May 04, 2016
Husqvarna Research Platform

From Stefan Grufman via ros-users@

We would like to announce support for ROS into some of our products. We will be showing this at ICRA 2016 (in Stockholm) during the 16/5 to 20/5.

Husqvarna Group has been manufacturing and selling robotic lawn mowers for more than 20 years. These robots are pretty basic when it comes to sensors and intelligence but we are of course researching how these products will be changed for the future. We have spent a some time doing internal research but in order for us to better work with you (the real researchers!) we have now adapted our robot (Automower 330X) to ROS by exposing an interface and implementing a driver for this (the driver will be available as open source soon). We really like the trend in robotics research towards robustness and long term autonomy. This is an area where we think we can help/boost the research by making our hardware available to researchers.

The idea is that we have a very robust & safe robot that will operate 24/7 in all weather conditions (except Scandinavian winter). It has a safety system (collision, lift and the loop around your area) and it will automatically return to the charging station when charging is needed. There are also plenty of space to include your own set of sensors as well as computational power, both inside the chassis as well as outside. We can provide mechanical drawings of mounts that you can print out on an SLS/SLA machine.

So, the offer to you is to get access to this, we call it the Husqvarna Research Platform (HRP), and use it as an outdoor mobile robotics platform for your research. If you need/like, the safety system can be used to run multiple battery cycles without need to handle docking/charging. This could for example be used when collecting data sets over long periods of time. The HRP also supports manual mode, and in this case you have full control of the motors (through the "/cmd_vel" topic) and can do whatever you need. You can mount extra computing power (we usually use an Odroid XU4) and/or sensors of your choice.

The platform will be presented and demoed by Husqvarna as well as one of our research partners, Örebro Univeristy (AASS) during ICRA 2016. We will have a booth at the ICRA expo and would like to invite you all to come and talk with us there. During ICRA 2016, we will also take ideas for your research ideas and hand out the mower shown at the demo to the best idea!

Husqvarna Group information can be found here: http://www.husqvarnagroup.com/en

Information on our robotic products can be found here: http://www.husqvarna.com/uk/products/robotic-lawn-mowers/

by Tully Foote on May 04, 2016 08:49 PM

May 03, 2016
5D Robotics hiring for new positions in Cambridge, MA

From David Rohr via ros-users@

5D is looking for candidates for both full-time positions and summer internships. Please check out the links below to see our RecruiterBox listings:

Full-Time Roboticist

Robotics Intern

by Tully Foote on May 03, 2016 10:16 PM

Modbot at Hannover Messe 2016

Submitted by Saroya Whatley and Shawn Schaerer, Modbot

At Modbot, we make science fiction a reality by creating modular robotic parts that are easily snapped together to create a variety of robotic configurations servicing many different applications. By developing a system of modular joints and links that can be mass produced, Modbot is able to deliver industrial quality motion control at prices accessible by both larger manufacturing firms as well as makers and startups. The Modbot platform also includes a pendant software that can be accessed via the cloud or locally on a computer or tablet (Windows, OS X, iOS, Android). The software allows the user to not only program a Modbot robot with the touch of a button, but also simulate various robotic configurations in the virtual robot builder and build custom graphical user interfaces. The Modbot platform puts the power and precision of high-end machinery into an easy-to-assemble, simple to understand package.

Modbot Alpha Robot Demo at Hannover Messe 2016 (Photo: Shawn Schaerer)

Modbot Alpha Robot Demo at Hannover Messe 2016 (Photo: Shawn Schaerer)

The ROS-Industrial Consortium has been a valuable resource and feedback engine with regards to the development of Modbot's modular robotics system. As a member of the Consortium, Modbot works closely with the Consortium to use, develop and promote ROS Industrial. Currently, Modbot is working with the Consortium to release the CAD to ROS URDF Editor application.

Permalink

by Paul Hvass on May 03, 2016 10:03 PM

Simbe Robotics is hiring robotics/research engineers
From Brad Bogolea via ros-users@

Simbe Robotics is currently hiring for a number of robotics-focused engineering roles in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

 

At Simbe, we are automating brick & mortar retail through the use of mobile robots, computer vision, and cloud-based software. Our first product, Tally, provides retailers unprecedented visibility and insights into the state of their stores.  

