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ROS Dutch Users Group creation

@tfoote As you suggested regarding the creation of a local user group the Netherlands.

  • The name of the local user group should be ROS Dutch Users Group.

  • The language of preference would be English.

  • The objective of this group is to bring all robotics enthusiasts living in the Netherlands together to share and build common experiences with ROS and robotics. The goal is to create a thriving community of roboticists who enjoy developing on ROS and working together to build physical systems in the Dutch community. I’d like to invite you to come and chat here, regardless of your level of knowledge of ROS. This group is open to all English and Dutch speaking people in the Netherlands to show the importance of our community within the ROS community.

We do not yet have a common platform for all the users in the Netherlands. I’d like to think that this ROS Discourse can solve the problem.

This would be the image/logo for our group.
ROS dots_Tekengebied 1

Thank you @tfoote :smiley:

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What about the Dutch speaking people in Belgium? Don’t you want to integrate them as well?

Hi Dewi,

Most of our local user groups so far have been more focused on language rather than a specific region. It’s valuable to have local use groups but in general if they’re going to be focused on English language we’d encourage the users to participate in the larger community. To that end in a similar way to my suggestion for the proposed ROS Belgium user group creation I’d suggest that for coordinating meetups where the primary language is English in the main Local User Group category.

A separate consideration is to create a Dutch speaking subcategory to facilitate communications for non-english speakers. And I’d agree with @ThiloZimmermann that it would be good to scope it to make sure to not explicitly scope it based on locality. One of the biggest challenges for these sub categories is to reach critical mass and gathering as many as possible is valuable. A dedicated category that’s inactive is not very encouraging for potential new users.

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Hi Thilo,

Obviously we would welcome everybody from Belgium. From earlier Open Source communities i have been involved in (since early '90) we found that the virtual part works fine but the IRL events are visited only by people that are located sufficiently close by.

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Hi Tully,

My name is Aad Nales i am one of the people working with Dewi to set up a ROS community in the Netherlands. After reading your posting i realised that some additional info from us might help.

The critical mass does not seem to be an issue. The Robotics community in the Netherlands (wider than ROS) is estimated at 1.800 people and we had 50 people responding to an event on LinkedIn within hours. Organising small meetups from the middle of the afternoon for a couple of hours is already a challenge in the Netherlands itself. The concept of distance is different in Europe. Travelling more than 90 minutes for meetings like these is unlikely. The reason for keeping the meetups low key for now is that the costs for organising them is covered privately and bigger implies more expensive.

I find the argument for language somewhat surprising since all of groups that currently listed in the site with the possible exceptions of France and Korea seem to cover a bundle of languages (e.g India 22). But the language is not a key issue. All people in Robotics in the Netherlands have mastered English. The local forum is much more around activities. Support from the ROS.org website in the form of a link to the local discussions would help a lot. Having an easy way to reach the local ROS community is key to organising activities. The alternative is to use LinkedIn or a GoogleGroup but that would splinter the attention for ROS which would IMHO be a shame.

So i hope that Dewi’s work to kick off a local ROS community can be supported by a user group from local actvities on the ROS website.

Thanks for your attention.

Aad

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^ basically this.
+1

you may not be aware, but there is actually already quite a ROS community in the Netherlands :wink:

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you may not be aware, but there is actually already quite a ROS community in the Netherlands :wink:

But AFAIK that has been mostly informal and not an ‘official’ (FWIW) one, so hopefully this will be the one. I’m looking forward to the meetup tomorrow.

Hello everybody!

I will be moving in a month to the Netherlands and I definitely want to join the ROS community there and attend as many meetups as possible. I already recognize some of you from ROS Answers and I am quite exited to meet fellow ROS developers. Since I do not know where I can find information regarding these groups and events, will someone be kind enough to reply/pm me where/how I can find/join (specific threads, FB or similar) these groups?

There is a difference between a user group here on ROS Discourse and “a ROS community” :slight_smile:

One is not dependent on the other.

The way @LokiOfRagnar phrased it, it sounded like there was no community at all.

