The Robot Operating System (ROS) is turning out to be the new SI unit that determines the robotics standards. The fame of the ROS is as a result of the robotics taking over the industrial sector. The helping hand of the robotic arm, if you categorically check by the link, has a massive contribution to robotic companies and their research. Thus the article pours a summary of the top 10 robotics companies running the world with ROS-based robotic products as of 2019.
The compilation of the top 10 companies under the ROS criterion followed a rule of thumb. It is so that other unmentioned robotic companies with ROS in their product recipes do not file letters of complaint about being absent in this minor Oscar Awards Ceremony. Let us consider the rule guidelines:
- The company has a reputation for building robots. It is not enough to just develop the ROS software; the company should have a resume of developing and implementing both the hardware and software parts of the robot. The ROS-based robots should also be shipped and have a portfolio of user experience. Consultation and solution-generating companies are a no-go zone.
- The company is not a robotic product reseller or distributor and has done the dirty work of creating and assembling the end product of robotics.
- The robotic product has to be ROS-defined. ROS should be its native software architecture. For example, switching on the robotic product should boot it from ROS. It should not trigger notifications that support ROS as a third party during packages installation. The ROS should be the default language of each robotic product.
- The provided robotic solution by the company should be programmable. A company with a closed-based robotic solution is a red flag.
To summarize the above nerdy-like paragraphs, it should be possible to make a direct purchase of the robotic product from the company, ROS is the default OS, and the robotic product is programmable.
With the criterion aspect out of the way, one last mileage to handle before presenting the companies is the listing orders. How they appear on the top 10 companies board is based on personal perception and their transformative impact on the ROS universe. That said, it is safe to present the top 10 ROS-based companies from the 2019 calendar.
- Clearpath Robotics
The 2009-founded Canadian company has ROS-based robotic products applicable in third-party applications created for material handling, agriculture, inspection, survey, and mining. Its best-known robots like Heron USV, Husky UGV, and Jackal UGV are easily programmable. Its recent release to the industrial environments is the Otto robot series. It takes the top spot due to its ROS robots’ different series and its excellent customer support for the PR2 robots.
- Fetch Robotics
Melonee Wise founded this 2014 robotic company. Its launch came after the close of Unbounded Robotics, a pioneer company. It is characteristic of two business lines. The first one is in Mobile Manipulators applicable in robotics research. The second one is in the sale of Warehouse-Deployable Fleets that assist in material transportation. However, direct ROS programming is applicable in the first line of business. Fetch takes the second position due to its pioneer role in creating affordable mobile manipulators through its robotics. The launch of Fetch found a robotic market with zero ROS-based mobile manipulators and produced a fix.
- Pal Robotics
The 2004 created company has its base in Barcelona. Its nomination for the third position is due to its impressive streak as the only worldwide company that builds and distributes the human-sized humanoid robots. It produces three siblings of the humanoid robotics family. They are the new TALOS robot, Reem-C robot, and Reem robot. It is also in the business of mobile manipulators called Tiago that is a functional copy of the Fetch’s company.
The 2002-founded Spanish robotic company has a base in Castellon. Its buildup list of ROS robots matches the one for the first company on this award list. Under logistics and industrial applications, it offers the creation and design of numerous varieties of mobile robots, different modes of unmanned ground vehicles, and mobile manipulators. The company’s expertise is in robotic personalization through the third party integration of robotic parts with a finalized ROS-based robot product. The sold ROS components for integrating with your robot has a support team that leads to great customer experience and thus securing the fourth position for Robotnik.
- Yujin Robots
The Korean-based company has a specialty in vacuum cleaning robots. However, it does not mean that it cleaned itself up to the top five as the vacuums are not ROS-based. Thus its fifth appearance on the list is due to its profile that regards it as the Kobuki robot’s official seller. The Turtlebot 2 robot relies on the Kobuki robot as its base system. On a worldwide scale, it is the most famed ROS robot. Its low cost allows robotic nerds to access it through simulation or reality. Yujin also has a logistics ROS robot up its sleeves called GoCart but not applicable in warehousing. So different building locations can receive sent packages with the inclusion of the path elevators.
The ROS world welcomes it as another giant Korean company. Its fame for the Dynamixel servos propelled its ambition to dominate the ROS world with Open Manipulator and the Turtlebot 3 robot. They are both presently recognized as Turtlebot series’ next-generation innovation. Moreover, Robotis presents the design of these two robots as an open-source venture, making it possible to create your robotic adventure. With affordability and easy entry to the ROS world, this position is well reserved.
- Shadow Robotics
The London-based company pioneered the creation of hands used in humanoid robots. This statistic makes it the only viable worldwide company that offers the sale of humanoid robotic hands. The ROS-programmable rule is an infused design and creation of the hands. Shadow Robot is also in the production of numerous gripper types. The complete the gripping aspect of a robotic arm if mounted as a third-party module. The release of a Smart Grasping System in 2016 embraced its combination with third-party robots. A solution example is a UR5 robot fused with a three-fingered gripper. The Tactile Telerobot, Cyberglobe, and Shadow Hand are some of the few mentioned products.
The 2003-founded Polish company sells ROSbots. They are a series of autonomous mobile robots that are simple and compact. The medium-sized four-wheeled robots’ architecture embraces a point cloud device, camera, and a lidar. It’s a perfect learning platform of the ROS world through a real robot. Through research, more learning mileage is achievable through robots more compact than Turtlebot 2. The research and learning objective of Husarion led it to produce a more environmentally-oriented Panther robot. Remote control and cloud connection of the robots through Husarnet network differentiates Husarion from the other companies.
It generally manufactures robot systems and mobile robots. The industrial applications receive a wide range of manipulators and robots from their provision. It includes the material transportation sector. It famed the creation of Care-O-Bot applicable numerously in Robocup@Home competitions. The Care-O-Bot executed its functionality immediately after its unpacking. It presently focuses on the sale of mobile bases. They are flexibly customizable with robotic arms making it possible to create a custom mobile manipulator. The sale of the manipulator and mobile bases is separate. The products the company provides can also function as components and thus facilitate the creation of more complex robots. Time is of essence in the creation of such components; hence the ninth position is well deserved.
The Chinese-based company primarily focuses on the distribution of ROS products and ROS robots with its suppliers being the third-party companies like Robotnik, pal, and Fetch. It, however, also has its robotic lined products like the Gapter Drone that currently considers ROS as its default operational module. Thus Gaitech manages to hack its way into the top ten due to its innovation as a first-ever and only company in the world creating ROS-based drones. The lack of a strong competitor to dispute it encourages it to hold its ground.
The code of innovation states that we should make an honorable mention of companies that failed to grip the top ten position but are working their way up. They include Sony, Ubiquity Robotics, and Acutronic Robotics. The ROS world is growing through such companies, and very soon, it will not just be mention but a lifestyle.