Faisant suite aux différentes précédentes éditions des JNRH et JNCAR, les GT Robotique Humanoïde et Architecture de Contrôle en Robotique (http://www.gdr-robotique.org) et l’Université de Versailles Saint Quentin (Laboratoire LISV) ont le plaisir de vous annoncer la tenue des journées nationales de la robotique humanoïde et des architectures de contrôle des robots les lundi 23 et mardi 24 juin 2014.

Ces journées ont pour objectif de réunir les communautés nationales de la recherche et de l’industrie autour des problématiques de la robotique humanoïde et des architectures de contrôle des robots.
Ces problématiques concernent par exemple la conception mécanique de nouvelles structures anthropomorphes, la modélisation, la commande, ou l’optimisation pour la gestion de la redondance ou la planification de trajectoires.
Pour ce qui est des architectures de contrôle, les préoccupations concernent les logiciels embarqués pour contrôler des robots individuels ou coordonner des systèmes multi-robots. L’intégration logicielle des fonctionnalités du robot est devenu une problématique centrale pour la future industrie de la robotique de service (médicale, d’assistance, industrielle, etc.), amenant à considérer de multiples aspects dont par exemple la montée en abstraction via l’ingénierie dirigée par les modèles et les langages dédiés, les problèmes d’exécution distribuée, la validation et la simulation (e.g. hardware in the loop).
Un deuxième objectif, sera de renforcer les liens entre la communauté des architectures de contrôle en robotique et celle de la robotique humanoïde afin de pouvoir s’enrichir mutuellement des connaissances et résultats réciproques. Cela se traduira notamment par des sessions uniques pour favoriser les échanges entre les deux communautés.

Participation et déroulement de ces journées :
Nous invitons la communauté scientifique à proposer des présentations autour des thèmes précédemment cités. Cette proposition sera faite sous la forme d’un résumé d’une page à soumettre au format pdf à l’adresse suivante :
Ces présentations seront d’une durée d’environ 30mn avec une place importante accordée aux questions et à la discussion (15mn).
Ces journées débuteront lundi 23 juin à 9h30 et se termineront le mardi 24 juin à 17h.
Agenda des journées :
- Soumission du résumé avant le 09/05/2014
- Programme des journées disponible le 30/05/2014

I am pleased to announce Phratch website.

Thanks to the support of ESUG, it is possible to make visible this wonderful project.

For now, what is available on the site:
- a presentation of Phratch (you can refer to it now)
- installation files, there is a portable version for Windows, Linux, MacOS.
- tutorials
- block documentation: generated from a Phratch image !
- Some elements for Jetstorm (a lot of new articles will come soon)
- a category with news

Now about the versions, I am developing the version 3.0
Why this number ? Why a third version in one year of work ?
It is clear that a lot of work is already done. Each version represents strong changes in the architecture.
- version 1.0 is the port of Scratch + BYOB + Panther in Pharo. It is working but not extendable.
- version 2.0 makes Phratch really extendable. We can develop our own block for everything in Pharo. I also make Phratch more modular with the use of Pragmas for some menus, declaration of blocks… It is available only in Pharo 3.0. There are some languages available, I hope more people can translate in other languages.
- version 3.0 is the version in development. What is new here: Before this version Phratch was really slow. I am cleaning the code, and now it begins to be fast, really fast ! We also begun to write tests.

I am really happy to have the support of ESUG and Pharo.
Thanks to the community to make Pharo as usable as it it, it makes our dreams possible.

This was our first session on Phratch. The main goal of this course is to program the Lego Minstorm Ev3. The course is a sequence of 6 sessions.

In this first session, we were interested only on the software part: the students learned how to use Phratch, how to use blocks, variables, how to make a block…

The goal for them was to build the famous game: a Pong-like !

We also addressed an interesting point in software engineering: how to report a bug. Yes, you know that Phratch is in development and the current version is instable. So the idea for the students is: when they found a problem, there had to reproduce it at least one time and only afterthey reproduced it they call the teacher. The teacher validate the bug, then the student had to write a small bug report on a post-it and paste it on the white board.

Why a post-it ? It is small, and make the student thinking about what is important to write. It allows them to develop the deductive reasoning skill.

Phratch is clearly more stable that I expected. Now, we need to make it faster !
Let’s go for Phratch3.0.

More photos here.

Agile methods are now used in a large number of companies specialized in IT, including IT services. These agile methods are taught often in a specific course containing a part with theory  and a practical part.

