[ros-users] Announcing the Robot Management System (RMS)

Toris, Russell Charles rctoris at WPI.EDU
Wed Sep 5 19:51:37 UTC 2012

Dear ROS Community:

I would like to take a moment to announce the early-release version of the Robot Management System (RMS). RMS (Robot Management System) is a remote lab management tool designed for use with controlling ROS enabled robots from the web. RMS itself refers to a web-management system written in PHP/HTML backed by a MySQL database. RMS is written in a robot-platform independent manner allowing for the control of a variety of robots. In addition to being cross-platform, RMS allows for basic user management, interface management, and content management. RMS is broken up into two separate stacks on ROS.org:
  * rms_www contains the web server code for the RMS and comes with a detailed installation tutorial --  http://www.ros.org/wiki/rms_www
  * rms contains server side (ROS-side) code such as example simulation environments. As of this email, example simulation environments are available for the Kuka youBot and PR2. In addition, example launch files are provided for the WowWee Rovio and Kuka youBot for control of physical robots. PR2 examples are soon to follow. -- http://www.ros.org/wiki/rms

Who Should Use the RMS?
RMS was designed to be an easy to use, easy to mange remote lab system for use by robotic researchers and enthusiasts. Developed in PHP/HTML with a MySQL backend, the RMS itself is not considered a light-weight system; however, by using a heavier system, tools such as user management, content management, and interface management become possible.

Does the RMS Itself Require ROS to Install?
No. The RMS was designed as a standalone system that can be easily installed on UNIX based web servers. The decision was made so that it is possible to host the RMS site itself on campus or third-party web servers without the need of maintaining and installing ROS on that server. RMS will point to ROS servers which are running rosbridge v2.0 in order to control the robot.

How Does the RMS Communicate with ROS?
The RMS uses the lastest version of ros.js to communicate with ROS servers. For the ROS server to communicate back to the RMS, a server running rosbridge v2.0 should be running.

Cool Widgets! Do I Need RMS to Use Them?
No. Most of the widgets available in the system were developed as standalone widgets as part of the rosjs effort. The RMS admin panel simply wraps these widgets and provides an easy-to-use GUI to customize them to fit your needs.

Is There More to Come?
Yes! The current released version of RMS is a very early-stage release of the system. The following are just a few of the features we hope to add soon:
  * User scheduling for environments/interfaces
  * PR2 examples and navigation widgets
  * 3D Interactive Widgets
  * Additional, more complex, interface examples
  * Additional tutorials
  * Much more!

RMS is being released in its early stages in hopes of receiving feedback early in its developments to help shape the future of the system. That being said, the current release is stable and ready for use! Frequent updates will be made and documented on its ROS.org wiki pages: http://www.ros.org/wiki/rms_www and http://www.ros.org/wiki/rms


Russell Toris

Russell Toris
Graduate Student | WPI Department of Computer Science
rctoris at wpi.edu | http://users.wpi.edu/~rctoris/

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