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Pushing ROS to get standardized - ROSCon 2017 Lightning Talk

Information model, the documentation that will describe how to create standard robot modules.

I would like to share with all of you the Lightning Talk I made at ROSCon 2017: the transcript + slides. Feel free to ask any questions or give your feedback.

Thanks!

Information model

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Good evening, I am Irati Zamalloa, an industrial design engineer from Erle Robotics.

As all of you know, we are working on H-ROS, the Hardware Robot Operating System, to offer the world standard modules for building robots.

The standardization require that every detail fit like a tetris, so I would like to introduce one of the key pieces, the information model.

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What is an H-ROS Information model?

It is a set of rules and specifications to create an standard robot modules.

H-ROS remove components integration, we eliminate the necessary effort to achieve communication between devices, almost 70% time over the total.

If we translate this to ROS, we need all the modules to contain the same topics, messages services, actions and parameters, to make sure that all of them speak the same language at all levels.

And the information model is the document that describes all the details.

Building process

We are pushing ROS to get standardized. We believe in ROS, but we also believe that it needs a step more, and get the next level of acceptance. That is why we are working actively with international organizations like ISO or OMG.

It will help to build a solid infrastructure from the ground up and make the H-ROS information model a reference document to create standard robotic modules.

Thank you for your time! And if anybody wants to know more about the H-ROS information model, come talk to me! Thank you!

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I saw your talk at ROSCon, this is an interesting effort and I’d like to know more about it.

First of all, what is it that you are trying to get standardized? Is it the workings of ROS 2 on top of DDS? Is it parts of H-ROS? Some combination of both? I would be interested in the scope of what you’re trying to accomplish, as well as seeing what kinds of documents you’re generating in support of this standardization effort.

Secondly, you mentioned working with ISO and OMG. Is this happening in the open, or is it just talks between your company and the standards bodies at this point?

Anything you could share or expand upon would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Rich

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Hi Rich,

Thank you for your interest in our standardization process. This work is being pushed by our engineers to a number of OMG and ISO (slow process which involves getting parts of our Information Model at the core of these documents that are being written) working groups. A good example is the work that’s happening in ISO 299.

The Information Model standardizes ROS messages and it’s written using ROS messages syntax. It could be implemented with different middlewares (DDS is only one option, you could use other choices). With H-ROS we are aiming to create standardized robotics hardware, so, the Information Model is the baseline which ensures that all the modules are able to interoperate (even from different manufacturers, you will only have to connect them together). Accordingy, part of the Information Model is created specifically for H-ROS, but I have to say, that I’m taking care of making it as modular as posible, so that in the future, you can all take advantage of this work. We are working very hard to open the Information Model as soon as posible, please stay tuned.

Although it’s still a work in progress, our current implementation of the Information Model is based in ROS 2 however we’re interested in getting contributions from the community to port these same abstractions to ROS and other alternatives. Would you be open to collaborate with this? If so, could you share how much time you could commit?

Thanks,
Irati

It sounds gorgeous, I’m curious that what the Information Model will really standardize and how to apply that to address gap among various robotics h/w components ? thank you !

Hi Roser,

The Information Model standardizes logical middleware interfaces between components (or we try to!). We are working on creating a modular interface assigning at least a basic message that covers the main objective of the device. For the other characteristics we use optional messages, so the user wil be able to work with the 100% of possibilities that the component offers.

We do this through H-ROS. H-ROS is the infrastructure for creating interoperable hardware and all that this entails, where, the Information Model is part of the infrastructure.

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