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

[ Thanks to Edwood
for this link. ]

“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. “