[ros-users] [Discourse.ros.org] [General] ROSLink: Connecting ROS with the Internet of Things

Anis Koubaa ros.discourse at gmail.com
Fri Apr 14 08:07:13 UTC 2017

This is a good question, which we addressed in our paper. 

RoboWebTools are based on ROSBridge and ROSJS.
ROSBRIDGE deploys a weboscket server inside the robot, and then clients can connect to it through websockets client, using different technologies, such as ROSJS in JS, and other programming languages. In this case, it is a client server application, where the server is located in the robot, and the robot is located in the user machine.

The problem with this approach we observed is that the server in the robot needs to have a public IP address to be accessed by the client through Internet, or using Port Forwarding if it is behind a NAT. The latter is not always abvious and is network dependent. 

ROSLink addresses this gap, but considering a client installed in the robot, and a client installed in the user machine and they communication through a public server using the ROSLink messaging protocol. As such, it is possible to control and monitor any robots through the Internet. Also, ROSLink is a complete protocol that define messages, and these messages can be extended by developed to add their own.

This is a basic summary of the difference and more details can be found in the paper.


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