[ros-users] Interest and proposal intention survey for a ROS Handbook

Patrick Goebel patrick at pirobot.org
Mon Oct 27 01:03:46 UTC 2014

Hi Paul,

Many thanks for the shout out!  I have been pleasantly surprised by the 
interest in my two ROS books <http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/pirobot> and 
I did aim to strike a middle ground between the Wiki tutorials and a 
formal text book.  I admire Anis for considering the challenge of 
creating a more structured handbook as I can only imagine the kind of 
effort that will take.

One cautionary note I might pass on is that the changes from one ROS 
version to the next are not always trivial which is why I make an effort 
to create a new revision for each release.  (I began with ROS Electric 
for Volume 1 and now have revisions for Fuerte, Groovy, and Hydro with 
Indigo coming hopefully within a couple of months.) Getting updates out 
relatively quickly and at lesser cost to educators or the end user is 
easier with an eBook format than hard cover but I'm guessing Springer 
will be able to offer both.

In any event, I am glad Anis is looking into this project as there are 
still so many aspects of ROS (like UAVs) that need good structured 
documentation with working examples.  The original tutorials on the ROS 
Wiki were invaluable to my own introduction to ROS and continue to be an 
excellent starting point.  But the more we can fill in the gaps between 
those tutorials and real-world ROS examples the better!


On 10/26/2014 11:30 AM, Paul Bouchier wrote:
> All,
> I want to give a shout out for the ROS By Example books by Patrick 
> Goebel. They are listed on the books wiki page Anis pointed to. They 
> explain many of the  areas Mike cites as needing comprehensive 
> explanation, and also contain a lot of examples that help you follow 
> along, and are re-released with updates for each new version of ROS. 
> There's an active google group for asking questions about material in 
> the book. The two books are a level above the tutorials because they 
> tie many packages together into solutions. At $15 - $22 for the 
> e-book, or $25 - $38 for paperback, they are excellent value. If you 
> work with ROS and aren't one of the illuminati, you really should have 
> them on your disk or bookshelf.
> New books should take these books' contributions into account (IMHO) 
> and offer value in new areas - there's still a lot of ground that 
> should be covered.
> This is a public-service announcement for those who haven't looked at 
> the books that are already out there; I have no connection to the author.
> Regards
> Paul Bouchier
> On 10/22/2014 12:29 PM, Mike Purvis wrote:
>> Hi Anis,
>> I'm not sure how to express this through your form, but something 
>> that's badly needed from Clearpath's perspective is a modern take on 
>> what the parts are which make up a typical ROS robot. This is beyond 
>> the "basics" of building a workspace, creating publishers and 
>> subscribers, launching things, etc, but it's not as high-level as 
>> specific packages like navigation, moveit, etc.
>> Obviously there's a lot of variability out there, but if someone were 
>> to build a robot today, from scratch, to use ROS, they'd ask some 
>> fundamental questions like:
>>   * How do I build a URDF for my robot? How do I name the links and
>>     joints? Should I have a base_footprint? Should I use xacro?
>>   * What's the deal with robot_state_publisher, and what's the
>>     relationship between the joint_states topic and my TF tree?
>>   * Where do the odom and map frames come from? Should I always
>>     expect them to be there, or do they come and go depending what's
>>     running? How do I handle REP-105 if my robot has a GPS receiver?
>>     What about if it has an integrated GPS-INS?
>>   * Now that I have a URDF, how do I bring my robot up in Gazebo? How
>>     do I give my simulated robot an IMU, LIDAR, and camera?
>>   * How does my robot know where it is? What is localization, and
>>     what topics are consumed and produced by it?
>>   * For a "typical" encoders + imu + LIDAR configuration, what topics
>>     should I expect to see, where, and on what frequencies?
>>   * How do I set up my robot to use ros_control and the existing
>>     suite of available controllers? Should I have a real-time control
>>     loop? If so, how do I set that up in Ubuntu?
>>   * How should I set up ROS to launch automatically when I turn on my
>>     robot? How do I manage logs, node output, and bag files?
>> There's been discussion in the past about specifying some standards 
>> for this kind of thing, possibly in a REP, but a great first step 
>> would be a book or other resource which presented this material in an 
>> approachable, linear kind of way.
>> Mike
>> On 22 October 2014 05:31, Anis Koubaa (COINS) <akoubaa at coins-lab.org 
>> <mailto:akoubaa at coins-lab.org>> wrote:
>>     Hello ROS users community,
>>     I am coordinating with Springer publisher to edit a handbook on
>>     Robot Operating System.
>>     There are only a few books on ROS http://wiki.ros.org/Books which
>>     mainly represent a brief introduction to ROS and a few basic
>>     applications. This does not translate the huge amount of work
>>     being done in the community and I feel the need to have a
>>     complete reference on the topic.
>>     The prospective handbook will cover ROS from foundations and
>>     basics to advanced research works from both academia and
>>     industry. Tutorials and research papers will both be sought. The
>>     book should cover several robotics areas including but not
>>     limited to robot navigation, UAVs, arm manipulation, multi-robot
>>     communication protocols, Web and mobile interfaces using ROS,
>>     integration of new robotic platform to ROS, computer vision
>>     applications, development of service robots using ROS,
>>     development of new libraries and packages for ROS, etc. Every
>>     book chapter should be accompanied with a working code to be put
>>     later in a common repository for the readers.
>>     To express your interest to the handbook and your intention of a
>>     chapter proposal, I would like to invite you fill in the
>>     following form
>>     <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JD78gka1rtotjGhBre-UJcm7QogQWUeURjvx4X028vw/viewform>. The
>>     proposed chapters are just  considered as an initial expression
>>     of interest and will be included in the handbook proposal. It
>>     does not mean any kind of commitment for the author at this
>>     stage. An official call for chapters with instructions and
>>     deadline will be announced soon.
>>     Thank you and look forward to receive your feedback
>>     Anis
>>     *-------------------------------------------------------------*
>>     *Anis Koubaa*
>>     Associate Professor, Prince Sultan University, Saudi Arabia
>>     Research Associate, CISTER Research Unit, Portugal
>>     http://www.dei.isep.ipp.pt/~akoubaa/
>>     <http://ww.dei.isep.ipp.pt/%7Eakoubaa/>
>>     http://www.iroboapp.org

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