UC Berkeley Robotics and Intelligent Machines Lab

FAQ

Welcome to the robotics FAQ.

Getting started with this web site
This FAQ section covers matters of interest to new users of the Robotics website.

How can I request a login account on this website?

To request an account on this website, click on the Login link on the navigation bar at the top of the page. From there, click on the "request page" link in the first line of text.

Or, simply click here.

If you meet the requirements to get a login and you would like to receive email about Robotics conferences, be sure to request becoming a full member of the 'robotics' workgroup. For details, see How do I register for a workshop?.

Who can get a login?

Accounts on the Robotics site are only granted to our active collaborators.

Informational accounts are not granted, you must be invited to request an account.

Masquerading -- Acting on behalf of someone else

You may be an administrative assistant for a Robotics member, and need to register them for Robotics workshops, or take some other action on the website on their behalf.

One tempting way to do this is to change the name and contact information in your own account profile to look like them. This only leads to confusion, because it results in two accounts with the same name, one of which does not really belong to that person.

The correct way is to have them designate you as their "proxy". Ask them to visit their profile page (options -> Your Account -> Your Profile, or this link: robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/options/account/profile/). At the bottom of the page, they can designate you as their proxy.

Once that is done, on your profile page (options -> Your Account -> Your Profile, or this link: robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/options/account/profile/) there will be a menu choice, "Masquerade as ... xxx", where xxx is the username of the person who has made you their proxy.

As soon as you click on their username, you will immediately be logged in as them, without any need for their password. You can then register them for a Robotics workshop, modify their profile, or do anything else you like under their account. When you are finished, simply click logout and you will be back to your own login.

If you need any assistance with this, please send email to webmgr at robotics eecs berkeley edu.

I forgot my website password, what do I do?
If you forgot your website password, please visit the password resetting page.

A new random string will be emailed to you. When you get the new random password, use it to log in, and then follow the instructions in the email message to change your password.


What if I can't remember my username?

To find your username you may either search the Directory or you may perfom a search for your name in the Search section.

See also How do I change my CVS or SVN password?

Editing group pages, and other forms of rocket science
Information on how to set up and edit group home pages, and other advanced features of the site.

How do I control access to my workspace?

Based on How do I control access to my workspace? by John Reekie, 15 Jun 1999

Each section of a workspace (the part of the site devoted to a workgroup, such as its FAQ, forum, and so on), has a set of access control flags associated with it. The administrator of a workgroup can set these flags from the Admin page of that group according to the degree of access/privacy needed by the group.

The access control flags are a two-dimensional grid, where one axis is the region of the workspace, such as the FAQ or forum, and the other is the class of user. User classes are as follows:

  • world. Users who are not logged into the site. As far as the server can tell, this could be anyone in the world.
  • site. Users who are logged into the site as a member of a group, but are neither a guest nor member of your group.
  • guest. Users who are logged into the site and have guest membership in your group.
  • member. Users who are logged into the site and are a member of your group.
  • admin. Users who are logged into the site and are are administrators of your group.

Any given user has the highest class that applies to them (where the order is admin, member, guest, site, world in the above list). As a general rule, higher classes have higher permissions, where the permissions that can be assigned to each class of user are as follows:

The flags are as follows:

  • Read. The user is able to read these pages.
  • Annotate. The user is able to add annotations to these pages. Annotations are no longer used.
  • Write. The user is able to add content to this part of your workspace. For example, a user with write permission can add an article to your forum.
  • Modify. The user is able to modify these pages (where the user interface permits). For example, a user with modify permission can edit an article in the forum. (Note: the author of an article can always edit it, even if they don't have modify permission in that part of the workspace.)
  • Execute. This is only useful in a few rare cases, and allows certain destructive operations that should only be done by an administrator.
When you add a new feature to your workspace, you should check the access permissions carefully. Here are a couple of tips:
  • If the workspace is primarily for work in progress, you may want to make access more restricted, so that confidential results (for example) are not world-readable.
  • If you are a software development group, you may wish to make access more permissive. Allowing anyone to add to and annotate your forum and faq can be a valuable source of feedback from people who are using your software.
We recommend that you err on the side of permissiveness when setting access permissions -- it is generally better in a research environment to have more information flow than less!

