[ros-users] [Discourse.ros.org] [ROS-Industrial] Reliability, safety, security, maintenance and support in ROS

Víctor Mayoral Vilches ros.discourse at gmail.com
Thu Dec 20 10:27:59 UTC 2018

@Wilco great that you brought this up for discussion and thanks!

A few thoughts from my side: Henk summarized pretty nicely the relevance of ROS and some of the issues related to building robots from ground up. One must note that Prof. Kiela is actually has several decades of experience in this area and a deep industrial insight but to the best of my knowledge, he's not very actively involved in the ROS community (at least it didn't feel that way last time we spoke!).

He presents ROS 2.0 as

> a project was started recently, incorporating the new 
requirement for mission-critical functionality and indeed safety

Arguably, some members of the community will object since ROS 2.0 started quite a few years ago (e.g. see https://github.com/ros2/ros2/commit/3ae331af3bb794e8b03c1ac7716b7ad62ac14b3c). Nevertheless, ROS 2.0 has indeed become official within the last year. Much has happened since though! 

In addition and as pointed by @facontidavide, I disagree with several aspects exposed in the comparison made in table 1. E.g., ROS is indeed being used in safe environments and just recently, at ROS-Industrial Conference, a speaker shared quite a few details about their safe setup while using ROS (1)  and how they did it (they followed an isolated safety system-approach making the ROS setup as a behavior coordinator, as mentioned by @GuillermoUrcera above).

Of course, this doesn't mean they "certified ROS" (completely) and one should questions whether this makes sense at all. Selecting, however, individual ROS packages (or stacks) and adapting them for complying with a particular set of guidelines is something that several companies are already doing.

> A store of ROS-certified modules could provide a similar
function to the user community. The certification should
provide minimum qualifications for the performance,
safety, security and maintainability of a module. Such a
scheme could be adopted for ROS 2.0 in the future, but this
should also be done right away for ROS Industrial.

I think it's relevant to note here that by modules, Henk here refers to both software and/or hardware modules. Certification of such is an ongoing discussion and new standards like ISO 22166, hopefully, will provide some answers. A pre-requisite and one of the aspects required for modularity (and hardware reconfiguration) is interoperability. In the article, it's claimed that "_quality and ease of reconfiguration is not as good_" in ROS. I also disagree with this. Furthermore, there exists new projects like [HRIM](https://acutronicrobotics.com/technology/hrim/) that aim to facilitate interoperability by defining a common information model that generates artifacts in an MDE fashion (while offering a structure that allows for its extension in other robotic frameworks).

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