Robot Operating System
|Original author(s)||Willow Garage, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory|
|Stable release||Groovy Galapagos / December 31, 2012|
|Operating system||Linux, Mac OS X|
|Type||Robotics suite, OS, library|
Robot Operating System (ROS) is a software framework for robot software development, providing operating system-like functionality on a heterogeneous computer cluster. ROS was originally developed in 2007 under the name switchyard by the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in support of the Stanford AI Robot STAIR  project. As of 2008, development continues primarily at Willow Garage, a robotics research institute/incubator, with more than twenty institutions collaborating in a federated development model.
ROS provides standard operating system services such as hardware abstraction, low-level device control, implementation of commonly-used functionality, message-passing between processes, and package management. It is based on a graph architecture where processing takes place in nodes that may receive, post and multiplex sensor, control, state, planning, actuator and other messages. The library is geared toward a Unix-like system (Ubuntu Linux is listed as 'supported' while other variants such as Fedora and Mac OS X are considered 'experimental').
ROS has two basic "sides": The operating system side ros as described above and ros-pkg, a suite of user contributed packages (organized into sets called stacks) that implement functionality such as simultaneous localization and mapping, planning, perception, simulation etc.
ROS is released under the terms of the BSD license, and is open source software. It is free for commercial and research use. The ros-pkg contributed packages are licensed under a variety of open source licenses.
ROS areas include:
- A master coordination node
- Publishing or subscribing to data streams: images, stereo, laser, control, actuator, contact ...
- Multiplexing information
- Node creation and destruction
- Nodes are seamlessly distributed, allowing distributed operation over multi-core, multi-processor, GPUs and clusters
- Parameter server
- Test systems
ROS Package application areas will include:
- Object Identification
- Segmentation and recognition
- Face recognition
- Gesture recognition
- Motion tracking
- Motion understanding
- Structure from motion (SFM)
- Stereo vision: depth perception via two cameras
- Mobile robotics
ROS -Industrial is a BSD-licensed “hardware-agnostic” software development program to create a Unified Robot Description Format (URDF) for industrial robots
Version History 
ROS releases may be incompatible with other and are often referred to by code name rather than version number. The major releases so far have been:
- December 31, 2012 - Groovy Galapagos
- April 23, 2012 - Fuerte
- Aug 30, 2011 - Electric Emys
- March 2, 2011 - Diamondback
- August 3, 2010 - C Turtle
- March 1, 2010 - Box Turtle
- January 22, 2010 - ROS 1.0
Ports to robots and boards 
- PR2 personal robot being developed at Willow Garage
- PR1 personal robot developed in Ken Salisbury's lab at Stanford
- HERB developed at CMU in Intel's personal robotics program
- STAIR I and II robots developed in Andrew Ng's lab at Stanford
- The robotics lab of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium: has ported ROS to the Beagleboard
- Nao humanoid: University of Freiburg's Humanoid Robots Lab developed a ROS integration for the Nao humanoid based on an initial port by Brown University
- SummitXL: Mobile robot developed by Robotnik, an engineering company specialized in mobile robots, robotic arms and industrial solutions with ROS architecture.
- rosbridge protocol and server Brown University developed the rosbridge protocol to enable any robot or computing environment to integrate with ROS using JSON-based messaging, such as for common web browsers, Matlab, Microsoft Windows, OS X, and embedded systems
- Husky A200 robot developed (and integrated into ROS) by Clearpath Robotics
- ABB, Adept, Motoman, and Universal Robots are supported by ROS-Industrial
- Willow Garage, ROS Groovy Galapagos version. Link
- STanford Artificial Intelligence Robot http://stair.stanford.edu/
- Morgan Quigley, Eric Berger, Andrew Y. Ng (2007), STAIR: Hardware and Software Architecture, AAAI 2007 Robotics Workshop
- "Repositories". ROS.org. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- Morgan Quigley, Brian Gerkey, Ken Conley, Josh Faust, Tully Foote, Jeremy Leibs, Eric Berger, Rob Wheeler, Andrew Ng. "ROS: an open-source Robot Operating System". Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- ROS-Industrial http://ros.org/wiki/Industrial
- PR2 http://www.willowgarage.com/pages/robots
- PR1 http://personalrobotics.stanford.edu/
- HERB http://personalrobotics.intel-research.net/
- STAIR I and II http://stair.stanford.edu/index.php
- K U leuven http://people.mech.kuleuven.be/%7Eu0062536/embsensor.html
- Humanoid Robots Lab http://hrl.informatik.uni-freiburg.de/
- brown-robotics http://brown-robotics.org/
- G.T. Jay, Post to ros-users mailing list announcing ROS support for the Nao
- rosbridge protocol and server http://www.ros.org/wiki/rosbridge
- brown-robotics http://brown-robotics.org/
- Husky A200 http://www.clearpathrobotics.com/husky
- STAIR: The STanford Artificial Intelligence Robot project, Andrew Y. Ng, Stephen Gould, Morgan Quigley, Ashutosh Saxena, Eric Berger. Snowbird, 2008.