Robot Operating System (ROS) -- open source software libraries, tools and a run-time environment -- reduces the complexity of robotics software engineering, increases the speed of development and deployment, and improves the robustness and maintainability of the resulting systems, according to a new report from ABI Research.

“The complexity, difficulty and glacial pace of robotics software development has stifled robotics innovation and slowed the rate of commercialization efforts,” Dan Kara, practice director, robotics at ABI Research, said in a statement.

“ROS, an integrated software framework and toolset upon which robotics systems can be constructed and deployed, eases the burden of creating advanced robotic applications,” Kara says. “ROS is now considered standard technology among robotics researchers, but equally important, the next-generation of robotics engineers will be versed in ROS.”

Commercial support for ROS is also gaining, the report says, with robots, automation products and software based on ROS coming from a number of companies.

“ROS has the potential to become a foundational software platform for all manner of actuated devices, ranging from service robots to industrial manipulators and on to consumer systems, autonomous vehicles, and more,” Kara said.

The study, Robot Operating System (ROS) and Open Source Robotics, describes the components of the ROS framework, characterizes the adoption rate of ROS and the current state of ROS Industrial—ROS-based solutions for industrial robotics technology—and provides examples of commercial systems currently employing ROS and estimates for future growth.

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