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ROSIN Report Summary

Project ID: 732287
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ROSIN (ROS-Industrial quality-assured robot software components)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

ROSIN will create a step change in the availability of high-quality intelligent robot software components for the European industry. This is achieved by building on the existing open-source “Robot Operating System” (ROS) framework and leveraging its worldwide community. ROS and its subsidiary ROS-Industrial (European side led by TU Delft and Fraunhofer) is well-known, but its European industrial potential is underestimated. The two main critiques are (1) is the quality on par with industry, and (2) is there enough European industrial interest to justify investing in it? Partially, the
answer is “yes and yes”; ample industrial installations are already operational. Partially however, the two questions hold each other in deadlock, because further quality improvement requires industrial investment and vice versa. ROSIN will resolve the deadlock and put Europe in a leading position.
For software quality, ROSIN introduces a breakthrough innovation in automated code quality testing led by IT University Copenhagen, complemented with a full palette of quality assurance measures including novel model-in-the-loop continuous integration testing with ABB robots. Simultaneously, more ROS-Industrial tools and components will be created by making 50% of the ROSIN budget available to collaborating European industrial users and developers for so-called Focused Technical Projects. ROSIN maximizes budget efficacy by alleviating yet another deadlock; experience shows that industry will fund ROS-Industrial developments, but only after successful delivery. ROSIN provides grants for developers to achieve those initial successful results. Together with broad education activities (open for any EU party) led by Fachhochshule Aachen and community-building activities led by Fraunhofer, ROSIN will let ROS-Industrial reach critical mass with further self-propelled growth resulting in a widely adopted, high-quality, open-source industrial standard.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Since the beginning of the project up to the first reporting period (Month 12, this document), significant progress has been made in all Work Packages. A simple and clear management procedure has been set up in WP1, as a result of the kick-off meeting in Aachen. In WP2 the cascade funding process to fund third parties performing ROS-Industrial software development has been set up and launched. In WP3 the most relevant needs for QA in ROS-Industrial have been analysed, and a strategy and a plan to address them have been devised. In WP4 an initial curriculum for ROS education in ROS schooling activities for students and trainings for professionals have been drafted, and the first education activities have been conducted. All of this has been disseminated through the project website, relevant social media channels and a large number of presentations at events, activities WP5. The highlights are the following.

In Deliverable 2.1, we have reported the scope, evaluation criteria and selection and granting process for our cascade funding call “ROSIN Focused Technical Projects (FTPs)”, which was open in April 2017 and will be continuously accepting submissions till we run out of funds. The first results of the call, with 6 projects selected and two already in execution, have been reported in Deliverable 2.2

Improving the quality of available ROS software is another cornerstone of ROSIN. A community based quality management process has been established in D3.1, based on a requirements analysis in which an extensive collection of bugs was analysed in an international collaboration. A first intervention to modernize, tailor, and scale up the ROS continuous integration service was successfully achieved.

Work on ROS and ROS-Industrial education has started with great intensity. An initial curriculum has been defined by the ROSIN Education Board for both schooling activities, branded as ROS-I Schools, and professional trainings, branded as ROS-I Academies. It has been applied on the multiple activities conducted in this period, reported in D4.1. Due to the increased interest from the industry and the ROS community, plans to support third parties to conduct education activities have been accelerated, as an example, the first ROS-I teachers have already trained.

A clear communication strategy is being executed in WP5 to disseminate all ROSIN actions in a coordinated effort with the ROS-Industrial Consortium and other European projects, under the label “an EU Digital Industrial Platform for Robotics”. This includes dissemination through traditional media channels and new social networks relevant to the industrial and open source communities targeted, as well as presence in events such as ROSCon, and the organization of the flagship event ROS-Industrial Conference.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Robotics research has created, and will continue to create, great advances in robot abilities such as (3D) perception, motion planning, navigation, etc. The ROSIN project will bring these advanced abilities to industrial applicability by moving the global ROS-Industrial framework significantly beyond the State of the Art. With respect to the current state of ROS-Industrial, the following breakthroughs will be realized:

- The core of ROS-Industrial and relevant packages for the industrial community will be fully quality tested and verified. An important part of this breakthrough is the use of novel automated software quality testing algorithms. This breakthrough will bring ROS-Industrial across the first barrier: the current lack of quality (which is partly only a perceived lack of quality) will be overcome which will eliminate the first obstacle for industry to fully engage in the ROS-Industrial community

- The ROS-Industrial community will have reached critical mass amongst industrial users. In addition, at least 1000 engineers have been trained to be active contributors to ROS-Industrial. Having critical mass ensures further self-sustained community growth, thus having reached the goal for a widely adopted open standard for intelligent robot software components.

ROSIN will propel the open-source robot software project ROS-Industrial beyond the critical mass required for further autonomous growth. As a result, it will become a widely-adopted standard for industrial intelligent robot software components, e.g. for 3D perception and motion planning. System integrators, software companies, and robot producers will use the open-source framework and the rich choice in libraries to build their own closed- source derivatives which they will sell and for which they will provide support to industrial customers. Exactly the same thing has happened with Linux, now being supported and developed by many influential multinationals such as Intel.

ROS-Industrial and its parent framework ROS will have worldwide communities. Thanks to the European investments in ROSIN and many other ongoing FP7 and H2020 projects that contribute to ROS and ROS- Industrial, European companies (both large industry as well as SMEs) will have a leading role in further development, commercialization, and use of the ROS-enabled robot abilities. The positive effect will quickly expand from the field of industrial robots into the rapidly growing markets of agro robotics, health care robotics, and other types of service robotics.

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