When it comes to designing Copernicus and Volta, we chose to build it on the Robot Operating System (ROS). As a widely used open-source system, ROS provides plenty of software libraries and tools which will help users of our platforms build robot applications in a shorter time frame and allow for integration with other technologies. The other reason why we chose ROS is that there is a vibrant and growing community of ROS developers who are learning, using and implementing ROS projects all the time. They come from different disciplines, each focused on a different robotics problem. Continuing with the open-source spirit, many researchers and software developers publish their work for others to leverage on. As more people from the community share their work, active ideas can be built upon each other to create breakthrough without the need to reinvent the wheel each time.
Researchers who are new to ROS may find it overwhelming at first. Yet, because ROS is a universal system, once you have learnt the basics, you will be able to reuse what you have learned in many other robotics projects. To overcome the initial learning curve, we have launched our ROS Wiki Pages for both Volta and Copernicus to compile all the resources that you need to learn, to know how to run our platforms with ROS. The ROS Wiki Pages will provide a good overview of our platforms as you begin using them for your research projects. On our Wiki Pages, you will be able to find step-by-step tutorials to guide you along on running our platforms in a Gazebo simulation environment. We have also included the links to our repositories, lists of available ROS topics and Sensor Topics for easy reference. Moving forward, the ROS Wiki Pages will also become a channel through which we will share updates of our continuous development. We will be publishing any new packages made available for Volta and Copernicus on our Wiki Pages. Everything you need to know about our platforms will be all at one place for you to access.
Today we operate in Singapore and Bangalore. However, our goal with Volta and Copernicus are for them to become platforms that are used globally. Therefore, we designed our platforms to be extremely easy to set up, use and customize by researchers and educators themselves. We hope that with the addition of detailed documentations and tutorials on our ROS Wiki Pages, the learning curve to use our platforms gets cut short even further. We strive to ensure that as much of your time as possible is dedicated to solving real world problems that can truly make a difference.