The Robot Operating System (ROS) is a set of software libraries and tools that help you build robot applications. From drivers to state-of-the-art algorithms, and with powerful developer tools, ROS has what you need for your next robotics project. And it’s all open source.
Five years ago, a robot slowly trundled around a Californian office doing things like opening doors and using electrical sockets.
They’re routine activities for people, but this was a Willow Garage PR2 alpha robot. By navigating through eight doors and using nine outlets, it notched an important milestone — using the Robot Operating System (ROS) to accomplish its complex mission.
PR2, a bulky, rolling droid with two arms, was relying heavily on ROS to open the doors and plug itself in. ROS is an open-source operating system that has continued to grow since that day in June 2009 and is now helping robots tackle real-world tasks in unexpected ways.
First developed in 2007, ROS is a collection of tools and libraries that serve as a framework for writing robot software. It’s basically a programming platform for robots, just as Android is a platform for smartphone apps.
It’s also an approach to artificial intelligence grounded in the premise that the real world is such a complex puzzle for robots to grasp, navigate and act upon that machines must share their knowledge and skills in order to be more useful.
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