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Making robots with open source: An interview with Steve Cousins, CEO Willow Garage

Oct 17, 2011, 06:01 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by edwood)


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"n the hardware front, we are most widely known as the creator of the PR2 robot, arguably the most advanced mobile manipulation robot in the world today. It's sold (and has been given away) as a platform for development to robot researchers worldwide. In having a common hardware platform, and by providing robot researchers with a robot (instead of them having to build their own), Willow Garage is accelerating personal robot development and also providing a framework for researchers to share information with each other. We also recently introduced a one-armed version of the PR2, called PR2 SE, which is meant to lower cost. We also sell the TurtleBot, a smaller and cheaper robot developed more for the hobbyist and education markets.

"All three robots run on ROS, which is the open source robot operating system created and nurtured at Willow Garage. ROS has been growing like crazy, particularly as it expands outside of Willow Garage, and is the most mature robot open source OS in the world. In keeping with the same philosophy as the PR2, we want to create a common platform for development; in this case an OS that robotic researchers worldwide can collaborate upon. "

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