Friday, September 14, 2012

Debugging swri_demo

I fixed 2 issues upon building swri_demo stack, and shared my suggestion in the ML. See here for detail and links.

ROS Industrial swri_demo 2nd day

So, about some packages that aren't compiling (by rosmake), I asked in the mailing list of swri-ros package and got the response fairly quickly saying:

- armadillo_arm_navigation is yes, not compiling. Patch is appreciated!
- If you don't have specific needs, just use longhorn_arm_navigation that is also in the same stack

Hmm, my purpose for now is to run the applications of ROS Industrial so that I can familiarize myself with it but making patch will let me understand deeper. Thus let's do the following for today:

  1. Run app by longhorn
  2. Make patch of armadillo

So let's try to run longhorns!

  % roscd longhorn_arm_navigation

Very 1st thing I would do when I visit new stack/pkg is to look at the dependency, ie. open manifest.xml. Here I cite only the dependency part, with descriptions per each pkgs I referred from manifest.xml of each.

  <depend package="dx100"/>  -  From motoman stack.
  <depend package="kinematics_base"/>  -  From arm_navigation.
  <depend package="planning_environment"/>  -  From arm_navigation.
  <depend package="arm_kinematics_constraint_aware"/>  -  From arm_navigation.
  <depend package="ompl_ros_interface"/>  -  From arm_navigation.
  <depend package="trajectory_filter_server"/>  - From arm_navigation.
  <depend package="constraint_aware_spline_smoother"/>  - From arm_navigation.
  <depend package="move_arm"/>  - From arm_navigation.

Everything else appears to be from arm_navigation stack except for the 1st pkg from motoman. Apparently it's worth going roundabout to learn about that stack first before proceeding into ROS Industrial in general. By the way I have less experience in arm manipulation in general..only practical experience for that is 5-day hackathon at my previous internship where I hardcoded a trajectory of 7-DOF arm.

So let's spend a few days or more/less on arm_navigation tutorial ( In addition, tutorial at IROS 2011 looks very informative too, mainly on theoretical side.

Left todo:
  1. Learn in arm_navigation tutorial (need to pick necessary ones)
  2. Run app by using longhorn_arm_navigation
  3. Make patch of armadillo_arm_navigation

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kick-off) Started playing with ROS Industrial

Welcome to my new blog where I relax and chill with robots, or not even the robots themselves but would be mostly with the software that run those entity. Please don't expect very technically rigid, precise description. I leave those to the official pages or wherever more appropriate. Instead within this blog, I would often talk like chatting, wonder, worry, get mad (??), without paying much attention to the format, but rather my purpose is to write-out-loud my thoughts, how I tackle the problem. And hopefully I achieve cool stuff in robotics eventually.

So if you've reached this page, you know ROS (Robot Operating System) right? I'll be very lazy in this blog to "explain" things in this blog but still try to provide at least links. The loosely intended readers are those who:
  • Know ROS (say someone who can write a ROS node that captures certain topics in 15 minutes. That level of maturity, maybe intermediate ROS developers)
  • Are interested in manipulation tasks, but not necessarily knowledgeable in the subject (i.e. me)
 Topic-wise, I'm currently thinking of the following, all of which come from either my pure interest or necessity (why necessary will remain untold for now):
  • ROS Industrial
  • PR2 (personal robot for research)
  • Robotics in general (might be independent from ROS) esp. control theory, image processing

So as a kickoff, I'll start learning ROS Industrial ( First of all install them:

% sudo apt-get install ros-fuerte-industrial

Since ROS Industrial seems consists of huge stacks already, I try starting from sample applications. How about swri_demos (

% cd $YOUR_PATH$
% svn checkout
% rosmake

Then error occurs:

  [rosbuild] Building package armadillo_arm_navigation
  Failed to invoke /opt/ros/fuerte/bin/rospack deps-manifests
  [rospack] Error: package/stack armadillo_arm_navigation depends on
non-existent package motoman

Looks like `motoman` used to be ROS package but now it's promoted to stack, since:

% roscd motoman

brings me to the directory where I find stack.xml. TBC (to be continued).