RT-ROS: A real-time ROS architecture on multi-core processors

Hongxing Wei, Zhenzhou Shao, Zhen Huang, Renhai Chen, Yong Guan, Jindong Tan, Zili Shao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


ROS, an open-source robot operating system, is widely used and rapidly developed in the robotics community. However, running on Linux, ROS does not provide real-time guarantees, while real-time tasks are required in many robot applications such as robot motion control. This paper for the first time presents a real-time ROS architecture called RT-RTOS on multi-core processors. RT-ROS provides an integrated real-time/non-real-time task execution environment so real-time and non-real-time ROS nodes can be separately run on a real-time OS and Linux, respectively, with different processor cores. In such a way, real-time tasks can be supported by real-time ROS nodes on a real-time OS, while non-real-time ROS nodes on Linux can provide other functions of ROS. Furthermore, high performance is achieved by executing real-time ROS nodes and non-real-time ROS nodes on different processor cores. We have implemented RT-ROS on a dual-core processor and conducted various experiments with real robot applications. The experimental results show that RT-ROS can effectively provide real-time support for the ROS platform with high performance by exploring the multi-core architecture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Multi-core processors
  • Real-time operating systems
  • Robot Operating Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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