December 2016 Archives

Celebrating 9 Years of ROS!

This year marks the occasion of ROS turning 9 years old! Through these years ROS has grown into a strong world-wide community. It's a community with a large variety of interests: from academic researchers to robotic product developers as well as the many robot users. Academic use of ROS continues to grow. Citations of the first ROS paper "ROS: An Open-Source Robot Operating System" has grown to 2,871.

To get a better sense of what's happening in the ROS community, if you have not already done so, I highly recommend reviewing the ROSCon 2016 program. You can also find all the video recordings in this gallery. ROSCon 2016 was another great event bringing ROS community members together to share how they're using ROS to solve their challenges. As the goal of ROSCon is to share information between the entire community we record the talks and make them available online. We've sold out our venues the last two years and are looking forward to another ROSCon next fall!

roscon-group-thumb.png

Part of understanding our growing community is to try to measure it. For the last 6 years we've been generating metrics reports. These reports can give a sense of aggregate what's happening in the ROS community. Our most recent report is from July 2016. David Lu has put together plots of several of the metrics across the last 6 years which can be quite informative.

This year we wanted to dig a little deeper into the code metrics, so we downloaded the source of all of packages listed in the Indigo Igloo rosdistro and ran some analysis.

  • The total line count is over 14 million lines of code
  • There have been 2477 authors
  • And 181509 commits
  • Averaging 73.3 commits per author

You can see the commits as a function of month in this graph.

commits_by_year_month.png

Our committers are active around the world as evidenced by the commits coming in at all hours of the day.

hour_of_day.png

And the git commits record 24 different time zones (out of 39 possible).

Analyzing the repository for significant lines of code using SLOCCount shows:

  • 4,077,199 significant lines of code.
  • This represents an estimated 1,236 person-years of development.
  • For a sense of scale, that is an average of 137 developers contributing full time over the last 9 years!

For those of you curious about the breakdown by language lines of code, it is as follows:

  • cpp: 2608592 (63.98%)
  • python: 553332 (13.57%)
  • ansic: 297629 (7.30%)
  • xml: 280615 (6.88%)
  • lisp: 149439 (3.67%)
  • java: 135343 (3.32%)
  • ruby: 26484 (0.65%)
  • sh: 21120 (0.52%)

This only represents the packages publicly released into the Indigo rosdistro index.

Note that the tools only worked on Git repos so code from other source control systems was excluded. There are also a few projects which predate ROS but have ported to use ROS and their history is included.

We're looking forward to continuing growth through 2017 leading up to the 10-year anniversary of ROS. With the Beta 1 version of ROS 2.0 out, there will be space for new development. We're looking forward to our next release, Lunar Loggerhead, to coincide with Ubuntu's next release, Zesty Zapus. With both of these, the ROS community can continue to rely on the many libraries, tools, and capabilities they have come to know and enjoy, as well as begin to experiment with the new features in ROS 2.0

Another exciting project to watch is the upcoming TurtleBot 3! The TurtleBot and TurtleBot 2 have been great platforms for learning and prototyping. However by packing that same capability into a smaller platform with more punch we look forward to it providing another avenue to grow the ROS community.

We write these anniversary posts to help give you a sense of how ROS has been doing over the past year, but we'd certainly encourage you to find out for yourself. Get involved. Write or edit a wiki page. Answer a question on ROS Answers. Come to ROSCon. And, when you're ready, think about helping to maintain ROS itself, or even contributing a brand new ROS package.

OSRF is doing great, but the long-term success of ROS depends on every member of the incredibly awesome ROS community. If you're already an active part of the ROS community, we can't thank you enough; and if you're not, think about how you can help ROS grow and thrive for the next nine years, and beyond.

From Clearpath Robotics

Clearpath Robotics, a leading provider of mobile robotic platforms for research and development, announced the release of Warthog - a large, amphibious, all-terrain mobile robot designed for application development. Warthog enables researchers to reliably test, validate, and advance their robotics research faster than ever before in real world conditions, whether on land or in water.

