Robot Operating System
|Original author(s)||Willow Garage, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory|
|Stable release||Hydro Medusa / September 4, 2013|
|Written in||[C++ or Python]|
|Type||Robotics suite, OS, library|
Robot Operating System (ROS) is a software framework for robot software development, (see also Robotics middleware) 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 metapackages) 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.
In August 2013, a blog posting announced that Willow Garage would be absorbed by another company started by its founder, Suitable Technologies. In February 2013, ROS stewardship transitioned to the Open Source Robotics Foundation.  The support for the PR2 created by Willow Garage is taken over by Clearpath Robotics 
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.
ROS releases may be incompatible with other releases and are often referred to by code name rather than version number. The major releases so far are:
- September 4, 2013 - Hydro Medusa
- 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
- ABB, Adept, Motoman, and Universal Robots are supported by ROS-Industrial
- Baxter at Research Robotics, Inc.
- BeagleBoard. The robotics lab of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium: has ported ROS to the Beagleboard
- HERB developed at Carnegie Mellon University in Intel's personal robotics program
- Husky A200 robot developed (and integrated into ROS) by Clearpath Robotics
- PR1 personal robot developed in Ken Salisbury's lab at Stanford
- PR2 personal robot being developed at Willow Garage
- 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
- Shadow Robot Hand - A Fully dexterous humanoid hand.
- STAIR I and II robots developed in Andrew Ng's lab at Stanford
- SummitXL: Mobile robot developed by Robotnik, an engineering company specialized in mobile robots, robotic arms and industrial solutions with ROS architecture.
- 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
- UBR1 developed by Unbounded Robotics, a spin off of Willow Garage.
- Willow Garage, ROS Hydro Medusa. 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-Introduction http://wiki.ros.org/ROS/Introduction
- ROS-Industrial http://ros.org/wiki/Industrial
- Baxter http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/products/baxter-research-robot/baxter-research-robot-qa/
- K U leuven http://people.mech.kuleuven.be/%7Eu0062536/embsensor.html
- HERB http://personalrobotics.intel-research.net/
- Husky A200 http://www.clearpathrobotics.com/husky
- PR1 http://personalrobotics.stanford.edu/
- PR2 http://www.willowgarage.com/pages/robots
- rosbridge protocol and server http://www.ros.org/wiki/rosbridge
- brown-robotics http://brown-robotics.org/
- SDH http://www.shadowrobot.com/products/dexterous-hand/
- STAIR I and II http://stair.stanford.edu/index.php
- 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
- STAIR: The STanford Artificial Intelligence Robot project, Andrew Y. Ng, Stephen Gould, Morgan Quigley, Ashutosh Saxena, Eric Berger. Snowbird, 2008.
- RT middleware robot middleware standard/implementations. RT-component is discussed / defined by the Object Management Group