Saturday, October 17, 2015

Laser scan tools rejuvenated into ROS

From TORK web site:

    We just released ROS tools for handling laser scan data “scan_tools” into ROS Indigo, Jade. laser_scan_matcher or polar_scan_matcher packages enable 2D pose estimation solely based on the laser scan input. It can be also used as odometry without relying on other sensor data correction. On Ubuntu linux you can install via apt command.
    Ok, actually, we didn’t build anything. We just sorted out and “re-published” the source code so that people can install by a single command. Its source code was made by CCNY Robotics Lab.

    Using Ubuntu linux, you have so many ROS packages readily available just 1-command away, much like apps on your smart phones. As of today on ROS Indigo 2,034 packages are awaiting in the cloud (If you’re curious how the sea of cloud actually looks like, sneak peak from Build Status). To make this wonder happen, there are a few things:
    • apt package management sysytem on Ubuntu
    • OSRF, management team of ROS maintains the infrastructure that builds, tests, and distributes ROS packages that the developers of each package submit. Involving volunteers, it’s eye-maintained almost 24/7
    • Each package’s developers and maintainers are deligently conforming to the rule and vigorously submitting the updates
    What makes ROS as sized is this many package maintainers; today more than 200 persons have made a release.

    A dilemma of a huge project to last long, like ROS with longer than 6 years, may be that some maintainers may go away as they move on to new projects (while some remain although they are not actively using the packages they take care of!). But most of the times with a minimal care, the packages can be revitalized and made compatible with the latest ROS platform. This is what TORK did for the aforementioned scan_tools package suite and we’ll continue this kind of effort to help opensource community shine even more.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Update on Nikkei Robotics monthly magazine on ROS

    As we made a notice before, Isaac has been working with Nikkei (a leading business news distributor in Japan that recently acquired Financial Times) on article series about ROS on Nikkei Robotics monthly magazine. Lately some customers even take the magazine out from the bag and ask about the articles. What a bliss! We’re glad to see more development is happening in the industry and if we are becoming the integral part of it by providing assistance about opensource robotics technology.

    Article titles (English translation by TORK):
    • Ep.1 ROS: de facto standard tool for robotics software development, Beyond the research labs further on industrial
    • Ep.2 Using ROS on Fetch; SLAM, IK are off the shelf
    • Ep.3 ROS-I: ROS’ industrial extension. Community and application. Universal pendant to be developed
    • Ep.4 ROS on ARM: Going Beyond x86 to Embedded Systems Backed Up By Qualcomm

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Kawada’s Hiro & NEXTAGE Open Software now available in ROS Indigo (Long-Term Support)

From web site of TORK:

    Software of Kawada’s Hironx or NEXTAGE Open, both of which we’re providing maintenance service for its ROS-based opensource controller, is now available on Ubuntu 14.04 and ROS Indigo. At the same time, support for Ubuntu 12.04 and ROS Hydro has reached the end-of-life.

    Please follow the link for the detail including upgrade instruction.
    ROS Indigo is proud of approx. 2,000 packages, much added since its predecessor Hydro (with 1,700), and it’s the first LTS (Long-Term Support) in ROS and claimed to last until 2019.

    We know that Indigo has been around for longer than an year already but you know, it’ll keep rocking longer than any other versions of ROS has ever done!