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What is ROS - the Robot Operating System?

In today's rapidly advancing field of robotics, there is a demand for standardized and flexible frameworks that allow developers to create and experiment with complex robotic applications. One of the most popular solutions that addresses this need is the Robot Operating System, or ROS. It is available as ROS 1 and ROS 2, the current version. For more information follow this link to the robot operating system. The next step for robotic companies is to find a suitable way to manage large fleets of robots on a global scale. This is where the qbee device management platform is a good fit.

What is ROS?

ROS 2 is not a traditional operating system like Linux, Windows, or macOS. Instead, it's a flexible framework for writing robot software. It is a collection of tools, libraries, and conventions that aim to simplify the task of creating complex and robust robot behavior across a wide variety of robotic platforms.

Why Use the Robot Operating System?

  1. Modularity: One of ROS's core tenets is the use of a publisher/subscriber model, allowing different parts of a robot's system to communicate asynchronously. This modularity means you can plug in various sensors, actuators, and algorithms and they can work together seamlessly.

  2. Large Community and Resources: ROS 2 has a vast and active community. This community contributes to a vast collection of packages and libraries that can be easily integrated into your projects, reducing the need to reinvent the wheel.

  3. Cross-compatibility: ROS is designed to be hardware agnostic, allowing developers to transfer applications between different robots without major changes.

  4. Visualization and Debugging Tools: Tools like RViz and RQT provide visual insights into your robot's operations, making debugging and development more intuitive.

  5. Open Source: Being open-source, the robot operating system encourages innovation and allows for customization based on individual needs.

Fleet Management and Device Updates for ROS Devices

As robotic applications scale up, managing a fleet of robots becomes increasingly complex. Keeping software updated, monitoring robot health, and ensuring security are just a few challenges that arise. This is where solutions like qbee come in. Due to its ease of use and flexibility the IoT device management platform has attracted many robotics customers such as Kilter .

By offering features for monitoring, configuration management, and OTA (over-the-air) software updates it supports customers to focus on innovation instead of device management and security. Although not exclusively designed for ROS-based robots, qbee's capabilities are well-suited for this purpose. Its security focus and the fact that it can run on basically any Linux makes it a suitable candidate for keeping control of your fleet.

How qbee complements the Robot Operating System:

  1. OTA Updates: With robots deployed in the field, it's crucial to have a mechanism to deploy software patches or updates remotely. qbee's OTA update mechanism ensures that robots can receive the latest software updates without needing to return to a central hub.

  2. Device Monitoring: For a fleet of robots, monitoring each robot's status in real time is crucial. qbee provides tools for real-time monitoring, helping operators understand the health, status, and position of each robot in the fleet.

  3. Configuration Management: Different robots in a fleet might serve different purposes and require different configurations. qbee allows for centralized configuration management, ensuring that each robot operates as intended based on its role.

  4. Security: In a connected world, security becomes paramount. qbee offers features like secure configuration, encrypted communication, and vulnerability scanning, ensuring that the robots remain safe from potential cyber threats.


As robotics continues to permeate various sectors, the need for tools like ROS becomes undeniable. It provides a solid foundation for developing robotic applications. However, as the scale of these applications grows, so does the need for fleet management and device management tools. In this regard, solutions like qbee complement ROS, offering a comprehensive suite of tools for managing, monitoring, and updating a fleet of robots. Together, they represent a powerful combination for the future of scalable, maintainable, and robust robotic systems.