Groups with CVS Home Pages

If a group has a CVS home page (Under admin -> Configure Group, "CVS Checkin" is checked), then the home page visibility has the following effects:

home is world readable: Then a non-logged in user will see the contents of the CVS repository.

home is not world readable: Then a non-logged in user will see the contents of the workgroup profile, which is set by admin -> Group Profile.

How do I request a new group?
To request a group, go to options -> Request New Group.

Group names should be one word, lower case.

How do I customize my margins and footers?
The CHESS/CPS-FORCES/E3S/Embedded/iCyPhy/TerraSwarm/TRUST server provides a facility that allows the pages that you author and that appear in your workspace to be customized. To customize your pages, you need to:

  • Turn on the "Fancy HTML" option in your group's configuration options.
  • Create a file called "toc.html" in the root directory of your HTML files. (That is, in the same directory as the index.html file you see when you go to robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/groupname.)
The toc.html file can contain anything you want. However, the server parses it looking for pairs of HTML comments that look like this:
<!--margin-->
My margin text
<!--/margin-->
If the parser sees a block like this, it extracts the text between the comments and places it in the left-hand margin of the displayed page, instead of the links that it would normally generate.

You can also append text to the existing auto-generated margin text by inserting the "+" sign, as follows:

<!--+margin-->
Text appended to margin
<!--/margin-->
Several fields can be specified in this way:
  • margin: text is inserted or appended to the left hand margin that appears on every page.
  • footer: text is inserted or appended to the footer that appears on every page.
  • header: text is inserted or appended to the header links that appear on every page.

In addition, a block named options can be used to specify additional formatting and display options. the syntax is

<!--options-->
name1=value1
name2=value2
<!--/margin-->
Currently the following options are supported:
  • margincolor: The background color of the left-hand margin.

Once you have a custom setup for your site, you may wish to further customize subdirectories in your site. You can do this simply by placing another "toc.html" in sub-directories that you wish to customize. Note that you will need to duplicate all fields in your top-level file -- for example, if you put a footer in your top-level toc.html, you will have to put one in the sub-directory's toc.html too.

Note also that on all sites except e3s, toc.html is not "inherited." If /diva has a toc.html, and /diva/x has a toc.html, but /diva/x/y does not, then files in /diva/x/y will use the toc.html from /diva, not the one from /diva/x.

Contact Information and Directions
Information about how to contact the UC Berkeley Robotics and Intelligent Machines Laboratory.

How do I contact the UC Berkeley Robotics and Intelligent Machines Lab

Staff

Mary Stewart iCyPhy Systems Administrator and Website Support Phone: 510.643.7731 Fax: 510.642.2718

If you have questions about the website, send email to
webmgr at robotics eecs berkeley edu

Updating the website
This section describes how to update the Robotics site.

How do I update workgroup pages using SVN?

This page is about updating the workgroups of the website. To update the main page, see How do I check out my own copy of the main page with SVN?

Getting started quickly

Many of the workgroups have a SVN Repository associated with them.

The idea behind SVN is that SVN copies a version of a source repository on repo.eecs to your local machine. The svn commands are run on your local machine, edits are made, the changes are committed and then the website is update.

To update the workgroup pages, do the following

  1. Request a Version Control (VC) account or access. Note that your login on repo.eecs.berkeley.edu may be different than your login on the website.
    If you have a UCB EECS account, then your login on repo.eecs will be the same as your UCB EECS login. Note that even if you have a UCB EECS account, you will still need to request access to the repository.
    If you do not have a UCB EECS account, then your login on repo.eecs will be your email address.
    If your username on repo is different than your local account, then in the commands below you can use --username yourusername@youremail.com, for example, --username elvis@graceland.com
  2. Install Subversion. If you are using Windows, try TortoiseSVN. See below for detailed instructions.
  3. All the repositories for the CHESS, CPS-FORCES, E3S, Embedded, iCyPhy, Robotics, TerraSarm and TRUST websites are on repo.eecs.berkeley.edu.
    Each of the above websites has multiple workgroups (and a repository for the main site)
    To check out the SVN repository associated with a workgroup, you need to know where the repository is located.
    SVN uses a URL to refer to the repository.
    On repo.eecs.berkeley.edu, each of the website is associated with a project. The location of project forms the first part of the URL, for example https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/trust/.
    The second part of the URL refers to the workspace, for example, the wise workgroup would be wise/trunk/wise.
    So, the complete URL would be https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/trust/wise/trunk/wise.
    The table below lists the websites and the first part of the URL
    Website First part of the Repository URL
    CHESS https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/chess/
    E3S https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/e3s/
    Embedded https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/embedded/
    iCyPhy https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/icyphy/
    Robotics https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/robotics/
    TerraSwarm https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/terraswarm/
    TRUST https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/trust/

