The robotics community is thriving in part due to flexible, powerful, accessible open source tools. The Open Source Robotics Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development, distribution, and adoption of open source software in robotics. We enable academics to focus on high-level research by re-using code, robotics startups to keep their development costs lean, and novice users to engage with powerful, complex robotics technology.
The first half of this talk centers around the future of ROS, the most widely used open source framework for robotics. After an overview of ROS transport, tools, capabilities, and the diverse ecosystem of ROS-compatible libraries, we will motivate the development of ROS 2: a major API change that targets new use cases for ROS, including embedded hardware, multi-robot systems, and real-time performance. Starting with an overview of the ROS 2 architecture, which includes a modern C++11 client library built on top of a generic DDS middleware interface, we will then focus on two core user code examples: publish/subscribe over a topic, and client request/service response. After this half of the presentation, attendees will understand C++ is a dominant language choice for robotics and why C++11 makes it easy to build a flexible, modular, Boost-free framework for communication and synchronization.
The second half of the talk focuses on Gazebo, a simulator for robotics that features support for multiple rigid body dynamics physics engines, high quality graphics, and a flexible C++ API. Simulation software like Gazebo is of utmost importance for developing controller algorithms, prototyping robot designs, and regression testing in challenging environments. It has been used in high-stakes competitions such as the DARPA Robotics Challenge. This talk will delve into how different components of the simulator interact, from calculating the physical interactions between objects to rendering graphics with OGRE. We will also discuss upcoming features in Gazebo and the process of tailoring our development to our community.