, but participants well exceeded our expectation to separately post HSR-specific questions and generic-ROS questions on the forums of each. This may have resulted in the positive spike of the number of posts at the ROS Japanese user groups as you see in the graph below (workshop series started in October).
Closing this blog post with some videos from the code challenge at the end of the workshops (if you're not seeing any video snippet, go to the original blog post). We truly hope that we’ve contributed to the HSR and the world of robotics community by encouraging community involvement.

by Isaac Saito (noreply@blogger.com) on December 15, 2016 01:12 PM

December 14, 2016
Team of researchers, aerospace manufacturers to adapt industrial robots for U.S. Air Force

Air Force Research Laboratory to improve automation for aerospace manufacturing

San Antonio – Dec. 13, 2016 – A team from National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), The Boeing Company, and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) were awarded a $6.7 million contract to help the U.S. Air Force develop software and technology to make advanced robotics reusable for a variety of aerospace manufacturing and maintenance processes.

NCDMM will manage the four-year program, while Boeing will provide process development and tooling expertise. SwRI will develop software using the open-source Robot Operating System Industrial (ROS-I) platform and will integrate all the subsystems on a large mobile manipulator robotic platform.

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) challenged the team to develop and demonstrate a mobile multi-process robotic solution through the Advanced Automation for Agile Aerospace Applications (A5) program.

“One of our primary goals is to promote the adaptability and flexibility of robotic systems,” said Rick Meyers, program manager in Automation and Robotics at the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. “This team will help to develop technology that enables the same system to be used in many different applications – including manufacturing and sustainment operations.”

An illustration depicts how a robotic arm commonly used in advanced manufacturing can be adapted to perform multiple functions such as under-wing sanding or composite repair on military aircraft. (Image Courtesy of Southwest Research Institute)

An illustration depicts how a robotic arm commonly used in advanced manufacturing can be adapted to perform multiple functions such as under-wing sanding or composite repair on military aircraft. (Image Courtesy of Southwest Research Institute)

Added Paul Hvass, a program manager in SwRI’s Manufacturing Technologies Department, “We want to make it easier to use a piece of machinery to transition from one manufacturing or maintenance task to another quickly and cost efficiently, without needing engineering or programming rework between tasks.”

“We are excited to move forward with this program,” said Jim Fisher, director of operations at NCDMM. “The Air Force has put forth an ambitious and compelling challenge, and the NCDMM, along with our project partners, anticipates successful demonstration of capabilities that meet or exceed the AFRL expectations.”

Boeing’s technology center in South Carolina will provide equipment focused on agile automation development including mobile robotic platforms, robotic manipulators, machine shop, and production aircraft materials for development and testing.

“Many operations in aerospace production and sustainment are good candidates for automation to increase safety, productivity, and quality,” said Max Amin-Javaheri, a director for Boeing Research and Technology’s Advanced Production and Inspection group. “A5 will expand opportunities for lower rate production environments and sustainment operations – areas that are typically very challenging to economically automate.”

Traditional manufacturing automation tends to rely on purpose-built machines, typically dedicated to a specific aircraft or component. Those machines demand large initial capital outlays and significant operating expenses; adaptation is costly and innovation is slow.

The A5 program aims to upend that paradigm using ROS-Industrial to develop flexible technology that can be used across different manufacturing processes and environments. Phase I will develop adaptive robotic capabilities in aircraft sanding. Phase II will apply those capabilities to composite aircraft repair, and Phase III will develop nondestructive capabilities using the same mobile platform.

“Using ROS-Industrial, we can dramatically reduce the amount of manual programming and intervention needed to implement advanced automation,” Hvass said.

As the primary framework, ROS-Industrial allows the team to quickly integrate the advanced capabilities of ROS with industrial hardware to enable robotic programs that perceive the aircraft, automatically plan tasks and associated robot motion, and reliably execute those plans. SwRI maintains the ROS-Industrial software repository and manages the ROS-Industrial Consortium with over 40 members in academia and industry-member groups around the world.

“The A5 program will draw upon the vast resources and ingenuity of the ROS community,” said Clay Flannigan, an assistant director in SwRI’s Manufacturing Technologies Department. “It is a diverse group of experts who are advancing secure and open-source robotics in academia and industry.”

For more information, contact Robert Crowe, rcrowe@swri.org or +1.210.522.4630, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.


by Robert Crowe on December 14, 2016 03:46 PM

December 09, 2016
Volvo ROAR project

From Per-Lage Götvall, PM ROAR

The basic reason for forming this project was the question: "How do we make autonomous machines working together on common task?". E..g. when using an autonomous wheel loader loading gravel on a truck, who is deciding on their relative positions; the truck, the loader or a supervising system?

To make a first approach we decided to this in the frame of Volvo Group Academic Preferred Partner (APP) network, involving students and researchers from Chalmers and Mälardalen universities in Sweden and Penn State University, Pennsylvania, US and the Swedish waste mgmt. company, Renova. We all agreed that using ROS was a must to, on one hand, coordinate the three universities and also, use the development made within the frame of ROS (e.g. Gazibo, Rviz, Moveit, Drivers etc.). Thank's to a great engagement from the researchers and students, and of course the ROS components we manage to make this (and a lot more, not shown in the video).

by Tully Foote on December 09, 2016 07:03 PM

December 02, 2016
#ERW2016: PAL Robotics’ Open Day, Robots at Your Service & HispaRob Day!

This year’s European Robotics Week broke all records in terms of organized events and participation. At PAL Robotics we also broke records of the assistance at our Open Day, last Friday 25th of November. Two tours were held at our offices, gathering together more than 150 people that were interested in robotics and wanted to know more about PAL Robotics’ projects and platforms.

Attendees could discover our mission, origins, robots and the projects we are involved in. The most exciting part came with the live demonstrations of the humanoids REEM-C and REEM, TIAGo and StockBot, where people could control the robots, play with their applications and ask any doubt to their Product Managers.

At the end of the tour the visitors and the PAL Robotics’ team shared a catering where they could exchange opinions and ask more questions about the company. We hope you enjoyed the visit as much as us. Looking forward to receiving you next year at PAL Robotics!

PAL Robotics at Robots at your Service and HispaRob Day

PAL Robotics also attended to the EU Robotics Week central event in Amsterdam, the Robots at your Service conference about assistive robotics, where TIAGo was presented as one useful platform for Ambient-Assisted Living environments, and the EU Project GrowMeUp was introduced too. Very interesting debates took place at the Maritime Museum. You can find some of the panel discussions ideas given by robotics experts on this RoboHub article.

The first HispaRob Day was also celebrated in Madrid, bringing together the main robotics universities, companies and institutions. HispaRob Day analyzed the robotics sector in Spain and debated on how robots are going to transform our lives in both domestic and industrial environments.

The post #ERW2016: PAL Robotics’ Open Day, Robots at Your Service & HispaRob Day! appeared first on PAL Robotics Blog.

by Judith Viladomat on December 02, 2016 04:28 PM

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