How ROS Helps Robotics Ease of Use

Thursday, May 24, 2018

11:30 am – 12:15 pm

The next frontier to be conquered in robotics is usability for end-users. Ease of use is a key factor in new industries and companies adopting automation. A major pool of potential robotics end-users don’t have technology expertise. The Robot Operating System (ROS) can potentially help close this gap.

In this session, Nick Varas, a robotics engineer at Waypoint Robotics, will discuss how ROS can be used to develop robots that are easier for end-users to use and customize for their needs. Varas will explore ways the ROS community can better collaborate and develop a robotics standard that improves interoperability. There isn’t an app store for robotics yet, but when there is, ROS will be the glue that holds everything together.

To highlight the capabilities of ROS, Varas will present a case study highlighting Waypoint Robotics mobile robot, Vector. Vector is an industrial strength, omni-directional, autonomous mobile robot. The ROS-native robotic mobility platform is open-source and configurable to any robotics task.


Nicolas Varas, Robotics Engineer, Waypoint Robotics

With a background in robotics and industrial automation, Nicolas Varas is leading the charge to build the ROS-based software that makes Waypoint robots so easy to use. Varas is passionate about making robots that can empower the workforce instead of replacing them. His work has involved companies of every size across diverse sectors, including Food, Pharma, Aerospace, and Government. His understanding of workplace dynamics and the importance of organizational culture is reflected in the focus of his current work on usability. He holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, as well as a degree in Industrial Engineering. He considers himself very lucky that his hobbies (writing ROS code and making robots) are also his work.