Towards a Fedora Robotics Spin

Finally, we are going to have a Fedora Robotics Spin; a flavor of Fedora focused on providing a ready to use distribution for people working on Robotics, and a distribution to introduce new people to robotics. This work is being done by Fedora Robotics SIG, which prepares robotic packages for Fedora.

Fedora Robotics Spin is going to be a LiveDVD providing the following:

  1. Hopefully, a step by step demo prepared for newcomers to introduce them to the robotics world and let them get started. Work on this demo has been started recently, and considering the limited available time of contributors; we hope that we can get it up and running soon. Unfortunately, I can’t help much for this release as I’m working on my thesis.
  2. Robotic Software Frameworks such as Player and Fawkes.
  3. Simulators: Stage and RoboCup Soccer Simulation Server 2D and 3D are already packaged; others might come soon
  4. Robotic Libraries including MRPT and gearbox
  5. Libraries which are very useful in robotics, such as OpenCV computer vision library and Festival text-to-speech system.
  6. Hardware accessory libraries including libraries for Katana robot arm and Hokuyo laser range finders
  7. And finally, a development environment consisting of IDE, compilers, etc.

Fedora Robotics Spin aims to provide a rich environment for newcomers and experts in the robotics field. The first version will be hopefully released as an official Fedora 15 spin. 🙂

Apparently, this is the year of Fedora in Robotics! 😛


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Allen Halsey on November 19, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Sounds very interesting. I’d like to try it.

    I don’t understand why it is a spin, though. I’m unlikely to install an OS, or even boot a live image, to try a few packages. Can’t we just have a group defined in comps.xml named “Robotics”?

    sudo yum groupinstall Robotics

    is very easy.

    I guess I just don’t understand spins, except for people that don’t already have a linux distro installed.


    • You are absolutely right: the spin is targeted for people without Fedora pre-installed. This category can include a good number of people: consider an student who is going to install a Linux distro just to work with some robotics package(s). Interestingly, this is quite common. The spin is targeted towards such people, who want to install Linux for robotics development. Finally, a nice thing about a spin is that you can start using it right after installation: not everybody has a good internet access whenever it installs Fedora for robotics use. Personally, I almost always carry the needed packages with myself because I’m not sure that I’ll have internet access whenever I need them. So, having a portable & ready to use distro is a great convenience in many cases.

      Having a Robotics group in comps is certainly nice and IIRC somebody was going to do that (but maybe we just talked about it). Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll check to make sure that it’ll happen.



      • Posted by Allen Halsey on November 20, 2010 at 5:51 am

        Live disc Spins make sense to me as a way to easily evaluate a distro’s suitability for a specific purpose, and to make sure your computer hardware is supported.

        But for actually installing to the hard drive, I’d rather install the general purpose Fedora Desktop distro and then install sets of packages as needed. Because depending on the day, I might want to do graphic design, or electronics design, or play games, or switch to XFCE desktop environment, or do security analysis, or robotics. Installing the Design, FEL, Games, XFCE, Security, and Robotics spins and multibooting (or switching virtual machines) isn’t practical.

        Thanks for the discussion, and good luck with the project.

      • Yes, to be honest I’ve always installed Fedora using Fedora installation DVD. And I’ll probably continue to do so. 🙂 BTW, I found that there are many who are comfortable with such live distros. And I’ll carry the robotics spin with myself, mostly to give it to others! 😛

        Thanks again

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