Hi ROS2 Community,
I’d like to share a ROS 2 community report that, through various user interviews, discusses the current needs of ROS 2 for mass adoption by the community:
This report summarizes 15 interviews with users, or potential users, of the Robotic Operating
System (ROS) conducted by PickNik Consulting for Amazon Web Services and the ROS 2
Technical Steering Committee (TSC). It is motivated by Amazon’s customer-focused approach
to developing their product specifications, and is intended to inform future ROS 2 resource
allocations after the December 2018 ROS Crystal, the third release of ROS 2.
The feedback collected and types of feature requests varied greatly. Even considering the
diverse applications of ROS, it is remarkable how many use cases and needs exist in the
robotics community. This plethora of sometimes conflicting requests inspires great respect for
the challenges faced by Open Robotics and the ROS 2 development team in making design
decisions and choosing the current feature set. While reviewing this report we ask the reader
keep in mind that criticizing ROS is much easier than actually creating an open source,
robot-agnostic, multi-purpose robotics middleware.
The primary takeaway from this report is that most of the key features needed by potential ROS
2 users have been addressed, but robustness and reliability through hardware testing is a huge
unaddressed concern of users. Similarly, a branding and marketing problem remains due to
overdue promises and scattered online assets. The strategy we believe would best address
both of these concerns would be to choose a flagship hardware platform and set inspiring
milestones (stretch goals) that would demonstrate ROS 2’s applied capabilities (such as
navigation and manipulation) while generating impressive demo videos. This effort would also
spotlight missing feature areas still required for using ROS 2 on actual hardware.