"Suddenly, embedded-Linux applications have gotten a lot sexier.
Long a bastion of roll-your-own operating systems, robot
brains--and the applications that run them--increasingly are being
handed over to Linux, and a new market is burgeoning.
"Academic researchers faithful to the open-source operating
system have been on the leading edge, but now commercial
manufacturers also are adopting Linux, and Intel is designing a
'robot in a box' package that emphasizes open-source software and
drivers. Where the market is headed is anybody's guess--but for
now, Linux fits the bill.
"The use of Linux in robotics is getting a boost from an Intel
initiative to provide researchers and manufacturers standards-based
hardware and software. The Intel reference designs feature its
XScale microprocessor, Intel Centrino mobile technology, and 802.11
compatibility for wireless sensor networks. The package also
includes Linux 2.4.19 and open-source drivers for devices that do
things like sense infrared and perform ultrasonic
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