     

    The second part of the URL is workgroupName/trunk/workgroupName, for example wise/trunk/wise.
  4. If you have a UCB EECS account: To check out the TRUST wise workgroup, the command lines would be
          svn co https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/trust/wise/trunk/wise
        
    If you do not have a UCB EECS account: and your email address was elvis@graceland.com
          svn co --username elvis@graceland.com https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/trust/wise/trunk/wise
        
    This will create a directory "execboard" with a subdirectory "web" with at least one file, "index.html". After this directory is created, you never need to run svn co ... again.
    Next time you want to edit files for the workgroup, just go to this wise/ directory and type:
       svn update
       
    It will update your local copies of the files.
  5. You can edit the index.html file, or any other file in the directory.
  6. You can add a new file or directory by putting it in the same directory and doing:
       svn add filename.html
       
  7. To commit your changes, do:
        svn commit -m "Added myself" web/index.html
       
  8. Once you have committed the changes, you can make them visible on the website by going to the website and clicking on Update at the bottom of any page.

Detailed instructions about Checking Out a Repository

Subversion (SVN) is a version control system that allows multiple users to edit the same source tree. We use SVN to manage the content of group web pages.

Bear in mind that SVN authoring is generally useful for software projects, in which case we assume that you know the basics of SVN. For information about the repository, see the EECSRepo FAQ.

  1. If you are a group administrator of a website workgroup, check that your group has CVS authoring turned on by going to your group pages and then clicking on the Admin link and then Configure Group link and verifying that CVS Module and CVS Checkin are selected. FIXME: We are still transitioning from CVS to SVN, so the choice is CVS Checkin
    If these two choices are not selected, then select them and hit the Change Group Configuration button at the bottom. This will send email to webmaster, who will then set up your cvs repository and send email back to you. While you are waiting, you can proceed with the steps below.
  2. If you don't yet have a Version Control account on repo.eecs.berkeley.edu, and access get one. You can request a VC account. Even if you already have a UCB EECS account, your account will need to be granted read/write access to the repository.
  3. If Subversion is not yet installed, then install the Subversion.
    For Linux and Mac OS X, try running svn --version from the command line. If that command is not present, then you must install Subversion. For Windows, the command line might work from Cygwin Bash, if Cygwin Bash has been installed. However, most Windows users will install TortoiseSVN.
    • For Unix, to download Subversion, see: https://subversion.apache.org/packages.html
    • For Mac OS X:
      Find a Subversion Mac OS X application such as SvnX. SvnX requires that you install svn by hand, but helpfully includes instructions. If you are using svnX, please see the website-specific instructions.
      OR
      Install from the Subversion site.
      OR
      1. Install Xcode from Apple, which includes gcc and other tools. Xcode is usually free, but can only be installed via the Mac App store, which requires an Apple Store login and a credit card.
      2. Download and installed the Command Line Tools for your version of Mac OS X by going to https://developer.apple.com/downloads/index.action and searching for Command Line Tools.
      3. If the installation is successful, then svn --version will now work in the Terminal window.
    • For Windows, you can use TortoiseSVN or download svn and OpenSSH as part of Cygwin.

