[ros-users] [Discourse.ros.org] [General] ROS Answers needs your help

gavanderhoorn ros.discourse at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 16:45:24 UTC 2018

Or to be more specific: all of us posting on ROS Answers need your help.


Not counting the duplicates and the ones that are easy to answer ("did you source `setup.bash`?", "No, pkg X is not released into ROS version Y"), I easily see a hundred new questions on ROS Answers each week.

While many are about installation, deployment or integration issues, the ones that make ROS Answers really worth the time are those that ask about advice on configuration of specific packages. How to tune the PIDs on a `ros_control` based driver fi, what sensors to choose for `robot_localization` in an underground cave or whether a 2D navigation stack can actually be used by a 6D drone "*if I only fly it in a single plane*".

A large number of volunteers from the community help out by answering quite a few of these questions, or at least try to help getting closer to a solution -- and they deserve a lot of recognition and thanks for that. I've noticed however somewhat of a decline in the number of interactions of what I would call *topic experts* with the ROS Answers community: users that have extensive experience with specific functionality such as mapping, localisation, motion planning, application design, human-robot interaction, behaviour modelling, system architecture, high-volume datastream processing, multi-robot systems, etc.

It's exactly those kinds of interactions that make ROS Answers an invaluable resource, and it would be unfortunate if we lose that.

This post is therefore a *call to action* (or perhaps even a *call to participate*): if you have experience with one or more packages and you feel you could help out a fellow ROS user that is perhaps just starting out, take 15 minutes at the end or start of your day to check whether there are any questions you could contribute to.

Even a short comment pointing the poster in the right direction has the potential to save someone hours of debugging or searching. Don't understimate how much you can help someone, even if you feel you are not a "ROS expert" (whatever that may mean).

And if you're just starting out yourself, you could consider ROS Answers a good way to get familiar with ROS: pick a question and try to figure out what the answer could be. I've learned quite a few interesting things about ROS that way which I would not have known otherwise.

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