[ros-users] ROS Development Survey

Ryan Gariepy rgariepy at clearpathrobotics.com
Wed Sep 24 12:58:28 UTC 2014

Hi Daniele, all,

In short, Clearpath shares your feelings and goals, and I believe the OSRF
does as well.

In long:

In our discussions with OSRF leading up to this survey, our primary
consideration was maintaining and expanding the current ROS community and
infrastructure much as it is today. The best way to do that is to plan for
years in advance and assume that the various grants and contracts which
allowed the OSRF to start up in a sustainable way will at some point stop.

Thus, it follows that OSRF must find sources of revenue elsewhere, or else
become a contract software shop itself. Working on contracts is much less
in service of the OSRF's mission <http://www.osrfoundation.org/about> than
begin able to work on fully community-directed projects.

In discussions both at OSRF and Clearpath, we came to the conclusion that
the majority of the major institutions and businesses which are receiving
value from ROS will nonetheless be unable to simply donate to the OSRF.
Therefore, we need to provide a way where funding the OSRF makes business
sense. Support and other similar efforts are beneficial in particular
because though support efforts may be for specific clients at first, the
improved documentation, knowledge base, and bugfixes can benefit the entire

And, to address another question which will likely be going through a few
people's minds: Clearpath is taking these first steps because we too
heavily rely on ROS, we understand the needs of the community, and we
already have the infrastructure to make this happen (since we already
provide support for hundreds of ROS users). Though we will no doubt make a
profit on this endeavour, that is not our primary goal. Our own long term
plans depend on ROS & the ROS community continuing to grow in the way it
already has, therefore we must do what we can to make this possible.

Most importantly, if we go forward with offering services like this
ourselves, we intend that a share of the profit goes to the OSRF to
directly support core development efforts. We believe we're the right team
to provide support to these large companies, but OSRF should continue to be
the nucleus of the ROS community. A general outline of that arrangement
will be made available to the ROS community if and when we take those next

I hope this helps.


On Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 7:07 AM, Daniele Calisi <daniele.calisi at gmail.com>

> Dear Ryan,
> it is clear that Clearpath and OSRF wants to be paid in the near future,
> for their knowledge about ROS. It's fine for me, all work should be paid
> somehow. What is my concern, anyway, is that this would change the goals of
> ROS, that so far has been the first Open Source framework widely adopted
> used in the world.
> On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 7:37 PM, Ryan Gariepy <
> rgariepy at clearpathrobotics.com> wrote:
>> Hello ROS users!
>> Clearpath Robotics, an early adopter of ROS, is working with the Open
>> Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) to determine how the worldwide ROS
>> development community can best be supported. This may be via support
>> services, resources, or tools offered by the OSRF or community
>> members. Now is your opportunity to let us know what you need and how
>> Clearpath and OSRF can work together to best support you.
>> Please take a moment to complete this short survey:
>> http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/clearpathrobotics-B/ros-development-survey-final/
>> --
>> Ryan Gariepy | CTO | Clearpath Robotics, Inc.
>> 1425 Strasburg Road, Unit 2A | Kitchener, Ontario | N2R 1H2 Canada
>> T:  +1 (800) 301-3863 x802 | F: +1 (888) 374-0091 | E:
>> rgariepy at clearpathrobotics.com | W: www.clearpathrobotics.com
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> --
> Daniele "MadMage" Calisi
> *"Your limit is always a bit beyond"*
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