ROS (Robot Operating System) is an open-source robot meta-operating software, performing operating-system-like functions such as hardware abstraction, low-level device control, implementation of frequently-used functionality and more. Low-level device control refers to the ability to directly modify and manage hardware devices at an lower level, such as controlling the individual pins on a microcontroller or sending low-level commands to sensors or actuators. Configuring, initializing and communicating with devices as well as managing interrupts at a low level and events are among the many tasks required by ROS’ low-level device control, giving developers precision and efficiency when working with sensors, motors and actuators on robots.
Ubuntu quickly became the preferred platform for ROS from its inception. ROS/ROS 2 distribution varies based on which Ubuntu version you use; ROS 2 running Ubuntu 20.04 can be found on single-board computers powered by an i.MX8QM, Mini or Plus Applications Processor from iWave’s range of single board computers.
SBCs feature all of the essential interface connectors, including Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 & 3.0 connectors and PCIe ports, for maximum flexibility and adaptability in meeting many different application needs. In addition, SBCs come equipped with HDMI 2.0 connectors as well as MIPI CSI/DSI connectors/LVDS ports/audio jacks which make them an excellent solution for single processing or video applications.
Key Features of ROS 2
ROS 2 provides developers across industries with a common software platform to support prototyping, research, deployment and production in an easy manner. ROS provides libraries and tools that make building, writing, executing and running programs across several computers possible. ROS builds upon its predecessor which has already proven itself incredibly popular, used widely across robotics-related applications globally today.
ROS provides hardware abstraction drivers, device drivers, communications between machines, testing tools and visualization features – all necessary elements to build complex software without knowing exactly how specific hardware functions. As runtime software with its own communication protocol, it enables creation of complex applications without having any prior knowledge about them.
ROS 2 can be deployed across a wide array of robotics-related applications, from indoor to outdoor and automotive to home environments; under water environments; space exploration projects; industrial to consumer.
ROS 2 is an open source robotic operating system running on Linux, Windows, and macOS that enables developers to easily implement autonomous on-robot control, backend management, user interface design and backend systems for backend operations. A tiered model of support allows for the development and promotion of porting to new platforms – such as embedded and real-time operating systems – as these platforms gain investment interest.
ROS 2 provides all the robotics tools, libraries and capabilities needed to develop applications. As free software, ROS 2 gives you complete freedom over how and when you use it; plus the option to modify it to meet your unique requirements.
With more than a decade of experience establishing ROS 1 as the global standard in robot research and development, ROS 2 was designed from its inception to be industrial-grade and utilized in production environments.
As evidenced by ROS 2’s Technical Steering Committee, ROS 2 enjoys wide industrial support. Both large and small companies around the globe invest their resources in making open source contributions towards ROS 2, in addition to developing products based on ROS 2.
Over the last decade, The ROS project has amassed an extensive library of robotics-related software through an engaged community comprising hundreds of thousands of contributors worldwide. ROS 2 will be developed by and for its future stewards – its members.
ROS has quickly become one of the most widely adopted robot operating systems, used widely across applications that range from medical instruments to vacuum cleaners – as well as being expanded to encompass dynamic automation applications and beyond.
ROS was designed with collaboration in mind. The foundational code and information can be utilized by any robotics system (drone arms, bases etc). No new ideas need to be generated – simply leverage existing knowledge! Calculating a trajectory involves devising the path a robot, vehicle or other moving object must take to reach their intended destination or complete a specific task. Robotics requires creating a path for an arm robot to move from one location to the next while avoiding obstacles; or creating a path for mobile robots to navigate space to reach their destination. Trajectory planning algorithms consider various factors, including the physical limitations and surrounding of a robot, its immediate environment and any restrictions to movement such as collision avoidance or speed restrictions. ROS offers various tracking and control capabilities which enable developers to create complex task-based robotics.
There’s an ROS program for every task imaginable – be it to calculate a trajectory, run SLAM algorithm or implement remote control. ROS also supports digital twinning to allow developers to simulate robots before deployment in actual conditions – tools like Gazebo allow you to make simulations using robots you don’t own!
ROS was developed as a system that allowed embedded platforms, like microcontrollers, to seamlessly become part of its environment rather than be separated from it by device drivers.