Edit: I don't know why, but this question seems to be confusing many people. I am aware of when/where/why/how to use real-time. I am interested in knowing whether people who have a real-time task would actually care enough to implement it in real-time or not.
There's no need to mention why real-time operations are important for a robot. My question is however, how much is it actually used in robotics?
Take this question for example. Only one answer mentions any platform with real-time capabilities, and it is far from the top too. ROS apparently, being a very popular platform which is not real-time.
In the real-time world however, RTAI1 seems to be the only workable free real-time platform of use. It is however, limited to Linux (no problem), badly documented and slowly developed.
So, how much is real-time behavior sought after among robotics developers? The question is, how much are developers inclined to write real-time applications when real-time behavior is actually needed? If not much, why?
For example, reflexive behavior based on tactile data, cannot go through ROS because it would lose its real-time property. But do people really come up with a real-time solution or use ROS anyway, ignoring the real-time property?
1 or similarly Xenomai