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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New business model for Willow Garage

Willow Garage, a privately-funded research lab focused on developing the next generation of robotic devices, has recently announced via its blog that it will change its "funding model". The company has decided "to enter the world of commercial opportunities with an eye to becoming a self-sustaining company."
The announcement was a reaction to an article of IEEE Spectrum spreading rumors about the shut down of Willow Garage within the next months.  

Founded in 2006 by Google search engine co-designer Scott Hassan, Willow Garage was aimed to create an innovative robotics research and development lab and technology incubator devoted to developing hardware and open source software for personal robotics applications. The company became probably best known by its open source software suite ROS (Robot Operating System), which has been rapidly and widely becoming a common, standard tool among robotics researchers and industry, since its initial release in 2007. Willow Garage has also been committed to developing open-source robots such as PR2 and TurtleBot.
Willow Garage’s spin offs include hiDOF Inc., industrial perception, inc. Open CV, Open Perception Foundation, Open Source Robotics Foundation, Redwood Robotics, a joint venture between Meka Robotics, Willow Garage, and SRI, and telepresence company Suitable Technologies.

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