Using TortoiseSVN

  • Download and install TortoiseSVN
  • Go to the directory where you want to check out the repository, right click and select SVN Checkout
  • All the repositories for the CHESS, E3S, Embedded, iCyPhy, TerraSarm and TRUST websites are on repo.eecs.berkeley.edu.
    Each of the above websites has multiple workgroups (and a repository for the main site)
    To check out the SVN repository associated with a workgroup, you need to know where the repository is located.
    SVN uses a URL to refer to the repository.
    On repo.eecs.berkeley.edu, each of the website is associated with a project. The location of project forms the first part of the URL, for example https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/trust/.
    The second part of the URL refers to the workspace, for example, the wise workgroup would be wise/trunk/wise.
    So, the complete URL would be https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/trust/wise/trunk/wise.

    Make these changes to the dialog:
    URL of Repository
    Choose according to the Website
    The table below lists the websites and the first part of the URL
    Website URL of Repository
    CHESS https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/chess/
    E3S https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/e3s/
    Embedded https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/embedded/
    iCyPhy https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/icyphy/
    TerraSwarm https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/terraswarm/
    TRUST https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/trust/
    The second part of the URL is workgroupName/trunk/workgroupName, for example wise/trunk/wise.

    Below is a sample screen shot that would be used to check out the TRUST website:

    Screenshot of TortoiseSVN

    When you hit OK, you will be prompted for your password twice.
    If your account on repo.eecs has been set up with access to the repository, then after you type your password and hit ok, then the workgroup files will be downloaded to your machine.

    The website files will appear in the web subdirectory. Edit the files as you see fit. To associate the file with a specific editor, e.g. WordPad, right click on the file and choose Explore from the menu. Right click again on your file and select <Open with...> Wordpad. When you are through editing, then right click and select CVS Commit, enter a log message and select OK.

    To update the website, go to the main site, log in to the website scroll to the bottom of the page and select Update.

    How do I check out my own copy of the main page with SVN?
    The main page is in a Subversion (SVN) repository. To update the main page, you need administrative privileges in the robotics workgroup. To request permission, go to Options and request administrative access in the robotics workgroup.

    Once you have been granted administrative privileges in the robotics workgroup, obtain Version Control access to request creation of your svn account. Once you have your svn account, follow the instructions at How do I update work group pages using SVN?

    The URL for the repository containing the main page of the Robotics website will be:
    svn co https://repo.eecs.berkeley.edu/svn/projects/robotics/roboticswww/trunk/roboticswww

    How do I update site-specific portions of the main page?

    See How do I check out my own copy of the main page

    The source for the Robotics main page is in roboticswww/index.htm.

    The table of contents is in roboticswww/toc.htm.

Adding and updating publications and presentations
Questions and answers about adding and updating publications and presentations.

How do I add a publication to the publications database?
Based on text by John Reekie from the GSRC website.

The publications database allows anyone with a Member account on this site to add publications to the database and upload electronic versions of those publications.

To add a publication, first make sure you are logged in. Then go to the publications database and click on the link at the left of the page labelled Add publication.

The first screen you see allows you to choose the publication type -- for example, journal article, conference paper, and so on. (The publication types are essential copied straight from BibTeX.) On this page, you can also choose to restrict access to your publication to website members and guests (people with a login on this site). Finally, you can associate the publication with a work-group on this site, thereby allowing searches to be made on publications associated with a group. If you can't decide on a group, then select either robotics or no group at all. You can change groups later, but each publication can only be in one group.

Press the Continue button to go to the next screen. (Any of the information on this page can be changed later.)

The next screen shows the fields that can be filled in for the publication type you have chosen. (Again, these are taken straight from BibTeX.) Fill in as many fields as you can, noting that fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required and fields not so marked are optional.

Press the Add new publication button to continue. (Again, you will be able to change any of this information later.)

You will now see a screen that allows you to upload electronic versions of the publication.
The format for publications is PDF.

Please do not upload PDF files where the copyright is held by an outside entity (such as ACM, IEEE, Springer, or Elsevier), unless your copyright agreement specifically permits you to post the PDF on a server.

See Copyrights and journals.

To upload a file, click on the Browse... button and select the file. If you wish, add some additional text in the Additional comment field - this text will appear in parentheses next to the download link for the file you are uploading. Press Upload file to upload the file.

When you have no more files to upload, press the Return to listing button to view your publication's page!

(For instructions on how to modify a publication record, see this question.)

How do I modify a publication?
Based on text by John Reekie from the GSRC website.

