Starting with a new section on robotics Open Software, I review today ROS (Robotics Operating System) from Willow Garage. ROS is delivered in a Linux-distribution like way, so you can install it in your system and access the different libraries it suppors. These include:
-Core libraries and tools: common 1.0, common_msgs, diagnostics 1.0, geometry 1.0, robot_model 1.0, visualization 1.0, visualization_common 1.0, i.e. infrastructure.
- Drivers: driver_common 1.0, imu_drivers 1.0, joystick_drivers 1.0, laser_drivers 1.0, sound_drivers 1.0, i.e. access to the different gadgets you need your robot to carry.
- Navigation: navigation 1.0, slam_gmapping 1.0, i.e. navigation and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), a burden we probably do not want to program ourselves. I do not know yet about which algorithms they use, but I'll check ...
- Simulation: physics_ode 1.0, simulator_stage 1.0, simulator_gazebo 1.0, pr2_simulator 1.0
Perception, i.e. compatibility with the most popular visual free robot simulators, plus a model of their robot.
Plus a set of libraries to support their very own robot, the PS2. ROS can be used -and it is being used- in other platforms, not only PS2.
Willow Robots staff is offering a full day tutorial at ICRA'10 in Anchorage, you only need to register and go. I'll keep informing on this software on the go and I'll try to be in the tutorial as well :)
See more of ROS in their presentation paper