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January 20, 2010 AT 5:14 pm

Are Willow Garage’s robots open source hardware?

Willow-Garage
The following Wired story says Willow Garage is doing open source hardware – Is that true? Will they post schematics, PCB files, firmware BOM, etc? Will commercial use be allowed? We hope so! That would be great! Our hopes are very high!

Despite hundreds of researchers working worldwide in the area of robotics, their development efforts tend to be proprietary. Researchers may be working on similar problems but they rarely share code or hardware. Willow Garage was founded in 2006 with the idea of creating an open-source hardware and software platform. In addition to its hardware prototype, Willow Garage has also developed the Robot Operating System (ROS), which originated at Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. ROS is based on Linux and can work with both Windows and Mac PCs.

We’ve sent an email to company (and to Wired) to see if this story is accurate, specifically if their bots’ are open source hardware, commercial use allowed as defined by the OSI, open source definition)…


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2 Comments

  1. Looks like the robot is giving me the finger

  2. Apparently you have your answer. The wired article was (quietly) updated:

    Willow Garage was founded in 2006 with the idea of creating an open-source robotics software platform. Willow’s hardware has “open interfaces” but the company does not publish schematics and other details of it. Instead it is focusing on open source progamming to drive the device.

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