[ros-users] The future of ROS 2.0 protocol changes

Hai Nguyen haidai at gmail.com
Tue Sep 16 17:43:59 UTC 2014

I'm not particularly familiar with DDS, but does it work nicely with
browsers? either through some sort of translation or better yet, natively?
I'm interested as the current ROS to WebSockets bridge is particularly
ugly: the bridge has to subscribe to all the messages that any web client
would need to listen to and then rebroadcast them, which introduces
additional delays making it horribly painful to use for things like teleop
with large messages like images or point clouds.

>From my perspective, interest, especially commercially, in getting ROS to
work with the web have only grown over time. There has been push by Bosch
and Brown for a while, and then Willow joined in, right before it closed
shop, to build a complementary web toolkit [1] for ROS. Savioke, from their
job postings, seem to be doing something webby behind the scenes too. And
even for hobby/research projects, it's just so much easier to access robots
over a browser compared to with Ubuntu/RViz. The fact that you get iOS and
Android support, no ROS java [2] needed, almost for free through their
browsers is just fantastic (and I suggest trying this if you haven't

I might have missed it in my superficial lurking, but I haven't seen this
issue of communicating with web clients raised with any seriousness yet. It
would be a big missed opportunity if ROS 2.0 only supports talking to
browsers at the level that it does now. Most projects are moving to the
web. These days even my humble ipython runs a full-fledged web server in
its default installation. Certainly, in the future, I feel like this will
become a much more pressing issue.

[1] http://robotwebtools.org
[2] https://code.google.com/p/rosjava/

On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 11:55 AM, Brian Gerkey <gerkey at osrfoundation.org>

> On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 8:27 AM, Jonathan Bohren <
> jonathan.bohren at gmail.com> wrote:
>> What I gathered from Aaron's initial post is that an open question is
>> whether or not ROS 1.x will continue to be enhanced and/or if OSRF has the
>> bandwidth to organize contributions which enhance it in the ways he
>> described. Over in ros-sig-ng-ros, I mentioned that there are currently a
>> bunch of enhancements floating around which either not been fully fleshed
>> out or have not been integrated into the ROS 1.x core. These include, but
>> are not limited to UDP Multicast Support [1] and a ZeroMQ-based backend
>> which improves performance [2].
>> [1] http://wiki.ros.org/ethzasl_message_transport
>> [2] https://github.com/esteve/ros_comm/tree/zeromq_thrift
> OSRF will continue to maintain the ROS 1.x core, but we do not intend to
> spend time on new development for them.  We will of course entertain
> patches to improve the ROS 1.x core, but with the caveat that incorporation
> of significant changes (e.g., adding new transport options) will require
> significant effort from interested folks outside OSRF.  E.g., merging
> Cedric's UDP multicast support is not out of the question, but somebody
> who's sufficiently motivated to make that happen will need to lead the
> charge, including testing and documentation of affected packages.
> brian.
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Hai Nguyen
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