Here are videos of a students’ project of a tracker robot that relies on an external kinect sensor driven through ROS. The kinect observes the whole scene. A PhaROS-based node controls the robot to track a ball based on the the kinect output. When no ball is detected, the robot goes back to a home position.

Ball Following Behavior

Go Home Behavior

Tracker Camera View

We have already reported about a team of our students competing for the 2014 edition of the Eurobot contest (french chapter). The project where they have been using PhaROS is now over. Below the last videos. Hopefully a new team will be continue the effort next year and build up on what has been done so far.

IronMines Bot in the lab scoring 4 balls and 1 triangle

IronMines Bot in the lab scoring 1 ball and 2 triangles

IronMines during the competition

Cincom is looking for an experienced Smalltalker, a SOFTWARE ENGINEER.
Our new colleague shall strengthen the development team for our document output product Cincom ChannelStream (developed in Smalltalk).

Applications are accepted until the position is filled.
· English:
· French:


Yvonne Schickel
Marketing Manager Cincom ChannelStream
Cincom Systems GmbH & Co. oHG
Tel.: +49 6196 9003-0

Le programme de l’édition 2014 aux Journées Nationales de Robotique Humanoïde et Architecture de Contrôle en Robotique (JNRH-CAR) est désormais disponible. Cette année les journées se tiendront à Paris à la cité internationale les 23 et 24 juin.

Les inscriptions en ligne sonts ouvertes. Le prix comprend :

  • L’accès à la conférence
  • Le programme et les résumés des interventions
  • Les pauses café des 23 & 24 Juin 2014
  • Les déjeuners des 23 & 24 Juin 2014
  • Le diner du 23 Juin 2014


The Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Douai (Mines Douai ) is a French engineering school, member of the Institut Mines‐Télécom. Institut Mines‐Télécom is composed of 13 engineering schools with nearly 12,000 students, including 1,700 graduate students , and a research contract turnover of € 84 million. Mines Douai is organized into teaching and research departments in various fields of engineering science (for more details, see the website of the school: http://www2.mines‐ Mines Douai would like to strengthen the Computer Science team by hiring a permanent assistant professor.

Teaching activities :

‐ Provide specialized teaching in his or her field of competence, in particular those related to IT or IA,

‐ Get involved in various educational support activities (supervision of students, creation of new educational resources, admission …).

Research and technology transfer activities :

‐ Conduct research and supervise PhD students and postdocs in: software engineering for robotics or multi-robots systems and robotics fleets coordination (more on

‐ Develop collaboration with the other members of the department,

‐ Participate to regional, national and international activities (conference organization, workshop, etc.) of his/her field research,

‐ Collaborate with industrial partners and participate in technology transfer,

‐ Participate in the organization of scientific events.

Qualifications required
The position would suit an applicant who holds a PhD in the field of computer science, and who is interested in teaching and research‐oriented industrial applications. A post‐ doctoral experience would be appreciated. The ideal candidate must hold a specialized doctorate degree with skills in software engineering, autonomous systems, multi‐agent systems.
He/She should be a good team player and communicator, and have demonstrated international orientation. He/She should have the necessary linguistic and cultural skills to develop international cooperation in both research and teaching.

The candidate must have proven experience setting up and managing research projects. He or she should also
provide references showing an ability to teach and advise students. ’.

How to apply :
The position is open only to citizens of an EU member country. The application form is available upon request from : Danièle CATOUILLARD (Phone : +33 (0) ‐ daniele.catouillard@mines‐ ) Ecole des Mines de Douai Human Resources Department 941 Charles Street Bourseul ‐ CS 10838 59508 Douai Cedex ‐ France

Closing date for applications: 23 June 2014

Contact person
Professor Stephane LECOEUCHE ‐ Deputy Head of Department of Computer Science and Automatic Control, Director of the Research Unit IA Tel: +33 (0) Mail: stephane.lecoeuche@mines‐