If you are logged in to the site, use the publications search page to find the publication you wish to edit.

If you have permissions to modify the publication, you will see several links on the left-hand margin:

  • Edit publication allows you to change the fields associated with the publication -- the author, title, journal, and so on.
  • Change type allows you to change the publication type. You can also use this page to restrict access to members of this website or associate the publication with a group.
  • Upload files allows you to upload additional electronic version of this publication.
(For more detailed instructions, see the question on adding publications -- the screens are essentially the same.)

You will be able to modify a publication record and upload files if either

  1. You are the person who originally created the publication record, or
  2. The publication is associated with a robotics work-group or SIG, and you are a member of that work-group or SIG.
If neither of these is the case, go to the bottom of the page for the publication, where you will see something like "Posted by Fred Nerfs on September 6th, 2005." Then send email to Fred Nerfs.

How do I update the authors?
The publications facility now associates authors with publications. Below are instructions about how to update each document and add the authors by hand.
  1. Go to http://robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/pubs
  2. Click on the year.
  3. Click on the first pub
  4. Verify that the authors have links
  5. Verify that the abstract "looks ok"
    that it does not have strange characters in it
  6. Verify that there is a local copy of the publication, or at least that the publication does not point to a student web page that will go away when the student leaves. In general, any URL that leads to a user page that has a ~ in it should be copied and uploaded. URLS that lead to acm or ieee sites need not be copied.
    This step is optional.
  7. Click on "Edit publication" and
    • update the authors if necessary
    • update the abstract if necessary
    • upload the publication if necessary
    For the first one, I added the authors and uploaded a local copy of the pub
  8. Rinse and repeat

How do I remove a publication, publication attachment or publication upload?

The design of the publications facility does not permit regular users to delete publications. This is a design choice that was implemented because once something is published, it should remain in the record of publications.

If you would like a publication deleted because it was accidentally entered twice, please send email to webmgr at robotics eecs berkeley edu.

Admins, see Deleting a publication, attachment or upload.

Uploading copyrighted works from journals
When uploading files, be sure that you have the permission of the all copyright holders to do so. For example many journals permit the author to have copies of an article on their website, but have restrictions about other placing the article on other websites.
  • ACM Copyright Policy
  • IEEE Copyright Policy
  • Springer LCNS Copyright Form
    In July, 2009, the Springer LCNS form said:
    The Author may self-archive an author-created version of his Contribution on his own website and his institution's repository, including his final version; however he may not use the publisher's PDF version which is posted on www.springerlink.com, LNCS online. Furthermore, the author may only post his version provided acknowledgment is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer-Verlag's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com"."
    When making an entry for a final published version of a paper, rather than uploading the publisher's PDF, you should include a link to the publisher's version.

    As indicated by the above Springer copyright notice, it is convention in academia that a pre-publication draft version can be posted on our server. The best way to do this is to make an EECS memo and include a link to the HTML page for that memo. If you instead directly upload a PDF, make sure the PDF includes full citation information. E.g., it could say at the top:

    Pre-publication version dated June 30, 2009,
    to appear in the IEEE Int. Conference on Incremental Research,
    Sacramento, CA, June 30, 2022.

    Also, it must include full author names and a title, of course.

  • If the paper was submitted to an IEEE publication, please consider adding the text below to the "Additional note" textarea under the abstract:
    Following section 8.1.9 (pg. 56) of the IEEE PSPB Operations Manual we make the following statement: "This work has been submitted to the IEEE for possible publication. Copyright may be transferred without notice , after which this version may no longer be accessible.".
    See http://chess.eecs.berkeley.edu/pubs/848.html

    If you have an EECS memo for a pre-publication version, and a different final version for publication, these are two separate publications. They should have two separate entries, and the entries should be cross-linked. E.g., on the page for the final version, it could include:

    <a href="LINK HERE to HTML">published version</a>
    

    and the pre-publication version could include:

    See also

    <a href="LINK HERE to HTML">pre-publication version</a>
    
    Ideally, the titles differ, at least a little. E.g., the memo version could have the title "Preliminary Results in Incremental Research" where the final version has the title "Results in Incremental Research." It is not essential that the titles differ, however.