Fedora Robotics Suite
Create a collection of software that provides an out-of-the-box usable robotic simulation environment featuring a linear demo to introduce new users. Additionally we want to add as many robotics related packages to maximize the amount of easily usable hardware and software.
- Email: (timn|rmattes) at fedoraproject dot org
- Targeted release: Fedora 15
- Last updated: 2011-03-08
- Percentage of completion: 90%
The Fedora Robotics SIG has packaged a lot of robotics related software and consists of upstream programmers from various projects (Fawkes, Player/Stage, RoboCup 3D Soccer Server). We now want to create a specified group of packages that form the Fedora Robotics Suite. It will include the software we have packaged, and brings in upstream expertise to create a simulation and demonstration environment to help new users dive into robotics quickly. Roboticists often face the problem of needing a consistent environment to simulate, operate, and develop robots. One such scenario are students that need to write code or operate a robot for a lab course. Recreating the environment on various different Linux systems is often painful and time consuming.
By creating a Robotics comps group we want to address these issues. We want to get new people interested in robotics and provide and easily and readily usable environment by installing packages from the comps group.
We plan to come up with a demonstration application, that builds on Fawkes and Player/Stage. In a simulated environment the user is to control a robot in levels of increasing difficulty, advancing from pointing the robot with a mouse to writing small scripts. This demonstration should conclude with pointers to more in-depth documentation of the various available robotics software packages, emphasizing the systems which have been used in the initial demo and where members of the upstream project contribute to Fedora.
Once the comps group is finalized, it will be simple to create a Robotics Spin. This can, for example, serve as a give-away in new lab courses, to get students up and running more quickly. It will also provide an educational environment to spawn new interest in robotics.
Benefit to Fedora
Fedora will become more interesting to the emerging robotics community, especially in the scientific and academic sector. Robotics is a hot topic and being able to provide a readily usable environment and introductory material may attract new users.
The first step is defining the collection of packages, which will be marked for the robotics comps group. Then the demonstration environment is to be created. This effort will be hosted by the Fawkes upstream project, and will involve members of the robotics SIG from this project and from the Player/Stage project. Finally the documentation is to be compiled which is provided as additional material to the user pointing the way and explaining the available components.
If the demonstration application cannot be finished in time, the comps group is still useful because it provides a wealth of robotics software. Shortcuts to at least run the simulation with the available instruction tools can be achieved in a short time and will be prepared as fallback.
How To Test
The simulation environment can be tested on all major Fedora platforms. To test hardware specific packages the specific hardware is required (like laser scanners or robotics arms). The instructions will be extended as the demo application is growing.
Users will be able to try out robotics in a simulation environment. Roboticists will be provided with an environment where a lot of robotics related software is usable out-of-the-box.
The suite itself has no outside dependencies. The demo application depends on available developer time, but an alternative without the demonstration application has been outlined above.
Remove robotics comps group and continue with status quo.
Fedora 15 now includes the Robotics Suite, a collection of packages that provides a usable out-of-the-box robotics development and simulation environment. The suite features robotics frameworks, simulation environments, utility libraries, and device support, and consolidates them into an easy-to-install package group. See http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Robotics for more details.