"ARGO XTR (Xtreme Terrain Robotics) has a terrific record of manufacturing rock-solid outdoor platforms," says Julian Ware, General Manager for Research Solutions at Clearpath Robotics. "Combined with our expertise in robotics, we've developed rugged platform suitable for a wide range of robotics applications in mining, agriculture, forestry, space, and environmental monitoring."

Warthog's light-weight aluminum chassis, low ground pressure, passive suspension system, and 24" traction tires allow it to easily traverse a variety of tough terrains including soft soils, thick muds and steep grades, all while carrying up to 272 kg of payload. With built-in bilge pumps and an IP rating of 67, Warthog is fully weather-proof and amphibious, capable of moving through deep waterways at up to 4 km/h, or travel at speeds of up to 18 km/h while on land. The all-electric, skid steer platform has expandable power allowing for a runtime of 6 hrs, and can be outfitted with quad tracks for ultimate traction and maneuverability in snow and sand.

"ARGO XTR is excited to partner with a progressive robotics company like Clearpath with our platform," says Jason Scheib, ARGO XTR Robotics Program Director. "The combination of our proven experience in amphibious and extreme terrain environments with our platforms with the progressive software and sensor integration from Clearpath Robotics, has created a second to none solution for a myriad of research and commercial applications."

Designed for end-to-end integration and customization, Warthog includes an internal computer, IMU, wheel encoders, and mounting racks, as well as accessible user power and communication ports for integrating sensors, manipulators, and other third-party hardware. Warthog is shipped with the Robot Operating System (ROS) preconfigured and a Gazebo simulation model, allowing researchers to get started quickly with existing research and widely available open-source ROS libraries.

For more information, visit www.clearpathrobotics.com/warthog-ugv

Announcing ROSComponents online store

From Román Navarro via ros-users@

I'd like to announce a new online store for robots, sensors and components supported by ROS: https://www.roscomponents.com

Why ROS-Components?

In recent years, ROS has become the standard in Service and Research Robotics, and it's making great advances in the Industry.

Most of the robots and components in the market support ROS, though sometimes finding which are really supported, what ROS version they make use, and how to get them is a difficult task. One of our main purposes is to make it easier and simpler for the customer, linking the products with their ROS controllers, explaining how to install and configure them and showing where to find useful information about them.

All the products in the site are supported by ROS, either available directly in the ROS distribution or through their source code. The ROS community has a new meeting point in ROS Components!

ROS as standard

From ROS-Components we strongly believe that ROS is and will be the standard in Robotics for many more years. Therefore we want to encourage roboticists to use it (whether you are not already doing so) as well as manufacturers to give support to it.

Supporting ROS and its Community

As you know, the ROS core is currently being maintained by the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF), which is an independent non-profit R&D company leading the development, maintenance of ROS versions and hosting all the necessary infrastructure.

From ROS Components we try to encourage the use of ROS as well as its maintenance and growth. Therefore we are going to donate part of the benefits of every sale to the OSRF. So, every time you buy in ROS Components, you'll be contributing to the ROS maintenance and development.

Volvo ROAR project

From Per-Lage Götvall, PM ROAR

The basic reason for forming this project was the question: "How do we make autonomous machines working together on common task?". E..g. when using an autonomous wheel loader loading gravel on a truck, who is deciding on their relative positions; the truck, the loader or a supervising system?

To make a first approach we decided to this in the frame of Volvo Group Academic Preferred Partner (APP) network, involving students and researchers from Chalmers and Mälardalen universities in Sweden and Penn State University, Pennsylvania, US and the Swedish waste mgmt. company, Renova. We all agreed that using ROS was a must to, on one hand, coordinate the three universities and also, use the development made within the frame of ROS (e.g. Gazibo, Rviz, Moveit, Drivers etc.). Thank's to a great engagement from the researchers and students, and of course the ROS components we manage to make this (and a lot more, not shown in the video).

Find this blog and more at planet.ros.org.


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