You're reading the documentation for a development version. For the latest released version, please have a look at Galactic.

Feature Ideas

The following are feature ideas in no specific order. This list contains features that we think are important and can make for good contributions to ROS 2. Please get in touch with us before digging into a new feature. We can offer guidance, and connect you with other developers.

Design / Concept

  • IDL format

    • Leverage new features like grouping constants into enums

    • Extend usage to .idl files with just constants and/or declare parameters with ranges

    • Revisit constraints of IDL interface naming, see ros2/design#220

  • Create migration plan for ROS 1 -> ROS 2 transition

  • Uniqueness of node names, see ros2/design#187

  • Specific “API” of a node in terms of topics / services / etc. in a descriptive format, see ros2/design#266

Infrastructure and tools

  • Building

  • Documentation

    • Deprecate https://design.ros2.org. Content should move to either an REP, to https://github.com/ros2/ros2_documentation, or be removed.

    • Fix per-package documentation builder to be able to document build artifacts, i.e. messages, services, actions, etc.

    • Make https://docs.ros2.org/en/ros2_documentation automatically rebuild on changes to https://github.com/ros2/ros2_documentation.

    • ament documentation

    • Add documentation examples of using ROS 2 with Jupyter notebooks.

    • Add documentation for implementing a new RMW.

    • Provide three different kinds of content:

      • “demos” to show features and cover them with tests

      • “examples” to show a simple/minimalistic usage which might have multiple ways to do something

      • “tutorials” which contain more comments and anchors for the wiki (teaching one recommended way)

New features

The trailing stars indicate the rough effort: 1 star for small, 2 stars for medium, 3 stars for large.

  • Logging improvements [* / **]

    • Configuration specified in a file

    • Per-logger configuration (enabling e.g. rqt_logger_level)

  • Time related

    • Support rate and sleep based on clock

  • Additional Graph API features [** / ***]

    • Introspect QoS setting for all (especially remote) topics

    • a la ROS 1 Master API: https://wiki.ros.org/ROS/Master_API

    • Event-based notification

    • Requires knowledge of the rmw interface which needs to be extended

  • Executor

    • Performance improvements (mostly around the waitset)

    • Deterministic ordering (fair scheduling)

    • Decouple waitables

  • Message generation

    • Catch-up message generation for languages not supported out-of-the-box

    • Mangle field names in message to avoid language specific keywords

    • Improve generator performance by running them in the same Python interpreter

  • Launch

    • Support for launching multi-node executables (i.e. manual composition)

    • Extend launch XML/YAML support: events and event handlers, tag namespaces and aliasing

  • Rosbag

    • Support recording services (and actions)

  • ros1_bridge

    • Support bridging actions

  • RMW configuration

    • Unified standard way of configuring the middleware

  • Remapping [** / ***]

    • Dynamic remapping and aliasing through a Service interface

  • Type masquerading [***]

  • Expand on real-time safety [***]

    • For services, clients, and parameters

    • Expose more quality of service parameters related to real-time performance

    • Real-time-safe intra-process messaging

  • Multi-robot supporting features and demos [***]

    • Undesired that all nodes across all robots share the same domain (and discover each other)

    • Design how to “partition” the system

  • Support more DDS / RTPS implementations:

    • RTI Connext DDS Micro (implemented, not enabled by default or officially supported).

  • Security improvements:

    • More granularity in security configuration (allow authentication only, authentication and encryption, etc.) [*]

    • Integrate DDS-Security logging plugin (unified way to aggregate security events and report them to the users through a ROS interface) [**]

    • Key storage security (right now, keys are just stored in the filesystem) [**]

    • More user friendly interface (make it easier to specify security config). Maybe a Qt GUI? This GUI could also assist in distributing keys somehow. [***]

    • A way to say “please secure this running system” with some UI that would auto-generate keys and policies for everything that is currently running. [***]

    • If there are hardware-specific features for securing keys or accelerating encryption/signing messages, that could be interesting to add to DDS/RTPS implementations that don’t use it already. [***]

Reducing Technical Debt

  • Fix flaky tests on https://ci.ros2.org/view/nightly.

  • Ability to run (all) unit tests with tools e.g. valgrind, clang-tidy, clang static analysis (scan-build), ASAN, TSAN, UBSAN, etc.

  • API review, specifically user-facing APIs in rclcpp and rclpy

  • Refactor the rclcpp API into separate packages focused on a single aspect, rclcpp should afterward still provide the combined user-facing API

  • Revisit message allocators, consider using std::polymorphic_allocator to address problems

  • Synchronize / reconcile design docs with the implementation.

  • Address / classify pending tickets

  • Address TODOs in code / docs

  • Remove tinyxml as a dependency