 

Current open positions include:     

 

Robotics Software Engineer

https://jobs.lever.co/simberobotics.com/e15c5b16-5f6f-4469-9a3e-c3be65b887b9

 

Computer Vision Software Engineer

https://jobs.lever.co/simberobotics.com/7f842efa-e9e0-4a91-a47e-ed5f9c544130

 

Robotics Research Intern

https://jobs.lever.co/simberobotics.com/4952daea-00f4-419d-a613-18a0308c6b83

 

Dev Ops Engineer

https://jobs.lever.co/simberobotics.com/be3f094c-ccce-41d2-a71e-82fb09d1ada7

 

Full Stack Web Software Engineer

https://jobs.lever.co/simberobotics.com/78ea9088-be51-47c7-834a-c909eaa21639

by Tully Foote on May 03, 2016 07:03 AM

April 29, 2016
Mirko Bordignon (Fraunhofer IPA) and Shaun Edwards (SwRI): Bringing ROS to the Factory Floor
From OSRF


The ROS Industrial Consortium was established four years ago as a partnership between Yaskawa Motoman Robotics, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Willow Garage, and Fraunhofer IPA. The idea was to provide a ROS-based open-source framework for robotics applications, designed to make it easy (or at least possible) to leverage advanced ROS capabilities (like perception and planning) in industrial environments. Basically, ROS-I adds models, libraries, drivers, and packages to ROS that are specifically designed for manufacturing automation, with a focus on code quality and end user reliability.

Mirko Bordignon from Fraunhofer IPA opened the final ROSCon 2016 keynote by pointing out that ROS is still heavily focused on research and service robotics. This isn't a bad thing, but with a little help, there's an enormous opportunity for ROS to transform industrial robotics as well. Over the past few years. The ROS Industrial Consortium has grown into two international consortia (one in America and one in Europe), comprising over thirty members that provide financial and managerial support to the ROS-I community.

To help companies get more comfortable with the idea of using ROS in their robots, ROS-I holds frequent training sessions and other outreach events. "People out there are realizing that at least they can't ignore ROS, and that they actually might benefit from it," Bordignon says. And companies are benefiting from it, with ROS starting to show up in a variety of different industries in the form of factory floor deployments as well as products.

Bordignon highlights a few of the most interesting projects that the ROS-I community is working on at the moment, including a CAD to ROS workbench, getting ROS to work on PLCs, and integrating the OPC data protocol, which is common to many industrial systems.

Before going into deeper detail on ROS-I's projects, Shaun Edwards from SwRI talks about how the fundamental idea for a ROS-I consortium goes back to one of their first demos. The demo was of a PR2 using 3D perception and intelligent path planning to pick up objects off of a table. "[Companies were] impressed by what they saw at Willow Garage, but they didn't make the connection: that they could leverage that work," Edwards explains. SwRI then partnered with Yaskawa to get the same software running on an industrial arm, "and this alone really sold industry on ROS being something to pay attention to," says Edwards.

Since 2014, ROS-I has been refining a general purpose Calibration Toolbox for industrial robots. The goal is to streamline an otherwise time-consuming (and annoying) calibration process. This toolbox covers robot-to-camera calibration (with both stationary and mobile cameras), as well as camera-to-camera calibration. Over the next few months, ROS-I will be releasing templates for common calibration use cases to make it as easy as possible.

Path planning is another ongoing ROS-I project, as is ROS support for CANOpen devices (to enable IoT-type networking), and integrated motion planning for mobile manipulators. ROS-I actually paid the developers of the ROS mobile manipulation stack to help with this. "Leveraging the community this way, and even paying the community, is a really good thing, and I'd like to see more of it," Edwards says.

To close things out, Edwards briefly touches on the future of ROS-I, including the seamless fusion of 3D scanning, intelligent planning, and dynamic manipulation, which is already being sponsored by Boeing and Caterpillar. If you'd like to get involved in ROS-I, they'd love for you to join them, and even if you're not directly interested in industrial robotics, there are still plenty of opportunities to be part of a more inclusive and collaborative ROS ecosystem.

