Ecole des mines de Douai is my very first experience far from home, and, like every good experience far from home, it becomes a new home.
The amount of achievements i meet in this place is amazing, and the achievements i am going to meet because of time here is even more amazing.
My job in this place was a fixed length contract as Ingénieur de recherche, or research engineer.
The project i was in charge is called RoboShop. It is basically a robot guide for indoor scenarios. Our specific scenario: shopping. The main requirement then was a differential drive robot moving inside a crowded shopping, leading costumers to do their shops, looking for best paths, avoiding to collide and of course, exposing a responsive and user friendly interface.
Since the project had several money contributors, there where also other requirements, by example, there should be also as outline a framework for implementing ROS (Robot Operative System) nodes in Pharo smalltalk, well documented, and oriented to be used to learn robotics.
And, as if that is not enough, we had to keep publishing the evolution of the work in the team blog.
There was also, like in all engineering jobs, deadlines.
The result of this was:
PhaROS Deployer ( A whole 3rd application that automatise the infrastructure work related with ROS, as generating makefiles, deploying types, generating scripts, etc), that you can checkout here and look for documentation here
MiddlewareDeployer – A Whole framework for deploying Pharo/Squeak based projects into any kind of middleware, on which is based the PhaROSDeployer tool and that you can checkout here
XSens Bus ROSCPP driver – XSens is an accelerometer widely known. Sadly all the implementations i found did not support Bus XSens, which is a solution for composing accelerometers (to be able to measure, by example, an arm, you need at least 3 accelerometers)
Arduino sensor/actuator controllers – Arduino has a set of sensors and actuators that come with the beginner kit. We built an driver function for each of this sensor/actuator that you can use as a library in your Arduino code and connect with ROS. For each of this Arduino based controllers, that connect to ROS trough ROSSerial package i built a PhaROS Nodelet ( kind of reusable object interface ) that give you full and coherent control of each of this components.
The RoboShop project, which source still private, so i cannot point it here.
Finally, in what is to documentation, the team is making editorial work in order to publish the deployment design as a technical report and the PhaROS by example text as a book. Sadly, meanwhile that is not done, the content of both is confidential.
What is already published and i can show to you is the team blog, some videos related with the PhaROS / RoboShop project
The video and slides of FOSDEM 2014, where i presented PhaROS.
Presentation Video (Courtesy of FOSDEM organisers)
And finally, the slides from the project presentation in ESUG 2013