What is ROS,NET?
A series of C# projects that allow a MANAGED .NET application to communicate traditional ROS nodes.
How do I use it?
- Set your ROS_HOSTNAME and ROS_MASTER_URI in your windows environment variables
- Open one of the solutions
- Compile + run (or change the startup project to one of the other runnable projects, and do the same)
To use ros.net in your project
I've found that creating a new repository, adding ros.net as a submodule, creating a .sln file in the new repository, and adding YOUR project, along with the ros.net dependencies (usually the ones in Template_ROS_dotNET.sln (would require path corrections in notepad to copy+paste) PLUS ROS_ImageUtil, in my experimence) to that .sln file is a reasonably painfree workflow.
We will soon create a more substantial page of how to use it, including magic tricks like...
- to add a message, bar, from a package foo, add "foo/msg/bar.msg" (and its parent directories, of course) to any folder within the parent directory of your .sln file.
- or that, to use messages, you need to add a reference to the Messages/Messages.dll directly, rather than the Messages project, because the messages project is GENERATED.
Are there external dependencies?
- You need to have visual studio 2010+ and .Net >=4.0 (express might?? work, but you need to be able to compile the XmlRpc++ library AND C# applications. XmlRpcWin32 doesn't change much, so you could compile it once, and then use Visual Studio Express to work in C#... but the XmlRpcWin32.dll will need to wind up in your project's output directory)
- For DynamicReconfigure, you need the Microsoft Expression Blend SDK (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=10801)
What is the difference between these .sln files?
- the minimum references to ROS.NET-ify your project
- Template + rosmaster and rosparam commandline tools
- Template + talker, listener, service client, service server, and a multi-panel image viewer
- Template + DynamicReconfigure WPF window (requires additional dependency linked above)
What do the projects do?
- It has a DYNAMIC RECONFIGURE implementation, and all of the prerequisite features to accomplish one.
- It can generate a C# messages DLL containing standard, as well as custom message classes that will match MD5s (99% of the time) with and successfully send+resceive (100% of the time md5s match) to+from ROS nodes in officially supported ros client languages
- Allows a nearly ROSCPP API for all of the familiar ROS programming elements: publishers, subscribers, rosparam, service clients and servers, etc.
Is it stable?
- I could lie to you, but I won't.
- It is not without its quirks, but during the course of its development, it has been used to communicate between various WPF windows and one or more robots for a handful of research projects, and could not have easily been replaced.
Transformers are SLIGHTLY broken, and becoming LESS SO.
It's generally leak free and fairly light on resources, but doing more things at compile time than are presently being done (de)serialization-wise would be a step in the right direction. *
Apologies in advance for the minimal documentation, but I've been busy using it.
I hope this can be of use to someone!
Some of the included code is leftovers from a few projects it was used on over the years, so allow me to apologize in advance about some of the atrocities you might find there-in.
Longer-term, a more programmer-friendly layout (msg/ folders in package folders, for example... rather than one giant message folder in YAMLParser) might facilitate making ROS.NET something that could exist on the system and be used with a variable subset of messages included for specific targets, more similar to how ROSCPP and ROSPY operate under linux.
-Eric McCann (a.k.a. nuclearmistake) @ the University of Massachusetts Lowell Robotics Lab
P.S.: If anyone has the strong urge, strong C# chops, and likes to read code and hack it to bits... This codebase could really use a revised YAMLParser that can avoid the significant knot of introspection occurring in SerializationHelper. Unfortunately, the gains from such a rewrite place it at around 53 on my priority queue of things to do... but I might get to it someday if nobody is itching to change how it is now.