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If you're looking at STM32-class devices, you will find it very hard, if not impossible, to get regular DDS running. The smallest implementation I've seen uses 100kB, and that has a lot of limitations, and is also not battery-friendly. Spending 100k just on the middleware already breaks most STM32's.

There is a reason the OMG embarked on using XRCE-DDS. If you want something close to DDS, that's your best bet.

That said, Micro-ROS doesn't require XRCE-DDS, it's just that at the moment, it's the only small middleware we have an implementation for. It uses the regular ROS stack, so you could have a different RMW layer, which does not require an agent. Of course, you would have to run the same, non-DDS middleware on your other devices as well if you don't want to bridge.

Also, the current Micro-ROS reference board is using an STM32F4, which is exactly the kind of device you said you want to use :-) The only bigger STM32 is the F7, which we currently don't have a board for, but if you want to look at that, we'd be happy to help.

btw, most people I've spoken to don't have a big issue with bridging. If you want to avoid, could you elaborate on why?