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Call for interest: RobotWebTools working group?

Hi all,

In short - based on an unrelated discussion on a PR with @jihoonl - it came up that RobotWebTools is short of active maintainers. I’m wondering if anybody in the community is interested in forming a Working Group around this project to collectively maintain, and encourage community participation.

I imagine we could apply some strategies from other ROS 2 working groups (like ros-tooling) that would make it easier to manage the projects.

Following is my philosophical rambling that explains why I think this space is important:

The http://robotwebtools.org project(s) are promising tools for building extended applications on top of ROS. Though there is a vocal contingent of the ROS community that says “ye’ll never take away my Qt ye scurvy sea dog!” - there is also clearly a use for “zero-install” browser applications that can run easily on any OS, which use the unrivaled GUI-building tools of the modern web. These tools have benefit for the software developers of ROS-based robots, but also empower the rest of the team that inevitably is involved in a robotics project, who may not be as inclined to run a variety of command-line tools to install dependencies, or even run Linux. Of course, these two ecosystems are not mutually exclusive - the browser will probably not match the performance of a well-tuned native 3D application (though web 3d has gotten very good, maybe the gap is not so large).

There is room for lots of projects in this “web-tools” space - https://webviz.io is a strong example - but I see RobotWebTools as an ideal place for common glue that can be used by many end applications - most importantly (I think) rclnodejs and rosbridge_suite.

As a final note - I don’t want to step on any toes and only am suggesting this because I think it might help the project. I would like to invite the members of the GitHub org to share their thoughts, as they are the folks who have actually built these tools - I’m just a fan :slight_smile: who would like to help the projects continue moving forward.
@Behery @jihoonl @kenny-y @minggangw @nuclearsandwich @odestcj @rtoris @sevenbitbyte @sosentos @viktorku

  • A working group would be valuable, and I would like to participate
  • A working group would be valuable, but I would probably not participate
  • A working group would not provide meaningful value to RobotWebTools

0 voters

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Cool initiative. Just dropping by to mention that we have a modernized fork of roslibjs in the RoboStack: GitHub - RoboStack/roslibjs: The Standard ROS JavaScript Library

You should also have a look at Amphion and Zethus, two really powerful web-viz libraries.

This entire stack is still on ROS 1 for the time being, though.

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Shared this with one of our team members.

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I just realized I didn’t make the poll “public” and it is too late to change it - so I can’t actually see who voted :stuck_out_tongue: - so if you are interested in participating, maybe also drop a note in the replies.

@emersonknapp interesting proposal!

I think it would be good to align the “web robotics” tools and a working group sounds like a good way to do this.

count me in for future discussions!

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Great idea. I tested out the ROS/web integration by making ros-web-gamepad and in ~150 lines of JavaScript I had a joystick attached to my browser driving a ROS-based robot over rosbridge. I also experimented with decoding Theora frames from a rosbag in-browser. It seems like a promising area to continue exploring.

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Hi @emersonknapp, thanks for the initiative! It’s a great idea. I haven’t been involved in rwt (or ROS to be honest) for about a year or two now. But I’m currently making my way back to ROS. I will try to be as active as I can, but as Jihoon mentioned in the PR comment, we all moved to different places/positions and we don’t have as much resources as we once did.
That being said, I don’t expect to be 100% active on rwt (or ros2) right away because I’m still in the process of switching back to ROS work.
Cheers!

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@emersonknapp The Robot Web Tools project is very important in my humble opinion! Great initiative :-)!

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I would like to participate/be involved in this working group.
I am a noob in robotics, a hobbyist, but have decent experience in web development.

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I would be interested as well. I am a web developer and have been using ROS and roslibjs these past months.

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Thank you for the initiation @emersonknapp. I do believe there should be interests as I have seen continuous incoming issues and PRs, although I couldn’t have handled them due to the lack of resources.

I hope the active working group gets formed again to revitalize(or upgrade for ros2) the library. I will do all my best to support to form the working group.

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Thanks for your great proposal @emersonknapp, I’ve seen strong web-related requirements from the feedback of the developers and I believe an active working group can make these projects prosperous and offers a better web solution for ROS/ROS2.

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Initiative is valuable, I would like to participate.

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Definitely a valuable tool to keep fresh. I’d be happy to participate

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This will be interesting for sure.
I would be happy to be a part of it

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I would be happy to participate in the working group, too. I’ve been contributing to rosnodejs for many years, which isn’t part of the same github org, but of course logically belongs to ros web tools just the same way rclnodejs does.

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@emersonknapp It appears that we have critical mass for this effort. I have a guide for starting new working groups. I’ll shoot you an e-mail and we can set everything up.

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I agree!

I’ll put together some of the assets we need to get started - but I also want to ask for interested people here to volunteer to co-own this WG - I’m definitely not trying to swoop in and take over the project single-handedly. I volunteer to run the first meeting and help get things situated, but will be asking for others to take on these duties as well.

Lastly - I’d like to get a sense for when we should have a first meeting. I’ve opened this poll for the days next week, but depending on how many responses it gets, we could use those same day/time preferences for a different upcoming week (June 1-4 or 7-11)

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I am a web developer too, and I have built a web interface for my rover integrating ROS2 topic publisher , Flask web server, Bootstrap responsive design, Font Awesome icons, and have added a click grid onto my FPV view. I have a couple of thread issues to work out, but have a working proof of concept. FPV latency is not much of a problem on a LAN for 4 frames per second, but frames per second may be a problem on open internet. There may be Socket IO solutions for frame rate, but I am pretty busy now working on “click there” in FPV view, and rover to drive to selected point. JPG individual frames are available for AI recognition / processing currently.

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Count me in. I’ve been working with @minggangw on rclnodejs and rclnodejs-cli.

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