  Next up: Kai von Szadkowski (University of Bremen) Check out last week's post: MoveIt! Strengths, Weaknesses, and Developer Insight

by Tully Foote on April 29, 2016 11:34 PM

Next ROS Summer School by FH Aachen
From Patrick Wiesen

As mentioned in February News we are offering the next ROS Summer School from 15th till 26th of August 2016 at the University of Applied Sciences in Aachen (FH Aachen), Germany.
This year a special UAV ROS weekend (27/28th August) will complement the ROS Summer School. Over 60 participants are already registered, but there are still some hacking seats left. The registration dead line is coming weekend: 30th of April! Afterwards we will generate a waiting list for more participants. Register now!

aachen_summer_school_group.png

The following subjects are covered: ROS Basics, Communication, Hardware Interfacing, Teleoperation, Transforms, Gazebo Simulation, Landmark Detection, Localization, Mapping, Navigation, Control as well as some ROS Industrial exhibition. All this can be experienced with real hardware using our mobile robots - the FH Aachen Rover - after learning some theory.

In addition to the above, it is worth mentioning the big success of our recent ROS Summer School at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa. Thanks to people there joining and supporting us. It was great fun and a nice learning atmosphere! We had more than 20 participants and they learned ROS from scratch. After one week, five teams competed with their autonomous FH Aachen Rovers on a round track including Mapping and Localization in a final challenge. After five Summer Schools it was the first time that no Rover hits a wall - congratulations!

This is what our participants just managed in one week, so let's see in August what they can do in two weeks?!

The group photo shows our participants at TUT in South Africa, our colleagues from the 3D printing Goethelab in Aachen, who held as well a Summer School at TUT and us, surrounded by happy robot enthusiasts.

by Tully Foote on April 29, 2016 10:47 PM

Team Delft APC 2016 Progress

Team Delft has qualified as one of the 16 finalist teams for the Amazon Picking Challenge 2016. The team is a joint effort of the startup Delft Robotics (Kanter van Deurzen a.o.) and TU Delft Robotics Institute (Carlos Hernandez Corbato a.o.), supported by the RoboValley initiative (www.robovalley.com)

The goal of the Amazon challenge is “to strengthen the ties between the industrial and academic robotic communities and promote shared and open solutions to some of the big problems in unstructured automation." In order to spur the advancement of these fundamental technologies, there will be two parallel competitions: the Pick Task, and the Stow Task. For the Pick Task, target items for an Amazon order have to be removed from a standard shelf in Amazon warehouses and placed into a tote. The Stow Task requires the reverse: target items have to be taken from a tote and stowed into the bins of the shelf. These tasks involve challenges in object recognition, grasping, dexterous manipulation, and motion planning.

Since January, Team Delft has been developing an industrial grade robotic system for the challenge. It involves a 7 degree-of-freedom Motoman robot mounted on a rail, courtesy of Yaskawa (sponsor). Ensenso cameras from sponsor Imagining Development Systems will feed high quality 3D images to a vision pipeline for object recognition and localization using Deep Learning techniques. The team is fully committed to the ROS-Industrial initiative. ROS and ROS-Industrial components for motion planning, robot control, grasping, and PointCloud processing will be integrated into a fault-tolerant control architecture for the robot.

Application video of Team Delft to qualify as finalists for the Amazon Picking Challenge.

The Amazon Picking Challenge will be held in conjunction with RoboCup 2016 in Leipzig, Germany from June 30 to July 3, 2016.

Follow Team Delft at: @teamdelft_apc

For more information about the Amazon Picking Challenge, please visit http://amazonpickingchallenge.org/

by Paul Hvass on April 29, 2016 10:44 PM

April 27, 2016
Simulated Robot Agility Competition Update

Submission courtesy of William Harrison, NIST

This is a short update for those who have interest in participating in the International Agile Robotics for Industrial Automation Competition (ARIAC). Here are some things you should be aware of:

  • We invite you to attend the Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) (August 21-24), where we will have the official competition kickoff. All of the specific information about the conference will be presented at a full day workshop. We will have academic, industrial and government speakers the first part of the day. The second part of the day will be tutorials and training to give you the best jump start on learning the software and tools necessary for the competition.
  • If you can't make our workshop, we are holding a live webinar so you can still take advantage of the talks, training, and tutorials.
  • The actual competition is expected to be held in early 2017 in the cloud, so no travel is necessary.
  • Winners will be showcased at CASE 2017

If you are interested in Speaking at our workshop there are still spots available. Speakers who make it to CASE, will have the option of being listed as cosponsors of the competition. If you would like to speak or be involved in some other way please contact us.

