September 21, 2021
Editor’s Note: This content is contributed by Chetan Khona, Director for Industrial, Vision, Healthcare & Sciences at Xilinx
Introducing the Kria robotics stack: Hardware accelerating ROS 2 for the next generation of robotics
At Xilinx Adapt 2021 last week, Victor Mayoral Vilches, Robotics and Cybersecurity System Architect at Xilinx, introduced the Kria™ robotics stack (KRS). You can still register and watch (On-Demand) both his presentations--Bringing Adaptive Computing to Robotics and ROS 2 Acceleration from Adapt 2021. The latter introduces KRS as an integrated set of robot libraries and utilities that use hardware to accelerate the development, maintenance, and commercialization of industrial-grade robotic solutions targeting Kria SOMs. It adopts the Robot Operating System 2 (ROS 2) Software Development Kit (SDK) and enables a ROS 2-centric development approach.
Kria robotics stack (simplified view)
For those not familiar with ROS 2, it’s the middleware (conventions, software libraries, and tools) for building robot applications backed by a passionate and knowledgeable community. Because robotics is the art of system integration, it’s no surprise that ROS 2 was created to provide roboticists the specific tools required to utilize a spectrum of computing resources, sensors, actuators, and networks to accomplish tasks in a timely and coordinated way. KRS builds on this by hardware accelerating ROS 2 functions as only Xilinx can, with its long legacy of programmable devices, and also reduces development time by hardware accelerating the Gazebo simulations to model behaviors in a fraction of the time. ROS is used in more and more applications every day—from well-established categories like robotic arms, drones, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in warehouses, vacuums for your living room to emerging areas like self-driving cars, service assistants, social interaction, and many more.
In addition to the two Adapt 2021 presentations, Victor has authored two white papers: Adaptive Computing in Robotics which is a great starting point for those new to hardware acceleration in robotics. The second paper, Kria Robotics Stack gets you ready for starting your robotics design with Xilinx. KRS is available today and you can find links to the white papers, the KRS, documentation, and the Hardware Acceleration Working Group that is part of the ROS 2 community, and join the Xilinx Robotics Solutions Program on the brand new KRS-dedicated web page.