From industrial, research, and even consumer robots, here are 10 companies whose robots can use the Robot Operating System (ROS).

  • The Robot Operating System (ROS) has a deeper foothold in the robotics industry than you might think. Since it was first developed in 2007, the open-source framework for developing robotics software has found its way into various research projects, and even been embraced by major robotics companies. In 2012 the ROS-Industrial Open Source project was established by Yaskawa Motoman Robotics, Southwest Research Institute, and Willow Garage to extend ROS into manufacturing automation.

    A number of major companies have embraced ROS and many offer ROS tutorials and resources to engineers and developers looking to work with their machines.

    Here are 10 major robotics companies that use ROS. For a comprehensive list of robots that are compatible with ROS we recommend taking a looking at the wiki on ROS.org.

    You can also find further tutorials and software packages for using ROS with various robots on the ROS Github repository.

  • ABB, YuMi, robot, robotics, Mechatronics

    ABB Robotics

    ABB manufacturers YuMi (shown above), along with other lines of collaborative and industrial robots. What’s most notable about YuMi in this case however is that the robot can be controlled using ROS.

    (Image source: ABB Robotics)

  • Clearpath Robotics

    Clearpath Robotics manufactures material loader robots for factories and warehouses (shown above) through its subsidiary, Otto Motors. Clearpath also offers autonomous robot development platforms for ground- and sea-based applications. All of the company’s robots are supported by ROS and Clearpath also offers its own ROS tutorials.

    (Image source: Clearpath Robotics)

  • Doosan Robotics

    Doosan Robotics manufacturers collaborative robots (or cobots) for assembly, quality inspection, packing, and pick and place, among other applications. Several of the company’s robots support ROS.

    (Image source: Doosan Robotics)

  • Fanuc

    Fanuc’s industrial robots serve the manufacturing needs of industries ranging from automotive and aerospace, to medical and food and beverage. Several of the company’s collaborative robots such as the CR7IAL (shown above) are compatible with ROS.

    (Image source: Fanuc)

  • Fetch Robotics

    Fetch manufactures autonomous mobile robots for research and materials transport. The company’s Mobile Manipulator and Freight Mobile Robot Base are ROS-based platforms for developing robots for research, warehouse, and factory applications.

    (Image source: Fetch Robotics)

  • iRobot

    Your Roomba can do more than clean up after you. iRobot has made the Roomba compatible with ROS so curious engineers and makers can experiment with the robot’s functionality. For those outside of the US, iRobot also offers a robot called Create, a stripped down version of the Roomba dedicated to functioning as a development platform.

    (Image source: iRobot)

  • ABI Research, robots, mobile robots, adoption, smart technology, manufacturing, warehouses, Locus Robotics

    Locus Robotics

    Locus creates mobile autonomous robots for pick and place and other warehouse applications. The company uses its own distribution of ROS – called ROS Hotdog – which uses packages from the ROS library along with custom additions made by Locus.

    (Image source: Locus)

  • TurtleBot

    TurtleBot is an open-source, DIY robotics kit based on ROS. The single board computer-based robot can be customized for a variety of research and maker applications.

    (Image source: TurtleBot)

  • Universal Robots

    Cobot manufacturer Universal Robots has not traditionally supported ROS, but third-parties have collaborated with the company to create ROS-compatible drivers for several of Universal Robots’ machines. The company’s UR3, UR5, and UR10 (shown above) can all function with ROS.

    (Image source: Universal Robots)

  • Yasakawa Motoman

    Yasakawa Motoman manufactures collaborative and industrial robots for assembly, logistics, pick and place, and material handling, among other applications. Yasakawa was among the first industrial robotics companies to adopt ROS. Today, all of its robots are compatible with ROS. Shown above: Yasakawa Motoman’s HC10DT industrial collaborative robot.

    (Image source: Yasakawa Motoman)

Chris Wiltz is a Senior Editor at   Design News  covering emerging technologies including AI, VR/AR, blockchain, and robotics.