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  1. Blog
  2. Article

Gabriel Aguiar Noury
on 3 August 2023

Do more with Vulcanexus snaps; your all-in-one ROS 2 toolset


eProsima’s advanced toolset for ROS 2 is now available in the Snap Store

A surprise is awaiting all ROS developers in the Snap Store with the release of the Vulcanexus tool kit. They are one command away from getting eProsimas’ new contribution to the robotics community. From monitoring the performance of ROS 2 networks to integrating microcontrollers into ROS 2, Vulcanexus snaps offer developers easy and personalised development of robotic applications. 

What is Vulcanexus?

Vulcanexus is an open source software stack that optimises robot development. It is developed by eProsima, a developer of middleware standards, such as Fast DDS for ROS 2. Their mission is to break down barriers to robotics development and provide a performance-focused toolset. 

Let’s have a look at the 5 new snaps available from eProsima’s official Snap Store account

Vulcanexus Micro ROS agent snap

As part of the micro-ROS project, eProsima has been pushing the integration of microcontrollers into ROS 2. Micro-ros-agent snap helps you bridge microcontrollers seamlessly into ROS 2 networks with Vulcanexus. The stack follows the ROS 2 architecture and supports all major ROS concepts. 

To install Vulcanexus Micro ROS agent snap simply run: 

$ sudo snap install vulcanexus-micro-ros-agent 

For more info about the Micro ROS agent and how to use it take a look at the snap webpage and Vulcanexus’ documentation.

Vulcanexus Monitor snap

With this graphical desktop snap, users can keep an eye on the performance of their ROS 2 network while using Vulcanexus. They can get real-time updates on important metrics such as latency, throughput, packet loss and more.

This analytics tool is particularly helpful for those developing ROS 2 applications. It can identify communication bottlenecks, network problems, QoS incompatibilities, and other performance issues. 

To install Vulcanexus Monitor snap simply run: 

$ sudo snap install vulcanexus-monitor

Vulcanexus Discovery Server snap

This snap brings a new feature developed by eProsima; Discovery Server. It makes use of Fast DDS within Vulcanexus, allowing users to benefit from one or more servers that handle the discovery of ROS 2 nodes during startup. By using this type of discovery, developers can enjoy improved ROS 2 discovery behaviour on lossy or WiFi networks. Additionally, this reduces network traffic, lowers resource consumption, and prevents package loss.

To install Vulcanexus Discovery Server snap simply run: 

$ sudo snap install vulcanexus-discovery-server

Vulcanexus Router snap

Router is an open source tool that simplifies the process of directing traffic between networks through WAN communication. By using the Vulcanexus Router snap, you can easily monitor ROS 2 robot fleets that are spread out geographically and send instructions to them from one central location. Plus, it’s simple to install on existing ROS 2 environments.

To install Vulcanexus Discovery Server snap simply run: 

$ sudo snap install vulcanexus-router
<figure><iframe src="https://snapcraft.io/vulcanexus-router/embedded?button=black&summary=true&screenshot=true" frameborder="0" width="100%" height="590px" style="border: 1px solid #CCC; border-radius: 2px;"></iframe></figure>

Vulcanexus Shapes Demo snap

Unlike the other snaps, ROS 2 Shapes Demo snap demonstrates the capabilities of eProsima Fast DDS or as proof of interoperability with other DDS-compliant implementations.

Shapes Demo illustrates Publishers and Subscribers through shapes with different colours and sizes moving on a board. Each shape refers to its own topic: Square, Triangle, or Circle. A single instance of the ROS 2 Shapes Demo can publish on or subscribe to several topics at a time.

To install Shapes Demo simply run: 

$ sudo snap install vulcanexus-shapes-demo

Why eProsima is using snaps

Snaps bring several benefits for developers and users alike. They bundle all software dependencies that your robot app needs, simplifying the installation, versioning, and updating of your software. They also provide interfaces to access host resources easily and securely, while keeping the confinement of the application. Snaps are used by global software vendors, open source communities, and robotics developers. 

If you want to try snaps for your robotics applications, check out our documentation to get started. 

To learn more about Vulcanexus, visit their documentation

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