Skip to main content

Semantic web services for ROS: a Robot as a Service approach


Recently, Robot as a Service (RaaS) brought a major shift in the access and use of robots due to the technological advancements in computing, storage and communication. Users at the client side can manipulate their robots as an on-demand service throughout the Internet. The development of such systems is facing the fusion of the advantages of both Robot Operating System (ROS) and web services. Web services offer loosely coupled ROS software components enabling their interoperability and reuse. However, previous work in this area do not fully describe the service capability and characterization of the offered robotic functionality. In this paper, we propose a semantic description to ROS web services to facilitate their discovery and access in RaaS environment. The representation of ROS Semantic Web Service (ROS-SWS) leverages the ROS components to express its ability through a ROS domain ontology of capabilities and properties. The implemented services and results are presented in this paper.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11


  1. See geometry_msgs/Twist Message:


  3. NAO:

  4. NAO with ROS:

  5. Apache Jena:

  6. Displayed by rosmsg show naoqi_bridge_msgs/BodyPoseWithSpeedActionGoal command.

  7. posture_name field has a set of NAO’s predefined postures such as Stand and SitRelax. See the complete list of postures at

  8. It is not necessary to use all the message fields in some cases.

  9. NAO - Joints:

  10. Given during rosjava program creation by proposition unlike the names of Topics, Services and Messages/Services Type that are obtained from ROS.

  11. The roscore IP: is the IP of the computer where the ROS Master is running.

  12. Obtained by the rqt_graph command line.


  • Aier, S. et al.: Implementing non-functional service descriptions in soas. In: International Conference on Trends in Enterprise Application Architecture. Springer. Berlin, Heidelberg (2006)

  • Awad, R. et al.: ROS engineering workbench based on semantically enriched app models for improved reusability. In: 2016 IEEE 21st international conference on emerging technologies and factory automation (ETFA). IEEE (2016)

  • Baklouti, N., Gargouri, B., Jmaiel, M.: Semantic-based approach to improve the description and the discovery of Linguistic Web Services. In: Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence 46, pp. 154-165 (2015)

  • Bass, L., Clements, P., Kazman, R.: Software Architecture in Practice, third edit ed (2013)

  • Bouten, N. et al.: Ontology-Driven Dynamic Discovery and Distributed Coordination of a Robot Swarm. In: In: Sadre R, Novotny J, Celeda P, Waldburger M, Stiller B (eds) Dependable Networks and Services. AIMS 2012. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7279. Springer. Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 2-13 (2012)

  • Bouziane, R. et al.: A Web services based solution for the NAO Robot in Cloud Robotics environment. In: 2017 4th International Conference on Control, Decision and Information Technologies (CoDIT). Barcelona, pp. 0809-0814 (2017)

  • Bouziane, R. et al.: Towards an architecture for cloud robotic services. In: International Journal of Computers and Applications, pp. 1-12 (2021)

  • Buoncompagni, L., Capitanelli, A., Mastrogiovanni, F.: A ROS multi-ontology references services: OWL reasoners and application prototyping issues. In: arXiv preprint. arXiv: 1706.10151 (2017)

  • Chen, Y., Du, Z., Garcia-Acosta, M.: Robot as a Service in Cloud Computing. In: 2010 Fifth IEEE International Symposium on Service Oriented System Engineering. Nanjing, pp. 151-158 (2010)

  • Costa, L.F., Goncalves, L.M.G.: RoboServ: A ROS Based Approach Towards Providing Heterogeneous Robots as a Service. In: 2016 XIII Latin American Robotics Symposium and IV Brazilian Robotics Symposium (LARS/SBR). Recife, pp. 169-174 (2016)

  • Du, Z. et al.: Robot Cloud: Bridging the power of robotics and cloud computing. In: Future Generation Computer Systems. (2016)

  • Pignaton de Freitas, E. et al.: Ontological concepts for information sharing in cloud robotics. J. Ambient Intell. Human Comput. (2020a).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pignaton de Freitas, E. et al.: Ontologies for cloud robotics. In: The Knowledge Engineering Review, vol. 35 (2020b)

  • Gastel, PJG. van.: A planning module for a ROS-Based ubiquitous robot control system. MS thesis (2014)

  • Gupta, S., Durak, U.: RESTful Software Architecture for ROS-based Onboard Mission System for Drones. In: AIAA SciTech 2020 Forum (2020)

  • Hua, Y., Zander, S., Bordignon, M., Hein, B.: From AutomationML to ROS: A model-driven approach for software engineering of industrial robotics using ontological reasoning. In 2016 IEEE 21st International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA) (pp. 1–8). IEEE. (2016)

  • Huang, J.Y. et al.: Resource sharing for cloud robots: Service reuse and collective map building. In: 2017 18th International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR). Hong Kong, pp. 303-309 (2017)

  • Janssen, R., et al.: Cloud based centralized task control for human domain multi-robot operations. In: Int. Serv. Robotics 9(1), 63–77 (2016)

    Google Scholar 

  • Koubâa, A.: A service-oriented architecture for virtualizing robots in robot-as-a-service clouds. In: International Conference on Architecture of Computing Systems. Springer, Cham, pp. 196–208 (2014)

  • Koubâa, A.: ROS as a service: web services for robot operating system. J. Softw. Eng. Robotics 6(1), 1–14 (2015)

    Google Scholar 

  • Koubâa, A.: Service-oriented software architecture for cloud robotics. In: arXiv preprint. arXiv: 1901.08173 (2019)

  • Koubâa, A. et al.: Dronemap planner: a service-oriented cloud-based management system for the internet-of-drones. Ad. Hoc Net. 86, 46–62 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kunze, L., Roehm, T., Beetz, M.: Towards semantic robot description languages. In: 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics 8 & Automation. IEEE (2011)