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Thanks for mentioning the ROS community in the Netherlands! To be honest, I had a hard time looking for ROS users in the Netherlands. Google and LinkedIn were my friends :slight_smile: . Could you refer me to a link or groups where I could unite this Dutch ROS community? Thank you in advance and see you tomorrow :smiley:.

There is a Slack group at dutchrosusers.slack.com which is currently mostly centered around Eindhoven and people related to the TechUnited RoboCup team.

EDIT: Forgot to mention you’re welcome of course!

ROS Discourse is inherently a global platform which is targeted at communicating broadly. We’ve created sub categories for specific languages to help facilitate the growth of non-english speaking communities. These categories are separated so that individuals can specifically choose to follow given languages depending on their preferences, but these conversations are generally global and based on language (i.e. our preference is towards a Spanish user group, not user groups in Mexico and Spain).

On the other hand local meetups are very much focused on the local user community. There are significant advantages to providing a local forum, as it provides new users a comfortable place to ask questions of people who they have potentially even met in person or seen at a meetup. It takes a lot more courage to engage with a global online community. One of the most powerful things about local meetups is that they’re often offline and in person to get direct connections. This is not something that Discourse can replace or support as it doesn’t provide features like invites, RSVPs, invite-specific communications, or directed invitations, just to name a few.

Similarly there’s potentially a lot of local groups and they’re only relevant to people in those areas or visiting those areas. As you mentioned a local meetup is unlikely to draw people from more than 90 minutes away, but if the attendee chooses to attend an Eindoven event from Antwerp Belgium vs driving down from Amsterdam that’s their choice. If there’s both an Eindoven and an Amsterdam group they don’t both need to be part of a greater Dutch community to be effective locally.We definitely want to support these groups. We already have a place for listing them with a non-trivial list: http://wiki.ros.org/Events.

I believe that the best way that we can help these groups is through improving discoverablility. For greater visibility I’m thinking that it would make sense to move the group content to a pinned wiki post in the Local User Group and link to it from the, “About Local User Groups” page. For anyone who’s organizing a local user groups page they can add their own events to this single wiki page.

Additionally, I’d like to encourage local user groups to announce their group and events in the “Local Users Group” category. This will give people a central location to find announcements, but not try to force organizers to use a tool that’s not super focused on their immediate needs as an organizer.

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As an example of what @tfoote said, the Japanese ROS community has a category on here where we can speak in Japanese, but we also use a local event organising service to organise frequent local events.

Where are the Dutch “groups” located currently? I know there are people in Delft and Eindhoven. In Enschede we a growing group. Are there more? I can check if there is interest in real life meetups in the east part of the country.

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I’d hazard a guess that each HBO and university that does something with robots has a few ROS users. With Mojin Robotics, we recently had a ROS-running Care-o-bot for a student project at the HAN in Arnhem and Nijmegen, so there’s that.
I know the UvA does some robotics but not sure if using ROS (They have a team in RoboCup@Home using a Pepper IIRC)

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Hi Tully,

Kindly correct if I am wrong but the wiki pages for events that you are referring to don’t have any “push” capability to serve as an update for the local community, or does it? Even if the Netherlands/Belgium community meetups are wildly successful we don’t expect more than a perhaps 12 per year (three times more than currently planned for). The use of a targeted group for especially localities is something that i have used in the past both when working with the first open source licenses and setting up a number of open source groups in the Netherlands.

The alternative to using the discourse functions of ROS.org is to setup a local user group for events in LinkedIn, but obviously that is not preferable. It seems that our request is somehow new or that we don’t fully understand how to effectively spread the word of ROS events effectively. Any suggestions on that are appreciated.

Kind regards,
Aad

But don’t you feel it is a pity that information around events is not ROS.org? Should this not be the one-point-shopping location for all information and events on all things ROS?

Kind regards,
Aad Nales

I think it could be but it would require infrastructure. Just having a big list of events would get unusable very quickly if we have a lot of events around the world.

I think a global view of events could be very handy. I’m based in NL but travel to Stuttgart Germany occasionally. I have considered timing my trips to catch some events (but so far this hasn’t happened).

Overall, could meetup.com not help already? Users can filter to a range to eg. 100km of their location.
Just link to that or embed a view into the #ros-labeled events on meetup.com.

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