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What is ROS

Learn about ROS, the different versions and what it does

By Kevin McAleer,    2 Minutes

What is ROS?

Here is the definition from the creators of ROS -

“The Robot Operating System (ROS) is a set of software libraries and tools that help you build robot applications. From drivers to state-of-the-art algorithms, and with powerful developer tools, ROS has what you need for your next robotics project. And it’s all open source.”

Which version should I use

There are two versions of ROS:

  • ROS - The original version of ROS
  • ROS2 - The latest version of ROS - this is what we will be using, as the older version is depreciated.

Releases & Distros

ROS2 has several releases, as of the writing of this the Iron Irwini, however this is only supported up to Nov 2024, Humble Hawksbill is the release version with Long term support (LTS):

Distro Release date End Of Life date
Iron Irwini May 23, 2023 Nov 2024
Humble Hawksbill May 23rd, 2022 May 2027
Galactic Geochelone May 23rd, 2021 December 9th, 2022
Foxy Fitzroy June 5th, 2020 May 2023

Programming languages

ROS2 Supports both C++ and Python out of the box (and I’m sure there are other languages adapted to use it too), however for this course we will be focusing on Python.

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