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Status on arm navigation tutorials

asked 2011-10-20 03:52:31 -0500

akargol gravatar image

I'm a relative newbie to ROS, and I'm struggling with learning how to use the arm navigation stack in electric. I was wondering if there are any plans to update the arm navigation tutorials...

I realize that the arm navigation API has not changed between diamondback and electric, and that the major changes were adding the Planning Scene and moving some packages around, so theoretically it should be relatively easy to find the files that have been moved.

However, the instructions on how to run a PR2 in simulation seem to have changed. Some of the launch files referenced in the tutorial seem to have been completely removed, as I cannot find them anywhere in the arm navigation stack. Also, I've noticed a couple of cases where new launch files need to be added to run the same tutorial. Some of these have already been asked here, like the addition of the Planning Scene to the Constraint Aware IK tutorial, but there a few more cases. For example, this tutorial sits there waiting for a service that is supposed to be launched by a launch file that no longer exists in electric.

I'm also having trouble visualizing the robot as described in the tutorials, even after I've identified some of the problems. The errors I'm getting involve certain nodes and services not starting correctly, which implies that I'm still missing some launch files.

Also, this is my first experience with the arm navigation stack, so it would be very helpful if there was a more detailed example of how to use the Planning Scene Architecture. The small example Gil posted here yesterday afternoon and the high-level overview of the architecture are very helpful. However, they both hint at a lot more functionality, and it would be very helpful if the tutorials included a more detailed example of how to actually use all of the nifty things that the overview alludes to.

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answered 2011-10-20 12:56:56 -0500

egiljones gravatar image

updated 2011-10-20 12:57:26 -0500


I'm definitely aware that things are out-of-date on the tutorial side, and I'm gradually updating everything. For instance, I wrote a new tutorial for validity checking that I think you'll find interesting, as it shows the power of the planning scene for letting you use the C++ classes within your own code. You can find the new tutorial here.

In order for you to actually run this stuff through debs I'll need to release pr2_arm_navigation, which is going to take a little while longer as I want to make sure that everything is ready to go before I do it. Also, working on tutorials more than a couple hours a day makes me kind of crazy so it's going to take a little while. I'll aim to release electric versions of all existing tutorials as well as some new tutorials demonstrating features that weren't possible in electric by the end of next week.

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What's the current status of the arm_navigation tutorial update? A couple of times I was also confused by the tutorials and provided information on the wiki too. My biggest problem was to find out which information is actually up-to-date. Here and there, I found wrong or missing information.

bit-pirate gravatar image bit-pirate  ( 2012-02-27 19:23:41 -0500 )edit

E.g. the launch file "planning_scene_warehouse_viewer_only.launch" in the move_arm_warehouse package seems to be missing (Warehouse Viewer tutorial). I do understand that creating and maintaining the wiki is quite some work. Since I am currently working my way into the arm_navigation stack, ...

bit-pirate gravatar image bit-pirate  ( 2012-02-27 19:26:37 -0500 )edit

I might could help with that job - maybe others, too, who are working with the stack, However, I would like to avoid spending time on improving wiki pages, when they are replaced or updated soon anyway.

bit-pirate gravatar image bit-pirate  ( 2012-02-27 19:28:36 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2011-10-20 03:52:31 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 20 '11