Xuan Sang Le is a PhD student who has joined our team mid-february. His work is co-supervized by Ecole des Mines and ENSTA is about speed optimization of Smalltalk robotic software by means of FPGAs. The first step is to develop an application fully in Smalltalk and our PhaROS Robotics framework that will serve as a reference for our metrics. The app we have chosen is a simple tracker robot that follows an object of a particular color. Beside being fun, the result shown by the video below is interesting. As we have initially expected we can’t pretend to be real-time. Still, Pharo is capable of fetching an image through wifi, process it and discover the position of the object 650 milliseconds. And this is with non-optimized code. Figures are likely to be better after optimization.

Faisant suite aux différentes précédentes éditions des JNRH et JNCAR, les GT Robotique Humanoïde et Architecture de Contrôle en Robotique ( 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

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

After 3 years of work, Nick is about to finish his PhD. His defense is planned on the 19th of December 2013 at 10:00.  It will be held at Ecole des Mines de Douai. You’ll find below the abstract and the keywords that describe his work entitled: “Remote debugging and reflection in resource constrained devices”. The committee gathers the following people:


  • Marianne Huchard, Professor at University of Montpellier, LIRMM Laboratory, France
  • Alain Plantec, Associate Professor at University of Brest, Lab-STICC Laboratory, France


  • Roel Wuyts, Professor at K University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Serge Stinckwich, Associate Professor at University of Brest, and member of the IRD research Institute, Bondy, France

Advisor: Stéphane DUCASSE, Research Director at INRIA, Scientific Director of INRIA Lille, Head of the RMoD Team, France


  • Luc Fabresse, Associate Professor at Ecole des Mines of Douai, France
  • Marcus Denker, Researcher at INRIA Lille, RMoD Team, France
  • Noury Bouraqadi, Associate Professor at Ecole des Mines de Douai, France

Summary of the PhD

Building software for devices that cannot locally support development tools can be challenging. These devices have either limited computing power to run an IDE (e.g smartphones), lack appropriate input/output interfaces (display, keyboard, mouse) for programming (e.g mobile robots) or are simply unreachable for local development (e.g cloud servers). In these situations developers need appropriate infrastructure to remotely develop and debug applications.

Yet remote debugging solutions can prove awkward to use due to their distributed nature. Empirical studies show us that on average 10.5 minutes per coding hour (over five 40-hour work weeks per year) are spend for re-deploying applications while fixing bugs or improving functionality. Moreover current solutions lack facilities that would otherwise be available in a local setting because its difficult to reproduce them remotely (e.g., object-centric debugging). This fact can impact the amount of experimentation during a remote debugging session – compared to a local setting.

In this dissertation in order to overcome these issues we first identify four desirable properties that an ideal solution for remote debugging should exhibit, namely: interactiveness, instrumentation, distribution and security. Interactiveness is the ability of a remote debugging solution to incrementally update all parts of a remote application without losing the running context (i.e without stopping the application). Instrumentation is the ability of a debugging solution to alter the semantics of a running process in order to assist debugging. Distribution is the ability of a debugging solution to adapt its framework while debugging a remote target. Finally security refers to the availability of prerequisites for authentication and access restriction.

Given these properties we propose Mercury, a remote debugging model and architecture for reflective OO languages. Mercury supports interactiveness through a mirror-based remote meta-level that is causally connected to its target, instrumentation through reflective intercession by reifying the underlying execution environment, distribution through an adaptable middleware and security by decomposing and authenticating access to reflective facilities. We validate our proposal through a prototype implementation in the Pharo programming language using a diverse experimental setting of multiple constraint devices. We exemplify remote debugging techniques supported by Mercury’s properties, such as remote agile debugging and remote object instrumentation and show how these can solve in practice the problems we have identified.

Keywords: Remote Debugging, Reflection, Mirrors, Interactiveness, Instrumentation, Distribution, Security, Agile Development