[ros-users] WashU June Code Release

David Lu!! davidlu at wustl.edu
Fri Jun 15 20:56:28 UTC 2012

Hey all,
Inspired by ROSCon this year, I realized that there was quite a bit of
code that our lab has developed that we had yet to push to our public
repository. For links to each of the packages, check out our
repository’s wiki page here: http://ros.org/wiki/wu-ros-pkg

Note that new stable WashU stacks are being released on a branch of
our Google Code repo
. If you are still referencing the Sourceforge repo, that will remain
up, but not updated.

A quick overview:

== PR2 Demos ==
We have a number of simple PR2-based demos that we developed since
getting our PR2 last summer. These are mainly used for showing off the
robot to the general public. They include demos where the robot mimics
human motions (pr2_kinect_teleop), has simple conversations
(pr2_chat), looks at recognized faces (face_follower, formerly known
as pr2_creeper) and swings a plastic lightsaber (pr2_sith).

There’s also a tool for doing some basic tasks, i.e. controlling the
projector and spine, from the command line (pr2_commandline)

== RWI Update ==
We had previously released a driver/node for the B21r. Thanks to
Thibault Kruse, Christina Lichtenthaeler and Mikhail Medvedev, we have
not only improved this stack, but also added initial support for the
atrv-jr. I have also added in a few improvements to the B21r node
based on Chad Rockey’s ROSCon talk on Hardware Drivers, upgrading the
node to use dynamic_reconfigure and diagnostics. I’ve also added a
teleop program we use, as well as a new dashboard. (See next section)

== WashU’s ROS Tools ==
There are a number of general ROS tools that we’ve developed here that
others may also find useful.

First, a package for making dashboards like the PR2 and turtlebot have
(generic_dashboard). It’s not complete yet, but there’s enough
capability that I was able to make the B21r dashboard.

Second, there’s a forked version of rxgraph (rxgraphplus) which allows
for hierarchical organization.

 We also have tools for
 * generating visualization markers quickly (easy_markers)
 * playing a bag as though it is happening now (rosbaglive)
 * checking how complete your manifest.xml and stack.xml files are

== URDF Tools ==
Since joint_state_publisher and simmechanics_to_urdf have been
absorbed into the core ROS stacks, the versions in our repo have
changed their names to *_experimental. You can also find the URDF from
my ROScon talk in this stack (roscon_urdf).

== Miscellaneous ==
Some tools for reading in MIDI files and sending around musical
information can be found in the music stack. We also have a demo from
one of our rotation students that implements differential dynamic
programming in ROS (color_DDP).

== Upcoming ==
Besides the work that makes up our actual research, here’s a few
things we hope to get out in the next months.
 * Merging urdf_python into the urdf_parser package
 * Further motion_capture analysis tools
 * New people recognition tools

David V. Lu!!

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