ROS 2 support to accelerate scalable robotics systems

19th November 2020
Alex Lynn

Real-Time Innovations (RTI) has announced the availability of the Connext 6 ROS Middleware Wrapper (RMW) Layer, bringing the field-proven, production-grade strength of RTI Connext 6 to the latest release of the Robot Operating System (ROS 2).

Robotics software developers can now leverage the ROS 2 ecosystem together with RTI Connext Tools to more rapidly develop, test and debug distributed robotics systems. RTI will showcased the new Connext RMW layer at ROS World. 

ROS 2 offers an open-source framework for building robotic systems. RTI is a supplier of software compliant with the Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard, which provides the connectivity backbone for ROS 2. The new Connext 6 RMW layer now provides a best-of-both-worlds solution by connecting the ROS 2 ecosystem with RTI’s latest software and Connext Tools.

“RTI was founded out of the Stanford Robotics lab so robotics is deeply rooted in our DNA,” said Gerardo Pardo-Castellote, CTO at RTI. “We work with our customers beginning in the research phase of their system development all the way through to production where performance, reliability and scalability become critical. We recognise the value of participating in the ROS ecosystem and are proud to offer new ways to utilise RTI Connext DDS for a production-grade solution.” 

The new Connext RMW layer offers: 

  • The flexibility of the ROS 2 platform combined with complete access to RTI Connext tools for improved distributed system visualisation and debugging capabilities.
  • Support for RTI Connext DDS Professional in Connext 6, used for industrial and military robotics applications where reliability and scalability are of paramount importance.
  • Support for RTI Connext DDS Micro.
  • Support for future releases of the Connext Product Suite.

“We developed the new Connext RMW layer from the ground up to better take advantage of Connext APIs and features,” said Andrea Sorbini, Senior Software Engineer at RTI and technical lead for the project. “This allowed us to simplify the code and greatly improve the performance of the RMW layer, while also providing more turnkey access to RTI’s powerful distributed system development tools.”

“The new RMW brings the system-level visibility and monitoring capabilities of Connext DDS to ROS 2,” added Neil Puthuff, Senior Software Integration Engineer at RTI. “It enables advanced tools, such as RTI Admin Console and RTI Monitor to work seamlessly in a ROS 2 environment. No other current RMW offers this level of visibility and we look forward to continuing to help our customers simplify complex system development.”

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