[ros-users] ROS 2.0 Strategy review

Aaron Schiffman aarondsc at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 26 22:21:24 UTC 2015

Hi Linus, 

I don't recall specifics, nor do I know the dev path osrf choose. I do recall ROS 2 DDS implementation was going to be from rti.com, and rti was going to provide it to ROS free of charge. 

RTI says on their website they control 70% of the DDS market, and over a trillion dollars in critical systems rely on Context DDS, and the statement in the omg dds 1.2 spec states:

The attention  of  adopters is directed to the  possibility  that  compliance  with or adoption  of OMG specifications may require  use  of an  invention covered  by patent  rights. OMG  shall  not  be  responsible  for identifying patents  for which a  license may  be required  by any  OMG specification,  or for conducting  legal  inquiries into  the  legal validity  or scope of  those patents  that are brought to  its attention. OMG  specifications are  prospective and advisory  only. Prospective users  are responsible  for  protecting themselves against liability for infringement  of patents. 

Search Google patents and you will find some patents submitted explicitly for DDS related techs, and I can only assume some of the patents not mentioning DDS cover facets of DDS. 

I can only speculate on patents at this point, but regardless rti owns their software. So they definitely own some DDS related ip.



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From:"Linas Vepstas" <linasvepstas at gmail.com>
Date:Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 10:08 AM
Subject:Re: [ros-users] ROS 2.0 Strategy review

Hi Aaron,

Can you clarify? Do you mean "IP of DDS", or IP of something else?  Are DDS algos patented?  There used to be talk of zero-mq-based ROS, but that seems to have disappeared from the table. 

My knee-jerk reaction is to be a bit suspicious of OMG-created technologies; they sound great at first, but are often over-wrought (e.g. corba).  I'd never even heard a whisper about DDS before yesterday; I'm nervous about adopting a technology that has not yet gained any acceptance at all in the open-source community.  So, for example, whatever one's opinion of zmq might be, positive or negative, its a "known thing"; many people have used it, there is developer experience, a track record.  There's no such track record for DDS -- the proprietary world seems to be the primary consumer of the thing, and their experience with it is secret, and not shared. We don't actually know how well it works (although I admit it sounds really great, based on the wikipedia article).

Anyway: please clarify: IP of what? And who "owns" that IP, who has rights to it?

-- Linas.

On Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 11:03 AM, Aaron Schiffman via ros-users <ros-users at lists.ros.org> wrote:

This doesn't feel right sharing my some of my thoughts I held back since Roscon 2014 about ROS 2.0, but here goes:

The ip ownership and patent of the underlying ROS 2.0 distributed udp protocol are of concern as a third party protocol implementor. Yes, ROS.org or OSRF may have explicit legal permission to use said protocol, but it is not truly an open/free platform when the public is at the mercy of the IP owner, unless the entire platform is contractually opened up and made free. 

As a ROS protocol implementor Ive personally held off on implementing ROS 2.0 protocols, while waiting to see how it pans out. I am still of the belief that the UDPROS protocol with enhancements can do everything the new protocol can do, but better. That really doesn't matter now though. 

I appreciate that osrf took the focus from protocols and put their limited resources to work on tools. In an r&d organization that would be the path I would expect to be the most rewarding, except that I've grown to appreciate think of ROS as a rock that the open robotics universe revolves around. Like I think of Linux, as an open operating system, except that ROS is more an open set of design frameworks like tcpip is a standard protocol with many implementors.

Wish I could be there in Hamburg with you all! The birds of a feather meetings, and the couple hours socializing with drinks were the most influential on my development direction this past year. Watching roscon on YouTube just will not be the same. 

I am so stoked about this upcoming year in Robotics I can hardly contain myself (probably a good reason for me to not be there in October:)

God bless Roscon 2015 in Hamburg!


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