As K-12 schools look to grow or expand their computer science programs, robotics courses are the next big step. Understanding the basics of what ROS 2 is will help support schools in building their programs. You don’t have to be a computer science teacher or student studying coding and programming understand the Robot Operating System (ROS).
Breaking down the Robot Operating System (ROS 2)
The Robot Operating System or ROS was first developed in 2007, and it is not actually an operating system. ROS is a free, open-source software library and set of tools to build robot applications. Many of these tools are plug-and-play. Using ROS helps integrate everything that goes into making robots perform programmed tasks involving motors and sensors. ROS 2 is the most current version, and it is sometimes humorously referred to as ‘Rolling Ridley’ (think of the popular character Ridley from the Alien sci-fi movies). The original ROS did not let programmers control robots in real-time, but ROS 2 does. This means students can get clear results faster and develop skills in a growing field.
Where is ROS 2 used?
Top companies who employ programmers with ROS 2 skills include Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung. Students looking to pursue STEM robotics careers, should learn ROS 2 because ROS 2 is powering modern robotics, including:
- Self-driving cars
- Industrial and humanoid robots
EdTech that uses ROS 2
How can K-12 schools easily super-charge their computer science programs to start nurturing ROS 2 skills in students? Here are a few companies and products to investigate that have standard-based computer science support so that even teachers without a computer science background can teach using thes
- iRobot Education
iRobot Education recently introduced the new Create 3 Educational Robot for advanced makers learning ROS 2. Click here to explore Create 3.
The pi-top  offers flexibility because it is a portable brain that can connect to different coding projects, including proprietary software that schools may be using (especially at the college-level) or other products schools may be using, including Arduino or micro:bit. Click here to learn more about pi-top.
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