Understand ROS < 20 min

Learn the fundamentals of the Robot Operating System (ROS) in less than 20 minutes by watching our free webinar on the topic. Alternatively, download our eBook covering the topic below.

In this video, we discuss the basics of ROS such as the ecosystem that supports it and why leveraging it could benefit you.


  • Fast prototyping
  • No need to worry about time synchronization, data recording/playback, logging, etc. It’s all under the hood.
  • Easily define complex coordinate frame structures, automatic frame conversions with tf package.
  • Extensible debugging tools:
    • RViz for 3D visualization
    • RQt for error monitoring, logging, plotting
    • Dynamic parameter server for “live” tuning
  • Native support for conversion to OpenCV, PCL, etc full 2D and 3D sensor processing stacks.

A brief history

Believe it or not, ROS has been around since 2006 after it was created by the Willow Garage. This group was loosely tied to early Stanford attempts at standardizing robotics and matured through participation in the DARPA Grand Challenge (a self driving robot competition).

Willow Garage is famously known for their development of the PR2 robot, which has become a standard for robotics research. The PR2 is the flagship robot used for ROS. For example, 11 universities have this very robot in order to aid in learning and develop hardware standardization. Willow Garage also developed the Point Cloud Library (PCL) and maintained OpenCV which has is critical for 2D and 3D perception.

Willow Garaged eventually evolved into the Open Source Robotics Foundation (2014 – present). They maintain and release ROS and the Gazebo Simulator which is used by companies and research labs across the globe as a simulator for Robotics.

How does ROS Work?

ROS is a peer-to-peer network using a master node called roscore to provide a name service to directly connect nodes.  When a new node is run, it informs the master (i.e. roscore) about the topics it publishes and/or subscribes to. For example, a topic could be a sensor driver for a radar that’s getting data over ethernet and publishing it over ROS for other ROS nodes to consume.

Robot Operating System (ROS) compatible

Ainstein’s ROS-compatible smart radar systems allow you to take control for streamlining integration of our radar sensors into your own custom applications.

Interested in Ainstein products or how ROS could help you?