ROS Awards 2020 Results

Written by Ricardo Tellez

07/07/2020

The ROS Awards aim to become the Oscars of the ROS world.

The intention of these awards is to express recognition for contributions to the ROS community and the development of the ROS-based robot industry, and to help them gain awareness.

Conditions

  • Selection of the winners is made by anonymous online voting in a period of 3 months.
  • Anybody on the ROS community can vote.
  • In order to prevent influencing the voting from the poll, voting for each category is completely open, so the voter can write whatever he wants (no options provided). It is required that you provide as many details as possible so there is no confusion with other votes.
  • Since the Awards are organized by The Construct none of its products or developers can be voted.
  • Winners are announced on the ROS Developers Day yearly conference.
  • Voting is closed 1 week before the conference, and 3 finalist per category announced on the same day.

Voting

  1. The vote can only be done once from the same device and IP address
  2. You cannot change your answers once you have submitted your vote

Measures have been taken to prevent as much as possible batch voting from a single person.

Categories

The awards can be awarded on the following categories:

Best ROS Software

This category includes any software that runs with ROS. It can be a package published on the ROS.org repo of just a software that uses ROS libraries to produce an input. Open Source and closed source are both valid.

Examples: the ROS navigation stack, Rviz, OpenVino,…

Best ROS Based Robot

This category includes any robot that runs ROS on its inside and is not part of a product. Those robots are used to be programmed by developers to do tasks. The robots do not perform any specific task out of the shelf, they just run ROS and are waiting for a developer to be used in a specific task.

This category only allows for robots that run ROS off-the-shelf and require no extra work from the developer to run ROS (robots that can run ROS if you download such and such packages substituting the robot default system cannot be voted).

Examples: Turtlebot, Summit XL, Tiago…

Best ROS Based Product

This category includes products that are at present being sold and that run ROS in their internals. This category is different from the ROS Based Robot in the sense that the product is something closed that is provided as is, without requiring any modification from the buyer. Products include software or hardware products.

Examples: a robot to show ads around a faire, a software that manages fleets of robots,…

Best ROS Developer

Developers are the ones that create the ROS software that we love. Here you can vote for any developer who has contributed to ROS development in one sense or another.

Examples: Tully Foote, Melonee Wise, Tomoya Fujita,…

Results for the 2020 edition

TOTAL NUMBER OF VOTES: 452

Those are the results:

Best ROS Based Product

Finalists

  1. Toru, by Magazino
  2. Locus Warehouse System, by Locus Robotics
  3. Lio, by F&P Robotics
  4. Fetch AIR, by Fetch Robotics

Winner: Toru by Magazino

Best ROS Based Robot

Finalists

  1. RB-Kairos, by Robotnik
  2. Turtlebot, by Willow Garage (Tully Foote and Melonee Wise)
  3. Husky, by Clearpath

Winner: Turtlebot, by Willow Garage

Best ROS Software

Finalists

  1. PlotJuggler, by Davide Faconti
  2. RViz, by Willow Garage
  3. MoveIt, by Picknik Robotics
  4. SLAM Toolbox, by Steve Macenski

Winner: MoveIt

Best ROS Developer

Finalists

  1. Steven Macenski
  2. William Woodall
  3. Davide Faconti

Winner: Steven Macenski

Insights from the 2020 Edition

  1. People doesn’t get what is the difference between Best ROS Robot and Best ROS Product. We had to discard many votes because people were voting incorrectly (very common mistake was to vote for a ROS Robot in the Robotics Product category and viceversa). Just to clarify, a ROS Robot is a robot that runs ROS and we can buy as is for doing experiments on it on build a robotics product on top of it. The robot by itself does nothing useful after you buy it, it is just a platform. You need to put a lot of effort on it to build the application for that robot. On the other side, a ROS Product is some robotics product (it could be a robot, a software, an electronic board…) that you buy and it can performa its task off-the-shelf.

Examples: Aibo robot by Sony is a ROS Product. Turtlebot 3 robot by Robotis is a ROS Robot. Apex.OS by Apex.AI is a ROS Product. ROSbot by Husarion is a ROS Robot.

Additionally, Anki Vector had several votes as product. Anki vector IS a product but it is not based on ROS. It can work with ROS if you do some tricks, but it is not ROS based in the inside. Also, it is already dead.

  1. The ROS Developer award had very few votes. People doesn’t  know who are the ROS Developers that are developing ROS and its ecosystem  We believe that ROS Developers deserve a lot more of credit, since they are the ones that actually build the software that all of us are using.. 
  2. As ROS software, several people indicated Kinetic or Melodic. Kinetic and Melodic are very good ROS distributions is good but it is actually no package at all but the whole ROS distribution. With this award we want to reward specific packages that allow a specific functionality
  3. We must figure out a solution for different spelling of options. It is difficult to count the utterances in different misspellings, for example MoveIt, MoveIt! or directly the git address to the package.
  4. There have been a few attempts to try to position products that barely nobody knows as the winner of a category or that they don’t even exist yet (when you go to their webpage it is in state of coming soon). This is clearly because of the small number of votes, the team of the product can ask for votes among their relatives and friends. For the next year, we will consider the Award as cancelled if we do not receive 1000 votes or more. By adding so many votes is will be a lot more difficult to position newcomers.
  5. There is a problem to which product to vote. Many people doesn’t know what to vote, and we as organisers, we cannot provide any suggestion so we cannot interfere in the voting. However, we must find a way to provide suggestions. May be, a listing of all the options already voted? We don’t want to provide hints in order to direct people to vote what others have already voted. Suggestions from the audience are welcomed.
  6. We must indicate that no person or product from The Construct can participate in the Award, so all the votes provided to us or our company have been removed.

Other candidates that did not reach the finalists list, but were very close

Best ROS package

  • Navigation2
  • TF2
  • MRSP Serow
  • Gazebo

Best ROS Developer

  1. Dave Coleman
  2. Dirk Thomas
  3. Roman Navarro

Best ROS Robot

  1. Turtlebot 3
  2. PR2
  3. Talos
  4. UR5
  5. Jackal
  6. Franka Panda
  7. Tiago

Best ROS Robot

  1. Apex.OS
  2. Stockbot, by Pal Robotics
  3. Otto motors

Conclusions

The ROS Awards have started in 2020 with a first edition where the winners are some of the best and well known in the ROS world. Even if the number of total votes was not high, this first edition shows that there is an interest in the community for such awards and predicts an explosion of them for the next years.

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