The problematic is the following: we say that agile methods are effective and provide a better project management. Why we , teachers, are not using the agile gaits out of this specific course?

The project has two goals : firstly teaching agile methods transversally to the main courses . On the other hand, it is set to make the course more flexible and adapted to students. The result is a fragmented learning, so students are better able to assimilate knowledge.

The gait is as follows: The students have an access to a pdf document of the course. They have to read it. A 4 hours session goes as follows: Each student (or binomial) has a task-board on which it will add tasks (written on post-it). This task-board comes from the SCRUM agile method. When he finish a task, he updates his task board . The task board is particularly important for the teacher : it allows him to see the progress of students in their work, in the same manner as for the management of an IT project.

One of the tasks is reading course. This needs to create a synthetic and readable pdf. The students are invited to read the document for 30 to 45 minutes depending on the difficulty . Then the teacher organizes a session of oral course of 20 minutes, just explaining the main elements to start the work. Other tasks are the completion of the User Stories of the project.

To apply this method, we add different tools (for example: board planning, the pomodoro and equivalent stand-up meeting in writing) that can be visible in the photos.

Teacher Task Board


Student Task Board


Pomodoro Timer

As i already shout in the FOSDEM 2014 slides post, i have presented PhaROS in the last edition of FOSDEM, under the title of PhaROS: Towards Live Environments in Robotics.

I bring now to you this video taken during the presentation. I wish you to enjoy it!

Sorry if my hair is disheveled :), i am not very photogenic.



Enjoy it!



I begin to write a strong interesting new functionality in Phratch: the Meta Repository.

The idea comes from Pharo: The Meta Repository is an area where you can put the installation process (in our words, a Metacello Configuration) of an extension of Phratch.

You can build a Metacello configuration based on the chapter already written about Metacello, available here: http://pharobooks.gforge.inria.fr/PharoByExampleTwo-Eng/latest/Metacello.pdf.
For now, you just need to have a class that has the pattern name ConfigurationOgYourAddOnName, where YourAddOnName should be changed by the name you want.

Then, just put the new configuration package on the PhratchMetaRepo, using Metacello, and putting it on the server: http://smalltalkhub.com/mc/JLaval/PhratchMetaRepo/main
using the following configuration of the Monticello configuration:

    location: 'http://smalltalkhub.com/mc/JLaval/PhratchMetaRepo/main'
    user: ''
    password: ''

Finally, on the user side of Phratch, you can see a new menu “AddOns”, where you can install all new add-ons. For now, there is one project: JetStorm for Phratch, that allows one to connect the robots Lego Mindstorms to Phratch.

I hope a lot of new projects will appear in following months.


As part of the PhaROS and related projects, Santiago Bragagnolo had developed TaksIt a  framework for to ease handling concurrency. Expressing and managing concurrent computations is indeed a concern of importance to develop applications that scale. A robotic application often have different processes dealing with different activities (e.g. preception, planning, …).

TaskIT provides abstractions to schedule and/or parallelize of the execution of pieces of code. They will be described in the forthcoming chapter of the Pharo for the Entreprise book. First content is already available online. You can also get the code by evaluating the following expression in a Pharo workspace:

Gofer it
smalltalkhubUser: 'sbragagnolo' project: 'TaskIT';
configurationOf: 'TaskIT';
loadVersion: #bleedingEdge


Automatically copy files that are added or modified in a specific folder of an svn repository.
Useful for Web sites, …

Prepare a post-commit script

cd /svn/robots/hooks
cp post-commit.tmpl post-commit
chmod ug+x post-commit

Be careful of the owner/group of this post-commit file because it is the unix user that is dedicated to execute post-commits that must have executable rights.

The post-commit script

Example of script that checks if files in “PhaROS/Scripts” are involved in the latest commit.
If yes, copy them in /var/www.



for scriptfile in `svnlook changed /svn/robots | awk -F "PhaROS/Scripts/" '{print $2}' | xargs`; do
        svn export --force --non-interactive -q  file:///svn/robots/PhaROS/Scripts/$scriptfile /var/www/Scripts/$scriptfile

Test the script

./post-commit /svn/robots 395

Be careful of the rights here too.
This post-commit script may be executed by a different user than yours when testing like above.
The real test is to modify the files in a repository copy and effectively do a commit.


PhaROS has being in this last edition of FOSDEM (2014) we are proud to share our time and space with a lot of open source projects. Thank you very much for good feelings, feedback and sharing this amazing time.
Video and photos from this great event will be soon available here. Meanwhile, here are the slides

Keep tuned!