Permalink

by Paul Hvass on April 27, 2016 03:38 PM

New Package: create_autonomy, a ROS driver for iRobot Create 1 and 2
Jacob Perron via ros-users@

This is an announcement for create_autonomy, a ROS driver for the iRobot Create 1 and Create 2 (Roomba 400-800 series).
Based on iRobot's Open Interface Spec, it provides access to a variety of sensor information including wheel odometry, bumpers, light sensors, and button presses. There is also interfaces for controlling the various LEDs and invoking the built-in docking behaviour.

Documentation and source code can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/autonomylab/create_autonomy

Many additional features are planned for the near future, such as a sound interface and access to the brush/vacuum motors.

Hope you enjoy!

by Tully Foote on April 27, 2016 01:08 AM

April 22, 2016
Dave Coleman (University of Colorado Boulder): MoveIt! Strengths, Weaknesses, and Developer Insight
From OSRF


Dave Coleman has worked in (almost) every robotics lab there is: Willow Garage, JSK Humanoids Lab in Tokyo, Google, UC Boulder, and (of course) OSRF. He's also the owner of PickNik, a ROS consultancy that specializes in training robots to destructively put packages of Oreo cookies on shelves. Dave has been working on MoveIt! since before it was first released, and to kick off the second day of ROSCon, he gave a keynote to share everything he knows about motion planning in ROS.

MoveIt! is a flexible and robot agnostic motion planning framework that integrates manipulation, 3D perception, kinematics, control, and navigation. It's a collaboration between lots of people across many different organizations, and is the third most popular ROS package with a fast-growing community of contributors. It's simple to set up and use, and for beginners, a plugin lets you easily move your robot around in Rviz.

As a MoveIt! pro, Dave offers a series of pro tips on how to get the most out of your motion planner. For example, he suggests that researchers try using C++ classes individually to avoid getting buried in a bunch of layered services and actions. This makes it easier to figure out why your code doesn't work. Dave also describes his experience in the Amazon Picking Challenge, held last year at ICRA in Seattle.

MoveIt! is great, but there's still a lot of potential for improvement. Dave discusses some of the things that he'd like to see, including better reliability (and more communicative failures), grasping support, and, as always, more documentation and better tutorials. A recent MoveIt! community meeting resulted in a future roadmap that focuses on better humanoid kinematic support and support for other types of planners, as well as integrated visual servoing and easy access to calibration packages.

Dave ends with a reminder that progress is important, even if it's often at odds with stability. Breaking changes are sometimes necessary in order to add valuable features to the code. As with much of ROS, MoveIt! depends on the ROS community to keep it capable and relevant. If you're an expert in one of the components that makes MoveIt! so useful, you should definitely consider contributing back with a plug-in from which others can take advantage.

Next up: Mirko Bordignon (Fraunhofer IPA), Shaun Edwards (SwRI), Clay Flannigan (SwRI), et al. Check out last week's post: Real-time Performance in ROS 2

by Tully Foote on April 22, 2016 07:11 PM

April 20, 2016
Recap: ROS-I Training Spring 2016

Spring ROS-Industrial Basic Developers Training classes gave participants an opportunity to learn new skills through hands-on training. The ROS-Industrial Developers’ Training Class was held April 6 - 8, 2016 at SwRI, in San Antonio, Texas where the ROS-I Consortium Americas is based.

