ROS News for the week of August 7th, 2023

ROS News for the week of August 7th, 2023


After fourteen years, and tens of thousands of questions, ROS Answers is officially end of life! It was a pretty good run, and the whole team is excited to move to Robotics Stack Exchange for answering all your questions.

Screenshot from 2023-08-11 11-46-28
This week our friends at PickNik let it be known that they will hold MoveItCon the day before ROSCon (2023-10-17T07:00:00Z)! Details should be posted in the next few days. Early bird ROSCon tickets are currently on sale, along with a discount if you register from the PX4 Summit. Don’t delay! Prices go up 2023-09-03T07:00:00Z.


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Georgia Tech Smoothing and Mapping Library, aka “GTSAM”, is now available for ROS 2!. Maybe some enterprising open source developer will finally make a ROS package that implements an interface to this awesome real-time NERF-SLAM library. If you actually do this I will send you a pile of ROS swag. :wink:


Open Robotics will be attending the world’s largest agricultural robotics conference, FIRA 2023, in Salinas, California on 2023-09-19T07:00:00Z2023-09-21T07:00:00Z. If you plan on attending please let us know. If you are in the Bay Area considering swinging by for a day!


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After fourteen years, and tens of thousands of questions, ROS Answers is officially end of life!

Tens of thousands of questions, answered by @gavanderhoorn himself! And a few thousand for the rest of us.

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Thanks for the kind words :slight_smile:

It wasn’t that many though, and we’ve had many, many people contributing over the years.

Even though ROS Answers wasn’t always regarded as useful (I remember quotes from scientific papers where it was almost dismissed as being “only for absolute beginners”), I guess there were many who did find it a valuable resource, given the many interactions on that site and the upvotes and comments.

I like(d) helping people, and I hope robotics.stackexchange.com can fulfil a similar role. I just won’t be posting there :wave:

@gavanderhoorn, Just out of curiosity, why won’t you be posting there?

Life, mostly (ie: other things).

And, minor, but due to the way the migration is performed, I’d have to basically start from scratch (wrt privileges and site access). That’d take time, but see “Life, mostly” above.

I’ve nothing against RSE or the migration to it. In fact, I believe it’s a good thing. I realise the way I phrased it may have given a different impression, but that wasn’t my intention.

This actually turned out to be not entirely true. We were told a long time ago that reputation and so on would not carry across. Thus that is what we communicated to users of ROS Answers:

However, we found out just a few days ago that when the import was performed by Stack Exchange, the system granted reputation points for all questions you had answered. Before last week, I had something like 10 reputation on Robotics Stack Exchange. That’s not the case anymore (much to my surprise). Nor is it the case for you, it appears! Congratulations on being the #1 ranked person on Robotics Stack Exchange. :tada:

Having said that, “life” is a reason I can totally understand for having to step back from the huge time commitment that answering so many questions requires. Thank you for all your efforts over the years to help out ROS users.

To help mitigate these consequences, I opened all the migrated questions and answers and voted for the others’ replies/questions again where I participated. But with my 20 questions and 40 answers it was a few minute job.

seems it does indeed. I just noticed it myself.

Technically this still aligns with what @tfoote wrote I believe: he only said something about votes, not accepted answers. I just interpreted it as “no karma whatsoever” at the time.

Thanks. I gained an enormous amount of insight into how ROS worked, just by figuring out other people’s questions.

As I’ve written (and said) before: ROS Answers is basically a training manual, not a time sink.

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We pretty much did, too, so you weren’t wrong to.

I totally agree with this. I also learned a lot of what I know about ROS by doing the research and playing around necessary to answer other’s questions.

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