the Robot Construction Kit


While one can use Syskit, Rock’s system management layer, without knowing the underlying execution framework, Roby, reading both the concept section of the Roby user’s guide, and followed the tutorial in the same guide become beneficial when the complexity of your application grows.

Advanced System Deployment

Roby is a plan management / supervision system. The Rock toolchain offers a Roby plugin that allows to manage Orocos component networks in Roby, thus leveraging its supervision capabilities. See the Roby user’s guide for details.

In practice, what does this plugin offers ?

  • have a model-based component deployment. Deploying medium-sized networks of components (> 10) is often hard to do right. It is even harder to be sure that modifications to the component interfaces will not break the deployments.
  • have a model-based adaptation of the component network. While it is hard to deploy medium-sized component networks, it is even harder to modify the networks while still being sure that you don’t break anything.


The tutorials are a great introduction to the plugin’s concepts and development workflow.

Naming conventions

In Ruby, the language in which both oroGen and Syskit are implemented, the norm is to use CamelCase to write class names. An actual constraint that is part of the language is that the class names must start with an uppercase letter.

To match this convention, the system management layer, when needed, converts snake_case names to CamelCase. For instance:

xsens_imu > XsensImu
iodrivers_base > IodriversBase

A reminder about this convertion will be present in the documentation whenever it applies.

Models, classes and instances

In the Roby system, models and instance of the models are mapped to Ruby’s classes and objects in a very straightforward manner: a model is represented as a class or module (depending of what kind of thing this model describes), and an instance of a model is an object of the corresponding class.

For instance, the Roby model that represents a xsens_imu::Task task context is a XsensImu::Task class, which is a subclass of Syskit::TaskContext. The list of ports defined on all xsens_imu::Task task contexts can then be obtained with XsensImu::Task.each_input_port for instance. At runtime, running xsens_imu::Task task contexts are then represented by objects of class XsensImu::Task, i.e. running_xsens_imu_task.class == XsensImu::Task.