Open Source Software Extends Robots Reach

Open-source robotics software already exists as the Robot Operating System (ROS), one of the most widely-used robot software platforms. Similar to Linux on a much smaller scale, ROS is an ecosystem consisting of modules, libraries, and tools, and the people who contribute and use them, Brian Gerkey, chief executive officer of the OSRF and director of open-source development at Willow Garage, told us.

The OSRF’s role is a legal entity that can act as a steward of the ROS community, a focal point for people interested in ROS, and a nexus for government agency and corporate funding, said Gerkey.

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