- Is ROS-Industrial compatible with ROS?
- Will it always be compatible with ROS?
- How is ROS-I different than ROS?
- What problem does ROS-I solve?
- Why develop ROS-Industrial as an open-source project?
- Does ROS-I compete with ROS?
- Is ROS-I a product?
- Is ROS-Industrial suitable for real-time control?
- How is ROS-I supported, financially?
- Does ROS-I compete with ROS in any way?
- Can I develop closed-source software for ROS-I and sell it for profit?
- Is ROS-I for industrial-grade products sold in the retail market?
- Can I use the ROS-I?
- How can I get technical support for ROS-I?
- How do I contribute?
- Do I have to replace my controller with a ROS-I controller?
A: Yes, though it may lag behind in terms of the ROS release.
A: ROS-I builds on ROS by adding Unified Robot Description Formats (URDFs), interface libraries (drivers), and capabilities (packages) that are useful to industrial automation. ROS-I relies on the ROS core and is fully compatible with “all things ROS”. Besides industrial interoperability, ROS-I focuses more on code quality and reliability than ROS, because those aspects are more important to the industrial automation world than the research community. To that end, ROS-I includes automatic code quality metrics that inform users and developers about the state of maturity of the code for a given package.
A: ROS-I solves many problems that will lead to growth of industrial robot use in new application areas:
- It makes automation interoperable. Manipulators, end effectors, perception systems/sensors, mobility platforms, and peripherals can all speak one language (ROS messages) and interoperate regardless of OEM brands or communication bus.
- It provides advanced capabilities as encapsulated modular libraries for free (like ROS), so that the best technology can be disseminated without the impedance of proprietary vendor-lock, retraining, or price tag.
- It provides oversight and structure to the open-source development of industrial automation software. Wild code is accepted, but it will be obvious from the quality metrics that it is wild.
- It provides a conduit for academic research to be vetted and quickly implemented within industry.
A: Open-source is good for so many reasons:
- User-generated content creates value for the whole community and signals the immediate priorities of the user base to all ROS-I developers.
- User testing will find and patch bugs fast.
- Users control their own destiny. If a feature is needed, users can always add or change the source code to suit their own purposes.
- Open-source, BSD licensed, code makes it easy for OEMs to wrap ROS-I functionality into their products, thus commoditizing advanced features/functionality and minimizing barriers to interoperability.
- The ROS-I open-source community can, and has come together, to share technologies and work towards a common goal.
A: No, it extends ROS to industrial automation while maintaining compatibility with ROS and continuing to use/support the ROS core.
A: ROS-I is open-source, just like ROS. Because it is BSD licensed, anyone can embed it in a product for free, or even re-brand it and sell it.
A: Like ROS, ROS-I runs on Linux, which is not a deterministic OS. ROS-I is fast enough to run closed-loop with perception systems for industrial applications, but (at least for now) ROS-I must be used as a high-level controller in conjunction with a low-level real-time controller (usually the one from the OEM), which closes servo feedback loops and provides safety behavior (e.g. an E-stop).
A: Currently, ROS-I is generously supported by internal research and development funds from Southwest Research Institute. Over the course of the next two years, it will be transitioned to be fully supported by the ROS-I Consortium and other funding sources.
A: ROS-I is targeted to meet the needs of industrial automation and is not intended to compete with ROS, which generally focused on service and research robotics (e.g. PR2). SwRI and RIC will strive to support, improve, and utilize the ROS core and ROS programming tools. ROS-I complements ROS by extending the use of ROS into the industrial market.
A: Yes! We desire for the ROS-I community to foster all manner of new businesses selling ROS-I compatible software nodes, development tools, GUIs, support and integration services.
A: ROS-I targets factory automation that is used to fabricate products. ROS-I is meant to be used by businesses to improve their productivity.
A: The ROS-Industrial name and logo are trademarked by SwRI. Permission to use them is required, but generally given for most uses (for permission, email: Deb Schmid).
A: There are two ways: you can join the developer’s forum for free and ask the community, or you can join the consortium and get live technical support from ROS-I experts, along with annual training, and the ability to champion topics for Focused Technical Projects.
A: To contribute code or learn about ongoing coding efforts in which you can take part, email the developers list at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: No, ROS-I is not a replacement for an industrial robot controller. ROS-I communicates with an existing industrial controller.
ROS-Industrial™ Consortium • RIC • robot software • robot consortium • Robot Operating System • ROS • open-source