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Research and Academics
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Southwest Research Institute Launches ROS-Industrial Consortium
ROS-Industrial combines the advanced, high-level features
of ROS with the rock-solid, low-level controls for industrial robots
to create the next generation of factory automation
By Robotics Trends' News Sources - Filed Sep 05, 2012

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) is launching a cooperative research consortium to accelerate the development of ROS-Industrial, an open-source extension of ROS focused on the needs of industrial users. SwRI established the ROS-Industrial Software Repository, BSD-licensed resources that can be found at, in January of this year.

ROS, which stands for Robot Operating System, is an open-source project led by Willow Garage that provides a common framework of libraries and tools for a wide range of applications, particularly for service and research robots. The ROS-Industrial Consortium (RIC) will enable the industrial robotics community to apply the advanced capabilities of ROS for industrial applications quickly and easily using a common platform, the ROS-Industrial open source software program. The consortium will conduct foundational, precompetitive research and code development at the direction of the membership.

Consortium members will have access to practical user services, including technical support and training, to foster the use of ROS-Industrial by industry. The membership will be driving the RIC research program, collectively deciding development priorities to meet members’ most critical needs. Building on the software libraries that ROS provides, ROS-Industrial will enable advanced capabilities and interoperability with a range of off-the-shelf industrial manipulators, perception systems, and peripherals, without sacrificing the reliability and safety crucial for industrial systems. Test results, data, recommendations and analysis generated by RIC will create a competitive advantage for its members and will be protected from public disclosure for a period of time.

To date, ROS-Industrial has demonstrated unique capabilities using conventional industrial robot control for applications such as material handling in dynamic environments with on-the-fly object segmentation and grasp planning. Standard interfaces allow high-level software to work with many robots. ROS-Industrial supports robotic workcell visualization and simulation capabilities such as RViz, allowing system development and testing with or without physical hardware.

ROS-Industrial allows device access over various networks and advanced 2D-vision and 3D-point cloud sensor processing. Rich software development tools include universal logging, debuggers and automated code generators. Multiple robot path planners allow developers to choose and customize software that support high-degree-of-freedom systems coordinating multiple arms.

RIC will have its first kickoff meeting in early 2013. Annual membership fees vary depending on the size and type of organization.

For more information about the ROS-Industrial Consortium, see or contact Evans at or (210) 522-2994.

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