Each year on World Turtle Day — a day dedicated to the global protection of turtles and tortoises — robot developers around the world also welcome the latest ROS (Robot Operating System) release. Ever since Intrinsic and the Open Source Robotics Corporation (OSRC) combined efforts, our Open Robotics team at Intrinsic has been working away on bug fixes and new features in support of these annual updates. And today, we’re celebrating the release of Jazzy Jalisco, with a focus on quality and stability for all users.

When Iron Irwini launched last year, we saw enhancements to automatic API documentation, external debugging, the creation of callbacks, and other improvements. The latest updates go even further to provide the most stable, full-featured ROS 2 release yet. As well as answering the needs of current developers, this roadmap will also create an opportunity for new users to get started with robotics development with a sturdy backbone used in projects the world over.

We’re particularly excited about these updates:

  • Improved ROS 2 and Gazebo usability: It is now much simpler for users to figure out which version of Gazebo to use with ROS, and even easier to get started. These improvements to the ROS-Gazebo integration will make it even easier to integrate new devices, concepts, and algorithms in simulation, which is an important part of the ROS platform as it allows developers to iterate quickly without having real hardware.
  • rclcpp executor updates: An rclcpp executor is a software component that manages the execution of nodes and their entities (e.g., subscriptions, services, etc.) within a ROS 2 application. We've optimized executors and fixed race conditions, improving the performance of the system.
  • rclcpp_action goal handle fixes: Actions are a way for nodes to request long-running tasks from other nodes, monitor their progress, and cancel them if needed. We've made improvements to rclcpp_action that make unexpected callbacks less likely to happen when coding, so goal handles are canceled in a more controlled way.
  • Ability to record and playback services: Since ROS 1, users have been asking for the ability to record and playback service data using rosbags. This feature is now available in rosbag2.
  • RViz feature parity with ROS 1: While RViz2 has most of the same features as RViz1 (i.e., in ROS 1), there were a few missing plugins and other features. This feature gap has been closed and RViz2 should have feature parity with RViz1.
  • get_type_description service: Mostly completed in Iron Irwini, this feature is now complete, allowing external users to query nodes for the message types they support.

When it comes to the Intrinsic platform, the addition of support for the Zenoh protocol will now enable connectivity between existing ROS code and the Intrinsic platform. This should enable robust communication between the platform and the tools that ROS developers are already familiar with, such as RViz. At the Automate trade show in Chicago this year, there was notable excitement from ROS businesses and developers about leveraging their existing ROS code in new ways with Intrinsic.

Looking across the ecosystem, we're thrilled to see not only the community contributions to ROS but also the great advances in ROS support across arms, grippers, sensors, and other hardware. Whether you’re a longtime ROS user or dabbling for the first time, any developer can get started by reviewing the release notes. Jazzy Jalisco will be supported until 2029, which creates an ideal foundation for everybody eager to get started with any kind of robotic project.

Congratulations to the broader open source community on these latest advances. The entire Intrinsic team is excited to be building with you and working to bring the best of ROS and Intrinsic together.