Southwest Research Institute recently established the ROS-Industrial Software Repository, a BSD-licensed ROS stack that will contain libraries, tools and drivers for industrial automation hardware. ROS-Industrial resources can be found at http://code.google.com/p/swri-ros-pkg/.
ROS (Robot Operating System) is an open-source project providing a common framework of libraries and tools for a wide range of applications, including service and research robotics. The goal of ROS-Industrial is to provide an easy path to leverage the ROS framework to enable cutting-edge research in industrial applications, using a common architecture.
Working with Motoman Robotics (a division of Yaskawa America Inc.) and Willow Garage, SwRI developed, demonstrated and released the first application for ROS-Industrial – a preliminary interface that provides robot motion control with collision-free path planning for the Motoman SIA10D robot arm using the DX100 robot controller. The interface works with actual hardware as well as a simulated robot in “rviz,” the ROS 3-D visualization environment.
“SwRI had previously used ROS for industrial and advanced manufacturing systems to facilitate rapid development and lower costs,” said Shaun Edwards, a senior research engineer in the SwRI Automation and Data Systems Division. “The use of ROS in these projects was narrowly defined; one goal of the ROS-Industrial program is to generate a framework for broader applications.
“ROS-Industrial provides industrial robotics researchers and professionals with a one-stop location for industry-related ROS applications as well as simple, easy-to-use, well-documented application programming interfaces,” Edwards continued. “We want to encourage the development of robust and reliable software that meets the needs of industrial applications by combining the relative strengths of ROS with existing industrial technologies. We want to take ROS into the industrial world by combining its high-level functionality with the relatively low-level reliability and safety of industrial robot controllers.”
More information about ROS-Industrial can be found at ROSindustrial.swri.org.
SwRI is an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization based in San Antonio, Texas, with more than 3,000 employees and an annual research volume of more than $581 million.