[robotics-worldwide] Robot Web Tools Officially Launches

Toris, Russell Charles rctoris at WPI.EDU
Wed May 8 09:50:53 PDT 2013


Dear Robotics and JavaScript Communities-

It is our pleasure to announce the official launch of the Robot Web Tools organization. Robot Web Tools is a collection of open-source modules and tools for building web-based robot apps.

A variety of routes are available for architecting a robot web application. A common route is building web technologies on an existing robot framework. The Robot Operating System (ROS) is one of the top frameworks to program robots and can run on a variety of robots, from a TurtleBot to a PR2 to an Arduino connected to a computer. ROS - and other robot middleware frameworks - provide common robot functionality, including drivers for interfacing with a variety of sensors and actuators and algorithms for navigation, perception, and manipulation.

While ROS works great for applications on the robot, another layer is needed to connect external devices and applications. rosbridge is both a JSON spec for interacting with ROS and a transport layer, providing a WebSocket for clients to communicate over. In the browser layer sits the core JavaScript libraries: roslibjs, ros2js, and ros3djs. These libraries communicate with ROS on the robot over rosbridge's WebSocket server. It's a lightweight, evented library that provides a convenient abstraction to core ROS functionality.

Robot Web Tools is being spearheaded by five supporting organizations: Brown University, Robert Bosch LLC, Willow Garage Inc., Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Yujin Robot.

The real benefits of the Robot Web Tools organization is JavaScript modules and tools that build off these foundations. With this new effort, we have provided a new website, ample documentation, a new email list, and a collection of tutorials and live demos. We encourage robot and web programmers of all levels to get involved with the community, contribute their projects, and help to grow this emerging technology.

For more information, check us out on our homepage, http://robotwebtools.org/, or see our current projects listed at http://robotwebtools.org/tools.html. Links to tutorials and wiki documentation can be found in repository READMEs located at https://github.com/robotwebtools.

To keep up to date, be sure to subscribe to our Google Group email list at https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/robot-web-tools (robot-web-tools at googlegroups.com)

-- Russell Toris, Community Manager & The Robot Web Tools Team


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