Using ROS in commercial OpenEmbedded environment?

Can someone suggest resources (web links, blogs, books, etc…) that discuss the implications of running ROS in a commercial product. Specifically, a commercial product running a Yocto/OpenEmbedded derived custom Linux distribution. Although, a ROS product based on a commercial distribution of Linux would likely have all the same issues.

I realize there is a whole spectrum of issues that might be involved. A few of which might be: handling ROS version issues, ROS system configuration, open source license management and compliance, build and testing management, and then the more nitty-gritty stuff that might be tweaked in packages to better support commercial use where customers expect things to just work without a lot of tweaking on their own.

I have a feeling a lot of the service and industrial robots that are using ROS are solving these types of issues on their own, but I am wondering if there is a watering hole on the web where people concerned with these issues gather to share knowledge and best practices so ROS support from a variety vendors looks more unified from an end-customers standpoint.



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Hi Mike!

I’m neither ROS nor OpenEmbedded expert, but I’ve spent some time working with both projects and my gut feeling is that there’s maybe just a couple of companies using ROS on top of OpenEmbedded in production internally at the moment. I’m pretty sure nobody builds real commercial products or something that goes beyond a research projects. And I know what it takes to build a product (In my previous life I worked on the integration system used to build Nokia N9).

I guess the best way to find out what people are concerned about is to have a look at the programs of ROS (and ROS Industrial) conferences. You’ll see that the majority of ROS users are researchers happy with Ubuntu as a baseline for ROS.


:+1: - this is something that I am interested in as well.

Dmitry, thanks for the response.

For good historical reasons, ROS seems strongly focused around Ubuntu as a base platform, but Ubuntu isn’t really suitable platform for actual embedded products intended to work in a ROS ecosystem. Its akin to placing an aircraft carrier nuclear power plant into a speed boat. I’m very happy and grateful to see that others had already blazed the trail on getting ROS working over OpenEmbedded as it at least sets a direction and makes the integration possible, even if it is not easy.

I’m just at the beginning of this process, but I’ll be happy to share my experience with others as our development progresses on a commercial product based on ROS running on an OpenEmbedded-based custom Linux. Hopefully I’ll find others on a similar journey with which to compare notes.


@mpthompson I can not say much about ROS on OpenEmbedded. But can give you some advice on OpenEmbedded/Yocto for product development. We are using Openembedded for about 4 years for our camera firmware development. I kow none other system which provides you the services OpenEmbedded do.
We do automatic builds based on Jenkins and create full software update packages bundled with our application software.