[Fedora Robotics] F15 blog post
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With Fedora 15's release imminent, I'd like to take the time to talk about the Robotics Suite feature. As some of you may have noticed, the Fedora Robotics Suite is new for Fedora 15, and it is already showing up as a bullet point in many reviews of the Fedora 15 alpha and beta releases. It's clear that very few people actually know what we're trying to accomplish with this feature, so I'll do my best to explain our motivations. The Fedora 15 release notes have this to say:
Fedora 15 now includes the Robotics Suite, a collection of packages that provides a usable out-of-the-box robotics development and simulation environment. This ever-growing suite features up-to-date robotics frameworks, simulation environments, utility libraries, and device support, and consolidates them into an easy-to-install package group. Visit http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Robotics for more details.
a nutshell, the Fedora Robotics SIG has been working hard over the past
few releases to create a fast and easy way to dive into robotics
development, for newbies and seasoned developers alike. The first
visibile of this effort is the Fedora Robotics Suite, a package group
that brings together many different robotics related libraries to make
it as easy as possible for developers to use Fedora in their robotics
Why is the suite needed?
The open-source robotics scene is diverse, consisting of vast amounts of independent libraries and frameworks that can be used for all kinds of robotics tasks. Unfortunately, the robotics develpment community is small enough that even some of the largest and most well-known software packages are still "niche" packages in the scope of a large linux distribution, often with only a handful of developers upstream. These factors add up to several problems that the Robotics Suite aims to alleviate:
What's in the Suite?
As noted at http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Robotics, the Robotics Suite currently includes several large-scale robotics frameworks and simulators, including Fawkes, Player, Stage, and the RoboCup Soccer Simulator. The Robotics Suite also consists of many specialized libraries like libphidget and libkni thatinteract with robot sensors and devices, libraries like mrpt and openni that implement specialized algorithms for things like motion planning and image processing, and IDEs like Eclipse and Arduino to make code development easier.
Future PlansThe Robotics Suite is a big milestone for the Robotics SIG, but we've got plenty of grand plans for future Fedora releases. We'd like to create an official Robotics Spin for future releases to make it even easier to sample and use the Robotics Suite, in the home or the classroom, without having to install Fedora outright. We are also sponsoring a Google Summer of Code student to create educational robotics software for new users that takes advantage of the packages available in the Robotics Suite.
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