We introduce RobotPerf, a vendor-agnostic benchmarking suite designed to evaluate robotics computing performance across a diverse range of hardware platforms using ROS 2 as its common baseline. The suite encompasses ROS 2 packages covering the full robotics pipeline and integrates two distinct benchmarking approaches: black-box testing, which measures performance by eliminating upper layers and replacing them with a test application, and grey-box testing, an application-specific measure that observes internal system states with minimal interference. Our benchmarking framework provides ready-to-use tools and is easily adaptable for the assessment of custom ROS 2 computational graphs. Drawing from the knowledge of leading robot architects and system architecture experts, RobotPerf establishes a standardized approach to robotics benchmarking. As an open-source initiative, RobotPerf remains committed to evolving with community input to advance the future of hardware-accelerated robotics.
We introduce RobotCore, an architecture to integrate hardware acceleration in the widely-used ROS 2 robotics software framework. This architecture is target-agnostic (supports edge, workstation, data center, or cloud targets) and accelerator-agnostic (supports both FPGAs and GPUs). It builds on top of the common ROS 2 build system and tools and is easily portable across different research and commercial solutions through a new firmware layer. We also leverage the Linux Tracing Toolkit next generation (LTTng) for low-overhead real-time tracing and benchmarking. To demonstrate the acceleration enabled by this architecture, we design an intra-FPGA ROS 2 node communication queue to enable faster data flows, and use it in conjunction with FPGA-accelerated nodes to achieve a 24.42% speedup over a CPU.