  • Lentin, J.: Mastering ROS for Robotics Programming: Design, build, and simulate complex robots using Robot Operating System and master its out-of-the-box functionalities. Packt Publishing (2015)

  • Luo, J., Zhang, L., Zhang, H.Y.: Design of a cloud robotics middleware based on web service technology. In: 2017 18th International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR). Hong Kong, pp. 487-492 (2017)

  • Maga na, A. et al.: Knowledge-Based Service-Oriented System for the Automated Programming of Robot-Based Inspection Systems. In: 2020 25th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA). Vol. 1. IEEE (2020)

  • Martin, D. et al.: Bringing semantics to web services: The OWL-S approach. In: In International Workshop on Semantic Web Services and Web Process Composition. SpringerBerlin, Heidelberg, pp. 26-42 (2004)

  • Mori, Y. et al.: Multi-robot Coordination Based on Ontologies and Semantic Web Service. In: In: Kim Y.S., Kang B.H., Richards D. (eds) Knowledge Management and Acquisition for Smart Systems and Services. PKAW 2014. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 8863. Springer, Cham, pp. 150-164 (2014)

  • Mouradian, C., Yangui,S., Glitho, R.H.: Robots as-a-Service in Cloud Computing: Search and Rescue in Large-scale Disasters Case Study. In: In: 2018 15th IEEE Annual Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC). Las Vegas, NV (2018)

  • Oliveira, L.B.R. et al.: RoboSeT : A Tool to Support Cataloging and Discovery of Services for Service-Oriented Robotic Systems. In: In: Osorio F, Wolf D, Castelo Branco K, Grassi Jr V, Becker M, Romero R (eds) Robotics. SBR 2014 2014, ROBO CONTROL 2014, LARS 2014. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 50. Springer. Berlin, Heidelberg (2015)

  • Oliveira, L.B.R., et al.: ArchSORS: A Software Process for Designing Software Architectures of Service-Oriented Robotic Systems. In: The Comput. J. 60(9), 1363–1381 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  • OWL-S: Semantic Markup for Web Services. url:

  • Paolucci, M. et al.: Semantic matching of web services capabilities. In: International semantic web conference. Springer. Berlin, Heidelberg (2002)

  • Paulraj, D., Swamynathan,S., Madhaiyan, M.: Process model-based atomic service discovery and composition of composite semantic web services using web ontology language for services (OWL-S). In: Enterprise Information Systems 6.4, pp. 445-471 (2012)

  • Protégé. url:

  • Qian, K., et al.: A utilization framework of ubiquitous resources for service robots using semantic matchmaking. In: Int. J. Adv. Robotic Syst. 12(4), 41 (2015)

    Google Scholar 

  • Rajapaksha, U. S., Jayawardena, C., MacDonald, B. A.: ROS Based Multiple Service Robots Control and Communication with High Level User Instruction with Ontology. In 2021 10th International Conference on Information and Automation for Sustainability (ICIAfS) (pp. 381-386). IEEE (2021)

  • Ruta, M., Scioscia, F., Loseto, G., Di Sciascio, E.: Knowledge-based sensing/acting in mobile autonomous robots. In 2017 First IEEE International Conference on Robotic Computing (IRC) (pp. 422-427). IEEE (2017)

  • Riazuelo, L., et al.: RoboEarth semantic mapping: A cloud enabled knowledge-based approach. In: IEEE Trans. Autom. Sci. Eng. 12(2), 432–443 (2015)

    Google Scholar 

  • ROS Website. url:

  • SoftBank Robotics,

  • Srinivasan, N., Paolucci,M., Sycara, K.: An efficient algorithm for OWL-S based semantic search in UDDI. In: International Workshop on Semantic Web Services and Web Process Composition. Springer. Berlin, Heidelberg (2004)

  • Sugawara, Y. et al.: An Intelligent Application Development Platform for Service Robots. In: MuSRobS@ IROS, pp. 16-20 (2015)

  • Tenorth, M., Beetz, M.: KnowRob: a knowledge processing infrastructure for cognition-enabled robots. Int. J. Robotics Res. 32(5), 566–590 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tiddi, I. et al.: An ontology-based approach to improve the accessibility of ROS-based robotic systems. In: Proceedings of the Knowledge Capture Conference (2017)

  • Tsardoulias, Emmanouil G., et al.: Towards an integrated robotics architecture for social inclusion - The RAPP paradigm. Cognit. Syst. Res. 43, 157–173 (2017)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Waibel, M., et al.: RoboEarth. In: IEEE Robotics Automation Magazine 18(2), 69–82 (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  • Xie, Y. et al.: Loosely Coupled Cloud Robotic Framework for QoS-Driven Resource Allocation-Based Web Service Composition. In: IEEE Systems Journal (2019)

  • Yang, T.H.: Intelligent service reconfiguration for home robots. In: Ding X., Kong X., Dai J. (eds) Advances in Reconfigurable Mechanisms and Robots II. Mechanisms and Machine Science, vol 36. Springer, Cham, pp. 735-745 (2016)

  • Yang, T.H. et al.: Configuring reusable robot services in a cloud environment. In: In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), IEEE, pp. 225-230 (2015)

  • Zander, S. et al.: A model-driven engineering approach for ros using ontological semantics. In: arXiv preprint. arXiv: 1601.03998 (2016)

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Radhia Bouziane.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bouziane, R., Terrissa, L.S. & Ayad, S. Semantic web services for ROS: a Robot as a Service approach. Autom Softw Eng 29, 49 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Service-Oriented Architecture
  • Semantic web services
  • Robotic service discovery
  • Ontology
  • Robot operating system
  • Robot as a Service