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Software Information

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Software Information
Answer
9/7/16 11:23 AM
We've received many questions regarding the software to be used in the Challenge. To that end, the available information is below:

ROS Indigo
Gazebo 7.0
R5 simulation will be provided with walking/balancing control from IHMC

Thank you,
Jerry C.
Provider Help Desk

RE: Software Information
Answer
9/8/16 2:25 PM as a reply to Provider Help Desk.
Can you provide instructions on how to install both ROS Indigo and Gazebo 7.0?

From what I can find out, Ubuntu Trusty (14.04 LTS) provides packages for ROS Indigo with Gazebo 2. Link here.

Ubuntu Xenial (16.04 LTS) provides packages for ROS Kinetic with Gazebo 7. Link here.

RE: Software Information
Answer
9/8/16 11:56 PM as a reply to Provider Help Desk.
What about software for the upper body control?

Rud

RE: Software Information
Answer
9/13/16 12:39 PM as a reply to Dzung Hoang.
Installation may be released at a later date in a format similar to DRCSIM's installation. Instructions for DRCSIM here as reference: http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?tut=drcsim_install&cat=drcsim
I'm assuming that this is the case as it only requires an installation of ROS Indigo then the DRCSIM installation which includes Gazebo2 and various Atlas packages making installation simple for begginers. However, considering Trusty 14.04 is indigo's target OS, it may mean that SRC competitors will have to run the Trusty platform to ensure seamless operation of ROS Indigo.
Only difference is that this installation may be a modified Gazebo7 to work with ROS Indigo.
Don't quote me on this though, it is simply speculation. Though DRCSIM would be a good place to start.

RE: Software Information
Answer
9/15/16 12:29 PM as a reply to Provider Help Desk.
Thank you very much for providing this information!  It helps immensely in preparing my team.

I am trying to imagine the exact configuration more specifically however, including the idea of having a 20-second delay as stated in the rules.  I assume the Gazebo server will be running on your cloud server.

Then, is the idea that we write a local ROS service that runs along side Gazebo on your server and sends and receives messages to Gazebo, and we also write a locally-running client that talks to it over our choice of TCP protocol with a 20-second delay?  (For example, to transfer a bunch of sensor data, analyse it, and then send back a command sequence.)

Or, since you mention C++, will be writing a Gazebo controller plugin in C++ that runs inside the Gazebo process?  In what sense will the walking control be provided?  Will it be a C++ Gazebo plugin, that accepts messages like "forward", "back", "turn"?

Some kind of very clear system diagram would be helpful here I think.  What components will be running where, etc.  I have no experience with a "cloud competition" so I am just trying to figure it out.  Thank you!

RE: Software Information
Answer
9/27/16 1:45 PM as a reply to Stephen Sinclair.
After a bit more research and seeing that there's no answer, I'll write my question a bit shorter:
  • Will the provided model for the R5 have the gazebo_ros_control plugin embedded for the joints?  Or will it have some custom controller, or will we be writing one?
  • If so, can we write a C++ (or other language, I'd prefer Python) running locally with Gazebo?  Is this program allowed to communicate over the internet?
  • How will the 20 second delay be implemented?
Thank you!

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/7/16 9:18 AM as a reply to Stephen Sinclair.
1. For qualifications, a competitor will run the simulation software on their own machine. For the virtual competition, the scenarios will be run on cloud machines by the Challenge Administrator.

2. All communication will be through ROS.  Teams will have to write code in ROS, not a Gazebo plugin. 
3. Competitors can use any language they want that will work with ROS. You will not be provided joystick-like commanding or writing a Gazebo plugin. They will need to develop their own high-level motion planning tools, but not motion controllers. 

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/8/16 7:46 AM as a reply to Provider Help Desk.
The time to calculate a task depends mainly on hardware specifications, especially in the field of visual perception.

Why will the qualification round run on competitors' own machines then?

It turns out that, in this respect, some competitors will have clear advantage over others.

Is it not going to be fairer if both the qualification and the virtual rounds run on cloud machines, managed by the Challenge Administrator?

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/9/16 11:33 PM as a reply to Todor Uzunov.
Not if simulated time is the standard used.

