Hi all, its Your Friendly Neighborhood Navigator here!
I’ve been hard at work since my last post developing a new game plan for Nav2 and mobile robotics ecosystem. While I’m close to an announcement, I wanted to make a Call to Action for those companies and organizations with vested interests in Nav2 / ROS 2 to reach out and help shape whats to come. For Nav2 to be successful, I need your involvement!
If your company’s products or services relies on Nav2 (or just want to be a good robotics open-source citizen!), please send me a PM or email. I am looking for partners to ensure Nav2 can be sustainably and professionally maintained for the long-term future with the highest degree of alignment with the community and our end-users. I’m starting a new initiative to maintain and develop Nav2 and the ROS 2 mobile robotics ecosystem with the same principles that has made Nav2 so successful thus far: proactive maintenance, modernity, quality, permissive licensing, documentation, and ease of use – in addition to new services to better support our many commercial users.
I’m so excited about this new chapter and I think you all will be too! Its a grand new journey as a community and I feel privileged to be at the helm, with your support. Get ready for all of the nautical terminology!
I’d like to voice my support for Steve. He’s been a superb project leader for Nav2 over the past few years, helping to take what Intel began and continue its path to being a massively-successful community-driven project with a large number of contributors. I hope that he is able to remain actively leading Nav2 for many years to come, and to do that he needs your support. Please reach out to him if you are an active user of Nav2 in your robots.
Adding my +1 too.
If your company uses Nav2, you must get in touch with Steve and chat about what the future hold.
Supporting Nav2 is not about being a good open-source citizen, it is really in YOUR OWN selfish interest
Adding that supporting nav2 is also supporting the overall ROS 2 robustness and reliability.
In my opinion, nav2, because it is maintained against rolling and continuously integrates new ROS features, is the ultimate ROS 2 system and stress test. It is usually nav2 users who are the first to complain when there is a bug in some ROS core package.
In my company we are working on different robotics systems, some of them rely in ROS2 and Nav2. I would love to keep in touch with you and understand if us, as a Company, can help in the next steps of Nav2.
Carmelo Di Franco,
Senior software engineer at Aitronik s.r.l.
Hello! At the company I working for we are currently developing autonomous GPR (Ground penetrating radar) solutions with the help of Nav2. The goal is to make subsurface mapping autonomous. Would love to help in the future development.
Hi Steve, thanks for your work. Nav2 is one of the greatest ROS project. It’s a diverse system. I’ve made some minor contributions to it before, but I haven’t been able to understand all of it yet. I will try to help if I have time. But modern robot systems have a complex architecture and I have other parts to focus on besides Nav2. My team is also currently understaffed. Let us know what help you need. My GitHub ID is borongyuan.
I’m blown away by this response from folks wanting to volunteer and help. I suppose maybe I should have made it more explicit in my post, but I’m looking for companies using, relying, or wanting to support Nav2 that we can partner with to provide financial support via various mechanisms for keeping the Nav2 stack professionally maintained, developed, and supported in perpetuity.
I’m really touched by the out pour of support from individuals willing to provide their talents to the cause and I definitely want to create more opportunities where that can be leveraged to accelerate the success of ROS 2 and Nav2. However, today I’m laser focused on finding partner companies that can provide more resources than would be reasonable to ask of any single (not independently wealthy) person.
I will definitely though circle around with anyone that comments here that they’re interested and willing to help when the opportunity presents itself. It might be helpful to list your skills, interests, or relevant information so that we can best find a way that you’re happy to help and we can use to continue making Nav2 the best navigation framework in the world
Though, I’d say anyone that is at the Senior or Staff Engineering levels interested in contributing PR Reviews, that would be of particular value. Its been almost 5 years since I’ve had regular help and a second set of eyes to identify issues in community-submitted patches and it would be so fantastic if we could get back into a model of 2 approvals per PR like we once had back when Intel & I were were developing the original beta. I feel that’s both a very achievable contribution for most and doesn’t take much time week-to-week, but makes a big difference to the project’s process and quality.
There are obviously other areas of contribution, but this is something we can execute on very quickly and make an immediate impact & over the long-term.
Just to ensure that new, non-senior-or-staff-engineering-level individuals interested in contributing to Nav2 are not left empty-handed, I will provide my opinion on the knowledge and minimal (safe bet) skills are needed. Here are the requirements:
Good knowledge of C++, I think standard C14 and above, along with SOLID and system design principles
Familiarity with ROS 2 actions and lifecycle nodes, as mentioned in the Nav2 documentation. Knowledge about Behavior Trees would also be useful. It is recommended to go through and try most of the tutorials in the Nav2 documentation. If you come across any unclear sections, please report the issues. It can be a good starting point for your first issue/PR to contribute updates.
Proficiency in creating ROS 2 launchers with different settings of plugins in YAML configuration files. This is essential for testing your new plugins before CI tests, and so on.
You can find information about pain points in Nav2 development or usage in the Nav2 issues and pull requests, including closed ones. I gained valuable insights from design discussions in these threads.
(Personal opinion) You can support Nav2 by writing new tutorials and creating standalone robot models and simulations (e.g. with new Gazebo instead of old Gazebo Classic) as examples. It doesn’t have to be limited to new features alone. For instance, you can take a look at the Neobotix repositories for good examples.
Try to help others on the (soon-to-be-migrated) ROS Answers and newer SE Robotics, avoid simply cluttering the queue of unanswered questions; instead, strive to provide helpful responses and contribute to the community.