On April 6 the class reviewed ROS packages, parameters, topics, messages, launch files and URDF's. The first day ended with a tour of a SwRI labs and campus where the participants were able to see several ROS applications as well as get a better idea of Southwest Research Institute facilities. The rest of training took developers through foundational robot manipulation (with an introduction to Descartes and other path planners) and perception with a multi-option lab day. The lessons can be found here. Participants from 3M, ABB, Bastian, IDEXX, John Deere, JR Automation, Smart Robotics (Japan) and one student from the Make School attended. Check out the pictures (below).

Many thanks for Jonathan Meyer, Levi Armstrong, Shaun Edwards, and Christina Gomez from SwRI for this year's training.

students independently walking through an online exercise while jonathan clarifies a point

students independently walking through an online exercise while jonathan clarifies a point

all students bring their own laptops with a virtual machine that is set up and ready to go; levi approaches a student with a question

all students bring their own laptops with a virtual machine that is set up and ready to go; levi approaches a student with a question

The full class with  Swri ROS-Industrial support staff included

The full class with  Swri ROS-Industrial support staff included

by Christina Gomez on April 20, 2016 04:15 PM

April 19, 2016
5 Reasons ROS Users Will Want to Try catkin_tools Beta 2!
Today, the ROS Community Build Tool Team has released the second catkin_tools beta, Version 0.4.0!

Previously, a quick summary:
- `catkin_tools` is an improved toolchain for building catkin workspaces
- the CLI command is `catkin build`
- it builds packages in parallel with isolated build directories (no CMake crosstalk)
- it builds "pure" CMake packages that don't use Catkin macros
- it lets you build subsets of a workspace
- it needs to be tested more before being recommended over `catkin_make`
- the documentation for all the additional features can be found here: http://catkin-tools.readthedocs.org/

The top five reasons you'll want to try Beta 2:
Either install it with pip:
pip install catkin_tools --upgrade

or install via apt-get with:
apt-get update
apt-get install python-catkin-tools

To check the version of catkin_tools you're using, run:
catkin --version

If you've installed the second beta (0.4.0), you should see:
catkin_tools 0.4.0 (C) 2014-2016 Open Source Robotics Foundation

For those new to catkin_tools, see the migration guide:

Any issues, questions, or feature requests should be posted on GitHub:

Thanks!
-The ROS Community Build Tool Team

by Tully Foote on April 19, 2016 10:18 PM

April 18, 2016
ROS Kinetic Kame Tshirt and Logo Announced
With each release of ROS we have a tradition of having a logo and making t-shirts. ROS Kinetic Kame is coming out in May. Show your ROS colors and support this tradition!  Visit the Teespring Campaign page here to order your shirt. 

kinetic_tshirt_front.png
Proceeds from shirt sales go to supporting the costs associated with developing and maintaining ROS, including hosting the wiki and running the build farm. 

There are both mens and womens sizes as well as hoodies, v-necks and triblends available. 

Order now and if this campaign is funded we expect the shirts to arrive approximately when ROS Kinetic Kame is released. The campaign closes on May 9th don't wait too long to order. 

Here's a high resolution version of the Kinetic logo. 

kinetic.png

Note that we have two providers one in the US and one in Europe. The main link: http://bit.ly/KinteicKame redirects based on your IP address. If you want to access the individual pages you can visit: https://teespring.com/ros-kinectic-kame and https://teespring.com/ros-kinetic-kame-eu directly. 




by Tully Foote on April 18, 2016 06:40 PM

ROS By Example Now Available in Chinese
ros_by_example_chinese.png


ROS By Example, the first book published on ROS, is now available in Chinese, thanks to the translation efforts of Juan Rojas, Assistant Professor of Robotics at Sun Yat-sen University, and the sponsorship of Jenssen Chang, Owner of Gaitech International Ltd., an innovative robotics solution provider based in Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei and Shanghai, and an active promoter of ROS education in Asia   The new Mandarin translation can be obtained in print from Worldwide @ TaobaoWorldDangDang.com, and JD.com.  The translation was a team effort including the following students: Liu ZhenDong, Li Ziran, Li JiaNeng, Liu Ke Shan, Peng Ye Yi, and Huang LingLing.

by Tully Foote on April 18, 2016 06:11 PM

April 15, 2016
CTO - Full Time at Hurdler Motors, Inc. - Revolutionary Autonomous Transportation and Delivery Vehicles For Urban Spaces
From Hurdle Motors

