Nearly one million, or 55% of all robots sold in 2024 will be running on ROS, according to a study conducted by the independent research house ABI Research. Users downloading ROS software packages have multiplied by two every year on average since 2011, ROS Community Metrics show.
“The success of ROS is due to its wide range of interoperability and compatibility with other open-source projects”, considers Lian Jye Su, lead analyst at ABI Research, in a recent interview published at Robotics and Automation.
Looking at statistics from the last eight years, published by Ros.org, monthly views to their website have been growing at 20% CAGR since 2011. They reached 2,2 million monthly visits in 2018. According to these figures, the number of developers subscribing to ROS lists has grown 8,5% CAGR since 2011 reaching 1,940 subscribers in 2018.
Since its creation in 2007, the ROS ecosystem has clearly transcended the research environment, to take off in the field of industrial automation. Research conducted by ABI compares the situation to IT open-source software in the past. From lack of confidence and endorsement in the early stages, to clearly become widely accepted over time. “ABI Research believes the robotics sector will do the same”, states the report.
Similarly, Transparency Market Research, another independent market intelligence firm, considers that “the rising installations of commercial and industrial robots across applications, especially in automotive, healthcare, logistics and warehousing, and other production & manufacturing sectors for process automation is supplementing the growth of the ROS market”.
Two other metrics clearly supporting this view are the number of robots running on ROS and the number of total unique visitors downloading ROS packages. In July 2011, there were only 16 robot models documented as running on the Robotic Operative System, whereas seven years later the number has reached 125. Even more revealing is the 327,985 unique visitors downloading ROS packages in July 2018, after an astonishing CAGR of 106% since 2011. These figures totally transcend the number of members in the global ROS research community.
As Robotics and Automation puts it, the development of ROS 2 -the second generation of ROS, thought for industrial purposes-, goes exactly in the direction of making it “not only more user-friendly, robust, and real-time, but also readier to be accepted as an industry standard”. The latest survey among ROS users, conducted in May 2019, suggests a majority of ROS users are already thinking of an early adoption of ROS 2. More precisely, 52% of respondents assured being ready to migrate after the fourth update, ROS 2 Dashing Diademata, is released by the end of this month and additional 4% and 17% in three and six months time, respectively. Acutronic Robotics modular robotic arm MARA is the first and only robot in the market, running on ROS2 natively.