By Andy Choi
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), an applied research and development organization, has set up the ROS-Industrial Software Repository that will comprise drivers, tools and libraries for industrial automation hardware.
The ROS, otherwise known as the Robot Operating System, is an open-source project that offers a universal framework of tools and libraries for various applications such as research and service robotics. The repository provides a means to use the ROS framework to promote advanced research in industrial applications, via a universal architecture.
SwRI, in collaboration with Willow Garage and Motoman Robotics, has launched the first application for ROS-Industrial, which is an initial interface offering robot motion control with impact-free path planning for the Motoman SIA10D robot arm by utilizing the DX100 robot controller. The interface works with genuine hardware and also with replicated robot in rviz which is a ROS three-dimensional visualization environment.
A senior research engineer at the SwRI Automation and Data Systems Division’s Shaun Edwards informed that earlier the organization had utilized ROS for sophisticated manufacturing and industrial systems to allow quick development and also to reduce expenditure. The ROS application in these projects was closely defined. The aim of the ROS-Industrial program is to create a common framework for wider applications. Edwards further stated that the ROS-Industrial offers a suitable solution for industrial robotics professionals and researchers. SwRI encourages the development of reliable software that addresses the requirements of industrial applications by merging the strengths of ROS with current industrial technologies.