Hurdler Motors, Inc., is a startup in upstate New York that is developing an innovative self-driving personal robotic vehicle to address the unmet needs of urban dwellers, commuters, first responders and package delivery companies with disruptive capabilities and features that provide significant benefits over automobiles and public transportation in urban environments. You will be the person in charge of developing the products, bringing them to production and recruiting and leading a team of topnotch talents. We are pre-seed funding. Your talents, experience, skills and contributions will help disrupt urban transportation to improve the quality of life in cities. Hurdler Motors has IP. Its first full-size early working prototype proved out the concept and successfully passed the tests of performing key tasks for which it was built. Now we need a CTO to get seed and Series A funding.

You:
•       Passionate about building mobile robots, seeking the truth and winning together
•       Solid understanding of robotic hardware and navigation
•       Solid practical experience
•       Core member of Executive Management
•       Smart, Innovative
•       Proven Leadership experience
•       Interested in building the brand and culture of the engineering talent
•       Legally authorized to work in the US

Job Description
•       Design the tech specs for the personal transportation bot
•       Lead hardware and software development for transportation bot.
•       Build advanced prototypes and turn them into great products
•       Recruit and manage top talent team of engineers
•       Determine and design, all architecture, software, hardware, sensors,    processors, motors, procurement, vendor selection, purchasing
•       Be part of executive team that develops product strategy
•       Steer user interface creation
•       Oversee
a.      Vision-based autonomous capabilities
b.      Networking of robots
•       Create advanced prototype for user studies and obtain feedback

Responsibilities
•       Full Time
•       Executive Management
•       Team Leadership

Desired Skills and Experience
•       Minimum 4 years industrial experience
•       Should have completed  developing and building operating mobile robots for outdoor environments
•       Should have led the product/technology from concept through completion
•       Taken robotic project to completion
•       Should have created fully functional product
•       Experience testing robots
•       Proficiency with    using ROS (in C++ and Python).
•       Command of AI
•       Versed in 3D navigation
•       Preferably entrepreneurial experience in robotics, AI, sensors, automotive
•       Experience with testing robots in outdoor/indoor conditions

Education
PhD or Masters Degree: Mechanical Engineering, Robotics, Automotive (EV),

Compensation
•       Equity
•       Competitive salary and benefits after funding

Please contact information@hurdlermotors.com
www.hurdlermotors.com

by Tully Foote on April 15, 2016 08:54 PM

Jackie Kay (OSRF): Real-time Performance in ROS 2
From OSRF


Jackie Kay was upgraded from OSRF intern to full-time software engineer in 2014. Her background includes robotics education and path planning for autonomous lunar rovers. More recently, she's been working on bringing real-time computing to ROS 2.

Real-time computing isn't about computing at a certain speed-- it's about computing on schedule. It means that your system can return data reliably and on time, in situations where responding late is usually bad thing; and sometimes a really bad thing. Hard real-time computing is important in safety critical applications (like nuclear reactors, spacecraft, and autonomous vehicles), when taking too long thinking about something could result in a figurative or literal crash -- or both. Soft real-time computing is a bit more forgiving, in that things running behind have a cost, but the data are still usable, as with packets arriving out of order while streaming video. And in between there's firm real-time computing, where missing deadlines is definitely bad but nothing explodes (or things only explode a little bit), like on a robotic assembly line.

Making a system that's adaptable and reliable, especially in the context of commercialization, often requires real-time computing, and this is why integrating real-time compatibility is one of the primary goals of ROS 2. Jackie's keynote addresses many of the technical details underlying the ROS 2 real-time approach, including scheduling, memory management, node design, and communications strategies. To illustrate the improvements that ROS 2 has over ROS, Jackie shares benchmarking results of a ROS 2 demo running in real-time, showing that even under stress, implementing a high performance soft real-time system in ROS 2 looks promising.

To try real-time computing in ROS 2 for yourself, you can download an Alpha release and play around with a demo here: https://github.com/ros2/ros2/wiki/Real-Time-Programming

ROSCon 2015 Hamburg: Day 1 - Jackie Kay: Real-time Performance in ROS 2 from OSRF on Vimeo.

