Willow Garage Continues to Advance Open Source Robotics
Can open source take the field of robotics where it's never been before? We've covered several of the efforts to do so in previous posts, including here, here, and here. There are continuing efforts going on all around the world to advance open source robot platforms--some focused on humanoid robots and some not. We've covered the extraordinary open source robotics work going on over at Willow Garage a number of times. It is a project that originated at Stanford University. Robots being developed within it run ROS (Robot Operating System) software, and are surprisingly capable. Now, approximately 25 institutions are developing robotics applications on Willow Garage's open platform.
The FLOSS for Science blog has an interview up with Steve Cousins, Willow Garage's CEO, where he notes:
"The simplest way to categorize Willow Garage ‘clients’ are those institutions currently using the PR2 robot as a platform for personal robotics R&D. There are approximately 25 organizations now developing robot applications on the PR2, including University of California, at Berkeley; Stanford University, MIT, USC, University of Pennsylvania, Bosch, Samsung, the University of Ulster, and more."
PR2 is the mobile hardware design for Willow Garage robots, featuring stereo and laser sensors. Stanford University has been particularly involved with Willow Garage's open platform, and has a number of videos that you can watch of PR2-based robots performing tasks, including retrieving beer. You can also find out much more about Willow Garage's ROS (Robot Operating System) here.