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/10/16 4:03 PM as a reply to Rud Merriam.
Simulation time is a stopwatch in the simulator, not quantitative/qualitative/benchmarking indicator or an attribute of computer performance. How the simulation time will take into account the time to apply an edge detection algorithm to an image? It is not dependent on how many GHz your CPU runs or how many CPU/GPU cores your computer has.

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/12/16 4:54 PM as a reply to Todor Uzunov.
Agreed,

It seems that in the earlier round there will be a distinct advantage to some groups. However I feel this was always going to be the case as some groups will have more experience, planning architectures, tools etc in addition to other resources such as hardware and 'people'

There is not much to get around this, and to be honest even our group is planning to batch run the simulator on more then one machine to test differant strategies.

Cdr

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/13/16 2:27 PM as a reply to Michael Farnsworth.
I'm not sure that this is the goal of the competition. After all, the goal I believe is to create the best software for Valkyrie - a robot with specific hardware specifications. On Mars it/she will not have multi-GPU computers, cluster of computers or access to supercomputers to do tasks similar to the ones stipulated in the competition.

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/13/16 10:33 PM as a reply to Todor Uzunov.
Surely there will be significant improvements in processing between now and an actual landing by  Val's descendants. Ten years ago I had a rover using a 400 MHz Atom PC in a very small form factor. Today I could use a i7 in the same form factor and about the same price. 

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/14/16 9:29 AM as a reply to Todor Uzunov.
Todor Uzunov:
I'm not sure that this is the goal of the competition. After all, the goal I believe is to create the best software for Valkyrie - a robot with specific hardware specifications. On Mars it/she will not have multi-GPU computers, cluster of computers or access to supercomputers to do tasks similar to the ones stipulated in the competition.
True, but technically we are not just on Mars, you can include control from Earth, it just won't be real-time control, but it could be higher level planning or decision-making, who knows.

Though I agree we probably shouldnt look to develop the Mars side real-time capabilities beyond the technical and hardware restrictions present in the actual Robonaut 5 platfor. Perhaps the competition handlers could clarify any constraints, or maybe something to bring up in the webinar.

MF

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/14/16 5:31 PM as a reply to Rud Merriam.
Yes, but we will be writing code which next year will be executed on current Valkyrie's hardware specification (Q2'12 processor i7-3615QE @2.3GHz and integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4000 processor). I doubt that winners' software will run in its original form (if at all) when Val's descendants land on Mars. In 10 years many things may change, not only hardware. We may even have AI, who knows?

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/25/16 6:19 AM as a reply to Provider Help Desk.
Any news on the simulation software?

It is now the 25th, and I've not recieved any details regarding how to download the virtual simulator / ROS / Gazebo etc.

Has anyone actually recieved an email or link to download it yet?

MF

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/25/16 6:32 AM as a reply to Michael Farnsworth.
No official info yet!

But, I found some related pieces here:

srcsim
https://bitbucket.org/osrf/srcsim

val_description
https://gitlab.com/nasa-jsc-robotics/val_description

However, we may need val_gazebo to bring up the valkyrie gazebo simulation environment.

I have an indigo and gazebo4 PC and compiled srcsim and val_description. val_description was compiled successfully, but srcsim wasn't. I believe that we need gazebo7 to compile SRCMultisenseSLPlugin!

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/25/16 8:27 AM as a reply to Michael Farnsworth.
Аt some time this week we will receive competitor packets. We must fill and send back the paparwork from the competitor packet(team agreement, acknowledgement for Non-Us participants, team bio form, verification and/or authorization forms like authorization to participate for Federal Employees, proof of citizenchip, etc). After 72 hours(for review and approvement of the provided docs) Challenge admins will send confirmation to the Team Leader that the team may proceed to the qualification round along with all instructions on how to access the downloads to begin the qualification round. 

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/25/16 9:02 AM as a reply to Todor Uzunov.
It seems then that some groups may have an advantage by receiving the instructions sooner...  hopefully this will be only a matter of days and not weeks.  

I believe with the original release dates, this would not have been the case as the paperwork deadline would have been well before the software release.  

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/25/16 9:32 AM as a reply to Jed Williams.
Well hopefully it is not the case that details are tied to when they recieve and check the applciation packs from contestants as that would seem a bit strange to say the least.