Next up: Dave Coleman (University of Colorado Boulder) Check out last week's post: State of ROS 2

by Tully Foote on April 15, 2016 08:47 PM

April 14, 2016
Dirk Thomas, Esteve Fernandez, and William Woodall (OSRF): State of ROS 2

From OSRF

ROS has been an enormously important resource for the robotics community. It turned eight years old at the end of 2015, and is currently on its ninth official release. As ROS adoption has skyrocketed (especially over the past several years), OSRF, together with the community, have identified many specific areas of the operating system that need major overhauls in order to keep pace with maturing user demand. Dirk Thomas, Esteve Fernandez, and William Woodall from OSRF gave a preview at ROSCon 2015 of what to expect in ROS 2, including multi-robot systems, commercial deployments, microprocessor compatibility, real time control, and additional platform support.

The OSRF team shows off many of the exciting new ROS 2 features in this demo-heavy talk, including distributed message passing through DDS (no ROS master required), performance boosts for communications within nodes, quality of service improvements, and ways of bridging ROS 1 and ROS 2 so that you don't have to make the leap all at once. If you'd like to make the leap all at once anyway, the Alpha 1 release of ROS 2 has been available since last September, and Thomas ends the talk with a brief overview of the roadmap leading up to ROS 2's Alpha 2 release. As of April 2016, ROS 2 is on release Alpha 5 ("Epoxy"), and you can keep up-to-date on the roadmap and release schedule here.

ROSCon 2015 Hamburg: Day 1 - Dirk Thomas: State of ROS 2 - demos and the technology behind from OSRF on Vimeo.

Next up: Jackie Kay (OSRF) & Adolfo Rodríguez Tsouroukdissian (PAL Robotics) Check out last week's post: Lightning Talk highlights

by Tully Foote on April 14, 2016 12:44 AM

April 11, 2016
Industrial Calibration Library Updates

The ROS-I Industrial Calibration Library is the result of an internally funded SwRI project and has the following capabilities:

  • Intrinsic camera calibration
  • Extrinsic 2D/3D sensor calibration for
    • Arrays of heterogeneous sensors
    • Sensor(s) on moving/non-moving frames
    • Coordination with robot motion
  • Accuracy field estimation

Check out two recent videos (below). The first is a short overview of the Industrial Calibration Library. It concludes with an invitation for others to use the library for their applications. Our second video is an example use case of extrinsic calibration between a robot and a David sensor, courtesy of Victor Lamoine from Institut Maupertuis. Let us know how you are using the Industrial Calibration Library!

Permalink

by Paul Hvass on April 11, 2016 07:51 PM

April 06, 2016
Get the Legal and Economic Scoop for OSS in Robotics & Automation

As the technical value of Open-Source Software (OSS) is gaining acceptance in Industrial Robotics and Automation, our daily interaction with the key stakeholders operating in this field (OEMs, system integrators, startups, end users) has made us realize that the limiting factor to its further diffusion lies elsewhere. If Linux is a widely used and respected choice in IT, what is preventing open-source robotics frameworks to becoming accepted to the same extent in our field?

In our experience, current concerns are mostly centered around:

  • Legal aspects: what are the implications in terms of liability of using OSS in my products, installations, and plants? How do the different open-source licensing schemes work?
  • Economics concerns: can I build a sustainable business model over Open Source? Is my intellectual property at risk?

To help answer these questions and to support potential adopters of OSS in their decision process, Fraunhofer IPA and euRobotics AISBL is offering an event on April 19-20 in Stuttgart, Germany featuring selected speakers providing insight from the technical, economic and legal domains. It is a one-of-a-kind chance to get a comprehensive overview of these aspects and, even more importantly, get answers to your questions and voice your concerns.

For more information, including a detailed program and registration info, please refer to the following webpage.

I look forward to welcoming you in Stuttgart!

Your RIC-EU Program Manager,
Mirko Bordignon

by Mirko Bordignon on April 06, 2016 10:24 PM

New node: face_detection_tracking
From Philippe Ludivig via ros-users@


I build a face detection and tracking system, which I would like to add to the repository.

