ROS – Component-Based Software Development for Robotics


ROS – short for Robot Operating System – is a modern software framework for the fast development of robot components with a high degree of reusability. The framework, which has become widespread, capsules functionality in individual packages, ranging from drivers for most hardware to often used basic robot skills. With the ROS-Industrial initiative, the code base is also increasingly being professionalised for industrial use.

Benefits and possibilities of ROS

Functions written in C++ or Python are organised in packages and are executed in the form of individual ROS nodes. Data is exchanged between the nodes through a standardised but easily extendable message format. This structure offers a large number of benefits:

  • Abstract interfaces enable an easier reuse
  • Transparent network communication allows a distributed execution
  • The Publish/Subscribe architecture simplifies the integration of complex projects

ROS offers, besides its structural benefits, also an extensive collection of tools for the development, simulation, integration, debugging and visualisation of simple as well as complex application scenarios. ROS supports cross-compiling and offers various packages already for embedded systems based on ARM, such as the Raspberry Pi. The open source framework is continuously being further developed by a large number of developers of a very active community and thus offers a valuable support for the development of demanding robotics applications.


ROS-Industrial is an initiative to further professionalise the use of ROS. The focus is set on the use of industrial facilities, through strict guidelines on code quality, documentation and test by which the possibilities in the production are multiplied. Developers, research institutions and users are organised in international consortia for the targeted development, which determine roadmaps, implement functionalities and use ROS in the production. The FZI is a member in the ROS-Industrial Consortium Europe and actively contributes to the further development with its own packages.

Our offer…

Through many years of experience in research and industry as well as the development of own packages and tools, the FZI has great expertise in the ROS framework and can support in the development and use in almost all fields. In particular, we offer:

  • Individual consulting and information on potentials of ROS for your use
  • Workshops and trainings on the use of ROS
  • Development of new ROS packages for your hardware or application
  • Support and development of prototypical assembly, logistics and order-picking applications with ROS

Selected applications