Menlo Park’s robot “factory” announces new robotics foundation

by Contributed Content on May 9, 2012

Willow Garage's PR2 personal computer

Willow Garage, the developer of the PR2 personal computer (pictured), today announced the formation of The Open Source Robotics Foundation, Inc., an independent, non-profit organization founded by members of the global robotics community. OSRF’s mission is to support the development, distribution, and adoption of open source software for use in robotics research, education, and product development.

The first initiative of the OSRF will be participation in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The DARPA Robotics Challenge will launch in October 2012 and offers a $2 million prize “to whomever can help push the state-of-the-art in robotics beyond today’s capabilities in support of the DoD’s disaster recovery mission.”

“It’s always been the intention of Willow Garage to create an independent body that can take our initial work in open source robotics and see it grow beyond the confines of a single organization,” according to Steve Cousins, CEO of Willow Garage. “The reality is that the popularity of open source robotics in general, and ROS specifically, has grown beyond our wildest expectations. Willow Garage will enthusiastically support the goals of the OSRF.”

Both Willow Garage and OSRF are based in Menlo Park.

Photo courtesy of Willow Garage

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