A more detailed explanation and some example videos can be found here:
http://www.phil.lu/?page_id=328

The code can be found on github:
https://github.com/phil333/face_detection

I have added some documentation here:
http://wiki.ros.org/face_detection_tracking#preview



As a side note, I initially tried the ROS package proposal process:
http://wiki.ros.org/PackageProposalProcess
I am not sure if this documentation is still up to date, but since nobody responded, i guess it should be corrected/removed.

by Tully Foote on April 06, 2016 07:33 AM

April 01, 2016
ROSCon 2016 location announced!

Today may be April 1st, but this is no April Fools' Joke: ROSCon 2016 will take place in Seoul, South Korea between October 8th and 9th! We're very excited to get the ROS community together again to share all of the exciting work that has happened over the last year. ROSCon will directly precede IROS, which is in nearby Daejeon, Korea this year. If you're already planning to attend IROS, just tack on a couple extra days and join us in Seoul!

Stay tuned to the ROSCon 2016 website for updates and submission deadlines. We look forward to seeing you in Seoul later this year!

by Tully Foote on April 01, 2016 07:00 PM

ROSCon: Lightning Talk Highlights

From OSRF

he growing popularity of ROSCon means that it's not always possible to schedule presentations for everyone that wants to give one. In addition, many people have projects that they'd like to share, but don't need a full twenty minutes to present. That's why forty minutes of each day at ROSCon are set aside for any attendee to present anything they want; all in a heartlessly rigid three-minutes-or-less format. Here are a few highlights:

Talk 1 (00:05 -- 02:15) Víctor Mayoral Vilches, Erle Robotics

Victor is the CTO and co-founder of Erle Robotics. The Erle-Brain 2 is an open source, open hardware controller for robots based on the Raspberry Pi 2. It runs ROS, will support ROS 2, and can be used as the brain for all kinds of different robots, including the Erle Spider, a slightly misnamed hexapod that you can buy for €599.

Talk 3 (06:55 -- 10:00): Andreas Bihlmaier, KIT

Andreas works on robot-assisted surgery using ROS at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. KIT has a futuristic operating room full of robots and sensors designed to help human doctors and nurses through positional tracking, augmented reality, and direct robotic assistance. Andreas is also interested in collaborating with people on ROS Medical, which doesn't exist yet but has a really cool logo anyway.

Talk 10 (29:20 -- 31:30) Jochen Sprickerhof, Universitat Osnabrück

Through the efforts of Jochen Sprickerhof and Leopold Avellaneda, there are now ROS packages available upstream in Debian unstable and Ubuntu Xenial that can be installed from the main Debian and Ubuntu repositories. The original ROS packages have been modified to follow Debian guidelines, which includes splitting packages into multiple pieces, changing names in some cases, installing to /usr according to FHS guidelines, and using soversions on shared libraries.

ROSCon 2015 Hamburg: Day 1 - Lightning Talks from OSRF on Vimeo.

Next up: Dirk Thomas, William Woodall (OSRF) & Esteve Fernandez Check out last week's post: Ralph Seulin of CNRS

by Tully Foote on April 01, 2016 06:42 PM

March 31, 2016
Robotic Product Singulation Testbed

We are excited to post our 50th ROS-I video: Robotic Product Singulation Testbed. This project was demonstrated during the Annual Meeting and is a collaborative development between ABB and SwRI to create a commercial product for warehouse automation. It highlights that, with some optimization, ROS-I applications can exhibit fast cycle times, without sacrificing the intelligence afforded by ROS. A scale demonstration of this technology will be on display next week at MODEX 2016, booth MA 957 (Baldor/ABB).

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by Paul Hvass on March 31, 2016 10:20 PM

March 30, 2016
Job Openings at a Carnegie Mellon spin-off
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


Summary

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

Requirements

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: jt@slidebrook.com

by Tully Foote on March 30, 2016 06:36 PM

March 25, 2016
Ralph Seulin (CNRS, France): ROS for Education and Applied Research: Practical Experiences

From OSRF

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

by Tully Foote on March 25, 2016 05:39 PM


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