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Open Robotics today, on World Turtle Day, announced the ninth release of ROS 2 called Iron Irwini. Open Robotics said this was a notable release of the Robot Operating System (ROS) for both its size and the amount of support it received from the ROS community: 239-plus contributors providing code changes, documentation, and testing.
Iron Irwini is the largest ROS 2 release yet in terms of features, according to Open Robotics. It noted the following highlights of the release:
Python API documentation is now hosted on docs.ros.org, making it easier to find, read, and update.
REP-2012 Service Introspection: Debugging services is hard. Open Robotics wanted a simple way to watch a service in a running ROS system. You can now see service events in a separate topic, e.g. /myservice/_service_event.
Pre and Post Parameter Callbacks now give parameter users more flexibility without breaking ABI. This approach allows users to add validation and sanitization to complex ROS parameter lists.
ROS node computations can be expensive, and some users don’t want to publish unless the right nodes are listening. Matched ROS events enable this feature by letting you know when a publisher/subscriber pair establish or drop a connection!
External logger configuration is now available in ROS Iron. This feature lets you set fine-grained logging levels for each ROS node in your robot.
Miscellaneous launch improvements, including TTY colors in YAML and XML launch files, a new LaunchLogDir macro, lifecycle node transitions, and many, many more.
A new NodeInterface class to unify the interfaces for classic ROS Nodes and newer Lifecycle Nodes. This new interface should streamline ROS code and reduce redundancy.
The team revamped messages assertions in Python, and disabled them by default to eek out more performance on large messages.
New and improved ROS Bagging using MCAP: Thanks to MCAP ROS Bags now have message definitions baked right in making them much more portable. Preliminary performance evaluations indicate a ~2-5x increase in message throughput over SQLite.
Small RVIZ Improvements: including a binary map display, a new camera ROI camera display, and loads STL files from SolidWorks.
A full list of the new features in Iron Irwini can be found in the Iron release notes and the Iron changelogs.
The next long-term release, Jazzy Jalisco, is scheduled to take place in 2024.
The Open Source Robotics Corp, the for-profit arm of Open Source Robotics Foundation, which is the developer of the Robot Operating System (ROS), was acquired by Intrinsic in December 2022. Intrinsic last week announced its first product, Intrinsic Flowstate, which is designed to make it easier to develop applications for robots. The Intrinsic Flowstate software adds a layer of abstraction to traditional robotic software tools with the goal of reducing the development skillset required to program a robot.
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