Is it against any TOS to post the links to the softawre if I recieve them earlier then other do you think?

Mike F

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/25/16 10:09 AM as a reply to Jed Williams.
These instructions are from the webinar, you probably did not participate in the webinar. That's why you think I have more info than you. Challenge admins will send link within the competitor packet to the video recording of the webinar and then you will see. About the deadlines also mentioned in the webinar for submitting the paperwork the deadline is January 10, 2017. After that received packets are not guaranteed to be processed in time for Teams to complete the Qualification Round. Deadline for final upload of the log files for scoring is January 14, 2017 at 5pm ET. These are the original deadlines but now with the delay in delivering the competitor packets these dates may be subject to change.

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/25/16 11:38 AM as a reply to Todor Uzunov.
Oh no, I understood the instructions from the webinar.

Maybe my point was not clear.  I am saying that since
  1. The packets have not been sent yet, but 
  2. The software is now theoretically available after the packet is processed
then if I happen to get my packet today and you get yours tomorrow, and each takes the same time to process, then I could have access to the software a day earlier.

I'm not concerned about the people who would be waiting to submit their packet until the deadline, I'm concerned about those that are trying to get access to the software as soon as possible.  

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/28/16 3:17 PM as a reply to Provider Help Desk.
I installed indigo and gazebo7 and tested srcsim and pr2_gazebo.

These are how qualification tasks look like with PR2.

Task1:



Task2:


RE: Software Information
Answer
10/28/16 4:29 PM as a reply to Yoshimaru Tanaka.
Yoshimaru Tanaka, you have the software package? I'm confused. You have the competition package, but not the competition robot model? Are we supposed to have received it by now? Because I have received nothing.

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/28/16 4:40 PM as a reply to Stephen Sinclair.
Stephen,

I've not received anything yet! No packet and software in my hand XD

Note: there is unofficial information below.

Read my previous post. I pasted the link to srcsim repository (https://bitbucket.org/osrf/srcsim) hosted by osrf. It can be compiled with indigo and gazebo7 environment.

I just put PR2 robot from pr2_simulater package (https://github.com/PR2/pr2_simulator) into the simulation world. It is possible to do it by including qual1.world in pr2.launch file in pr2_gazebo package.

pr2 gazebo publish /wide_stereo/points2 and /tilt_scan. They works as substitution for multisense stereo point2 and spindle laser publishe by multisense attached on valkyrie.

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/29/16 12:26 AM as a reply to Yoshimaru Tanaka.
When Gazebo 7 is run the Control Console and SRC:doorway in the message above appear in the gazebosim.org/models under the Insert tab. Since the Control Console doesn't have the SRC: prefix it may not be the one for the simulation, but then again it maybe is. emoticon

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/30/16 12:39 PM as a reply to Yoshimaru Tanaka.
I am new to ROS gazebo and robot models

Are there tutorials to load the correct version of ROS, Gazebo7, srcsim and the pr2_gazebo

I have spent a day loading ROS indigo and many version of gazebo7, srcsim and pr2_gazebo

In order to get the PR2 video stream to see the light panel and dorrway/button?

First should I be using ROD Indigo or another ROS version? I assume Indigo.

I have tried to install gasebo7 and ros-indigo-gazebo7. I have a workspace call catkin_ws and try to hg clone the srcsim in src folder. When I run catkin_make in catkin_ws folder, I get a couldn't find gazebo_plugins error. I have most of the opencv code done. it seems that there should be a package to load everthing correctly. I know I will have to add the qual1.world to the pr2.launch file but haven't got that far yet.

Any help is appriaciated.

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/30/16 12:53 PM as a reply to Peter James.
There is nothing official out on the SRC simulation. You indicate you are new to ROS and Gazebo so I would suggest you not worry about getting the srcsim code working. You'd be better off working through ROS, RVIZ, OpenCV, and Gazebo tutorials while waiting for access to the official software. 

RE: Software Information
Answer
10/30/16 3:04 PM as a reply to Peter James.
Peter,

Sorry for making you confused. I agree with Rud. But, I add PCL to the list of TO DO because we have to identify the location (XYZ position) of blinking panels respect to the valkyrie camera frame.

Here is the tutorial of how to use PCL in ROS.
http://wiki.ros.org/pcl/Tutorials