Press release

The Rise of ROS: Nearly 55% of total commercial robots shipped in 2024 Will Have at Least One Robot Operating System package Installed

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The Robot Operating System (ROS) is a flexible and collaborative
open-source framework for building operating systems for robotics. As
its adoption continues to grow, ROS is aiming to become the industry
standard for robotics middleware. According to ABI Research, a
market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most
compelling transformative technologies, nearly 55% of total commercial
robots shipped in 2024, over 915,000 units, will have at least one ROS
package installed, creating a large installed base of ROS-enabled robots.

The development of any robotic operating system requires a thorough
understanding of systems engineering techniques, knowledge of design
goals, and adherence to a rigorous development process. As such, early
robotics developers and implementors would struggle to finance such
development without investment and support of large academic or
corporate entities. The emergence of open-source robotics projects has
since enabled robotics developers and implementors to develop
proprietary robotics systems based on in-house skills and publicly
available robotics middlewares, simulators, libraries, and toolkits.

“The success of ROS is due to its wide range of interoperability and
compatibility with other open-source projects. ROS 1.0 leverages Orocos
for real-time communication and OpenCV for machine vision models,” said
Lian Jye Su, Principal Analyst of ABI Research. Sensing the needs of the
robotics industry, Open Robotics launched ROS 2.0, the successor to ROS
1.0, and incorporated supports for multi-robot systems, real-time
communications, non-ideal networks, and computing capabilities. This
makes ROS 2.0 not only more user-friendly, robust, and real-time, but
also makes it readier to be accepted as an industry standard. “A key
example is the launch of Robotics Middleware Framework (RMF) for
Healthcare by the Singapore government in partnership with Open
Robotics. Using ROS as a common platform, the healthcare institutions in
Singapore were able to onboard and integrate various robotics systems
based on the same framework thereby extending interoperability to
proprietary systems and protocols.”

Moving forward, ROS needs to ensure it continues to expand support from
OS vendors such as Microsoft, cloud vendors such as Amazon and Google,
component vendors such as Robotiq, and system integrators and
implementers in order to become a widely accepted industry standard. In
the case of RMF, regulatory bodies and policymakers play important roles
in the adoption of ROS. That said, this will not spell the end of
proprietary robotics systems. “In fact, there will be co-existence of
both open-source and closed robotics systems. Aside from niche systems
that may be better served by proprietary systems, ROS will serve as the
fundamental building block for interoperability, with customization and
enhancement introduced on top by different robotics system vendors,”
added Su.

The success of ROS has also driven more investment into hardware related
open-source robotics project. In recent years, major industry players
like Comau and NVIDIA have launched ROS-based, open-source robotics
hardware platforms. While the platforms are mainly for research and
educational purposes, the involvement of major corporations will
certainly drive more attention to the open-source community, bringing in
more developers and end users.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Open-Source
Robotics Projects
application analysis report. This report is part
of the company’s Industrial,
Collaborative and Commercial Robotics
research service, which
includes research, data, and Executive Foresights. Based on extensive
primary interviews, Application
reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and
factors for a specific technology.

About ABI Research

ABI Research provides strategic guidance for visionaries needing market
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