Interfacing with OpenRMF

There are several interface points with RMF core, as shown in the arrows between the blue central box and the orange boxes in the diagram above. The goal of these interfaces is to create a “narrow” and simple set of messages that allow rmf_core to integrate with the following elements of a deployment.

Robot fleet integration

The rmf_fleet_msgs package contains four messages and is intended to carry the interactions between rmf_core and a vendor-provided (typically proprietary) fleet manager for a collection of robots. It is expected that a RMF deployment will consist of multiple robot fleets, often operating at different levels of RMF integration. For example, one fleet may only be willing to supply FleetState messages (observation-only) whereas another fleet in the same facility may be willing to follow RMF DestinationRequest messages. RMF is specifically designed to allow this type of “mixed levels of control” and to plan accordingly.

  • rmf_fleet_msgs/FleetState on topic fleet_states. This message consists of a list of rmf_fleet_msgs/RobotState messages, each of which contains the state of a particular robot. This includes the level of the facility the robot is on, its X- and Y- offset (in meters) from the origin of that level’s map, its current destination and path (if known), and so on.

  • rmf_fleet_msgs/DestinationRequest on topic destination_requests is a request for a particular robot to go to a particular destination.

  • rmf_fleet_msgs/ModeRequest on topic mode_requests is a request for a particular robot to change modes, for example, from MOVING to PAUSED, in order to preserve spatial separation between robots of different fleets.

  • rmf_fleet_msgs/PathRequest on topic path_requests is a request for a particular robot to follow a particular path.

As mentioned above, several levels of integration are possible between RMF and vendor-controlled Fleet Managers. The following table captures the required messages for each integration feature. In general, the more integration features that are available for a particular fleet, the more efficient the combined system operations will be, because each integration feature gives additional options for rmf_core to perform traffic management. For example, a fleet that only supports the “state reporting” integration feature will always require that rmf_core totally clear its predicted travel lane of all other robots, whereas fleets that support “pause/resume motion” or “complete paths” allow many other potential options for de-conflicting robot traffic.

Integration Feature

Required Message

Default topic name

state reporting



set destinations



pause/resume motion



set complete paths



Door integration

The rmf_door_msgs package contains two messages. This interface allows RMF to open and close motorized doors for robots as they move throughout a facility.

  • rmf_door_msgs/DoorState messages are periodically sent by door controllers to rmf_core. These messages express the current mode of the door as CLOSED, MOVING, or OPEN

  • rmf_door_msgs/DoorRequest messages are sent from rmf_core to doors when they need to open or close for robot operations.