ROS Contributor Spotlight: Kaijen Hsiao

The success of ROS depends upon the contributions of thousands of individuals. In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we've decided to shine a light on a few of them.

Name: Kaijen Hsiao

Company: Co-Founder and CTO, Mayfield Robotics

Favorite Fictional Robot: Tachikomas from Ghost in the Shell. "I love how even though they are these kick-ass, spider-like combat robots, they have adorable, playful personalities and childlike voices that make them really endearing."

How did you get into robotics?

I got into robotics in college. There were all these interesting robots being developed at MIT that I was fascinated by-- in particular, the social robot Kismet and the hopping robots from the Leg Lab. And I thought it would be really cool to make robotic pets someday, and to some extent that's what I'm finally doing now.

How long have you been working with ROS?

Since 2008, even before the first official ROS release (Box Turtle).

What is your current area of ROS development?

We use ROS on-board Kuri, Mayfield's home robot.

What are your favorite and least favorite things about ROS?

My favorite thing about ROS is that so many of the difficult basics of getting a robot up and running are just done for you-- especially things like visualization, message passing, and build systems. Also, that there are a ton of open-source libraries that are ROS-compatible, that allow you to quickly prototype something and get a demo running.

My least favorite thing about ROS is how difficult it is to make a ROS-based system completely stable and robust, especially in the face of things like system time changes, high CPU utilization, or flaky networks.

What has been your favorite ROS-based project you've worked on?

Kuri has been my favorite ROS-based project so far. She is the culmination of a long-held dream of mine, to make personality-filled, adorable pet robots.

This is part of an ongoing series: ROS Contributor Spotlight

Have your own ROS story to tell? Let us know at And be sure to check back when we celebrate the 25th, 50th, and 100-year anniversaries of ROS.

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This page contains a single entry by Tully Foote published on November 13, 2017 10:15 AM.

ROS Contributor Spotlight: Gijs van der Hoorn was the previous entry in this blog.

ROS Contributor Spotlight: Vladimir Ermakov is the next entry in this blog.

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