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The core ROS platform attempts to be as architecture-agnostic as possible. It provides several different modes of communicating data (topics, services, Parameter Server), but it doesn't prescribe how they're used or how they are named. This approach allows ROS to be easily integrated with a variety of architectures, but higher-level concepts are necessary for building larger systems on top of ROS.

There are several stacks, such as common, common_msgs, and geometry, that provide these higher-level concepts for use with ROS and are described below.

Coordinate Frames/Transforms

The tf package provides a distributed, ROS-based framework for calculating the positions of multiple coordinate frames over time.


The actionlib package defines a common, topic-based interface for preemptible tasks in ROS.

Message Ontology

The common_msgs stack provide a base message ontology for robotic systems. It defines several classes of messages, including:


pluginlib provides a library for dynamically loading libraries in C++ code.


The filters package provides a C++ library for processing data using a sequence of filters.

Robot Model

The urdf package defines an XML format for representing a robot model and provides a C++ parser.

Cheat Sheet

Check out the ROS cheatsheet.


ROS Client Libraries

2024-07-13 12:35