The ROS 1 and the ROS 2 are both used in developing software for robotic platforms. ROS 1 is the most widely used version, with a usage rate of 85 percent in the ROS community. ROS 1 was initially targeted at the academic sector and hobbyists, while ROS 2 is tailored towards industrial and enterprise-oriented robotic applications.
- The Robot Operating System (ROS) is a framework designed to streamline the process of creating robot software for use with robotic platforms. The ROS is an open-source framework built to enhance collaboration and resource-sharing among developers by hosting tools, libraries, and conventions that help simplify the process of development.
- The first ROS platform (ROS 1), which was introduced in 2007, kickstarted the ROS community. ROS 1 enabled the following core applications: robot mapping, robot navigation, pose estimation, localization, diagnostics, robot geometry library, standard message definitions, remote procedure calls, and robot description language.
- In 2017, the ROS community decided to make important changes to the first ROS platform. Although the primary purpose of the revamp was to enhance the functionalities of ROS 1, the creators of the platform decided to incorporate these changes in a separate parallel platform, which was later named the ROS 2. The creation of ROS 2 was due to significant risks associated with upgrading the codebase of ROS 1, which had already outgrown its initial purpose.
- The enhanced Robot Operating System (ROS 2) enabled the following applications in addition to the those present in ROS 1: robot security, Windows support, increased distributed processing, and real-time control of robots.
Targeted Industry and Groups
- The ROS 1 and ROS 2 were both exclusively designed to serve as middleware components for programming robots. However, while ROS 1 was initially targeted at the academic sector and hobbyists in general, the more robust ROS 2 is designed to be used in industrial and enterprise-oriented robotic applications.
- According to a recent article by Generation Robots, students, professors, and researchers are expected to continue with ROS 1 for training and research purposes since the adoption of ROS 2 is still relatively low.
- ROS 2 currently accounts for less than 3 percent of the ROS community by usage, and the majority of the ROS community still relies on ROS 1. Companies and manufacturers, such as Intel, Google, and AWS, are expected to lead the migration to ROS 2. Intel currently leads the NAV 2 Working Group for ROS 2 development.
Usage Statistics and Calculation
ROS 1 Packages
- Hydro and earlier: 0.00%
- Indigo: 5.02%
- Jade: 0.00%
- Kinetic: 53.06%
- Lunar: 0.85%
- Melodic: 26.71%
Total = 85.64%
ROS 2 Packages
- Bouncy (and earlier ROS 2 packages): 0.12%
- Crystal: 0.62%
- Dashing: 1.51%
Total = 2.25%
- Third-party/Independent ROS = 12.10%