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Monday, May 14, 2012

New Open Source Robotics Network - OSRF

Leading members of the global robotics community  committed to open-source robotics and relevant experience in the field have founded Open Source Robotics Foundation, Inc. (OSRF) an independent non-profit organization, robot company Willow Garge recently announced. The mission of OSRF is to support the development, distribution, and adoption of open source software for use in robotics research, education, and product development. OSRF is initially funded by Willow Garage and  the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Dr. Brian Gerkey, Director of Open Source Development at Willow Garage since 2008 will leave the company to become the foundation’s CEO. Joining Gerkey on the Board of Directors are Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard, University of Freiburg, Germany and head of the Laboratory for Autonomous Intelligent Systems (AIS);  Ryan Gariepy, co-founder and CTO of Clearpath Robotics a robot maker in Kitchener, Ontario; Ms. Helen Greiner, a co-founder of iRobot and currently CEO of CyPhyWorks. Greiner serves also as the elected President and Board Member of the Robotics Technology Consortium (RTC), a non-profit organization established to speed the creation and deployment of ground robotics technology and Sam Park, executive vice president of Yujin Robot, South Korea.

One of the first initiative of OSRF will be ROSCon 2012, the ROS Developers Conference, and proceeds from the conference go to OSRF. The inaugural ROSCon will take place immediately following ICRA 2012  (May 19th – 20th) in St. Paul, MN.

The foundation’s next project will be to participate in the latest Robotics Challenge organized by the  DARPA. The agency plans to award up to $34 million to teams that can demonstrate robots with advanced disaster-response capabilities, and it’s anticipated that many teams will use ROS to program their robots or Gazebo to simulate their performance before sending them into the field.

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