Robotics division joins ROS-Industrial Software Repository

Motoman Robotics Division joins with the Southwest Resesarch Institute (SwRI) in leveraging robot operating systems' framework to enhance research in industrial applications, using a common architecture.


Motoman Robotics Division announced its participation in the ROS-Industrial Software Repository. “ROS-Industrial will bridge the gap between research and the needs of industrial users. Leveraging the efforts of the wider ROS community of robotics researchers, Motoman Robotics anticipates implementing many of the new sensors, algorithms and other developments that ROS offers. Having a robust ROS interface allows us to bring these technologies to bear solving our customers’ new applications challenges,” said Erik Nieves, technology director for Motoman Robotics.

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) recently established the repository as a BSD-licensed ROS stack that will contain libraries, tools and drivers for industrial automation hardware.

ROS (Robot Operating System) is an open-source project providing a common framework of libraries and tools for a wide range of applications, including service and research robotics. The goal of ROS-Industrial is to provide an easy path to leverage the ROS framework to enable cutting-edge research in industrial applications, using a common architecture.

Working with Motoman Robotics and Willow Garage, SwRI developed, demonstrated and released the first application for ROS-Industrial – a preliminary interface that provides robot motion control with collision-free path planning for the Motoman SIA10D robot arm using the DX100 robot controller. The interface works with actual hardware as well as a simulated robot in “rviz,” the ROS 3-D visualization environment.

“SwRI had previously used ROS for industrial and advanced manufacturing systems to facilitate rapid development and lower costs,” said Shaun Edwards, a senior research engineer in the SwRI Automation and Data Systems Division. “The use of ROS in these projects was narrowly defined; one goal of the ROS-Industrial program is to generate a framework for broader applications.

“ROS-Industrial provides industrial robotics researchers and professionals with a one-stop location for industry-related ROS applications as well as simple, easy-to-use, well-documented application programming interfaces,” Edwards continued. “We want to encourage the development of robust and reliable software that meets the needs of industrial applications by combining the relative strengths of ROS with existing industrial technologies."

Motoman Robotics Division 

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, 

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