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Engineering Materials

Industrial Robotics Gets Open-Source Boost

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: ROS-Industrial - Benifits for All Users
Ann R. Thryft   5/11/2012 1:54:48 PM
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shaun, thanks for your input (although I think you meant October 2011), and for the link to the updated web page. It's good to know that robot suppliers, as well as end-users, are showing interest in this open-source program.

shaun.edwards
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ROS-Industrial - Benifits for All Users
shaun.edwards   5/11/2012 11:10:28 AM
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The ROS-Industrial program started in October 2012, so it is still in the early stages. In this short time we have demonstrated capabilities that just aren't available from the commercial robot vendors (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h54YzGIZFt4 ). These early demonstrations have generated a lot of interest from end-users to even robot suppliers. The ROS-Industrial software can benefit all the different types of businesses in the industrial market. End-users will be able to employ ROS-Industrial in new robotic applications. Integrators will leverage common and powerful tools that lower integration cost and increase efficiency. Finally, the robot suppliers will see increased market size from the new applications that ROS-Industrial enables, while at the same time they can focus on the more important value added aspects like support, ease of use, and reliability. Following other successful open-source models, the ROS-Industrial Consortium, consisting of commercial, government, and academic members, is being initiated fund the continued development of ROS-Industrial. For more info: http://www.swri.org/4org/d10/msd/automation/ros-industrial-consortium.htm

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Does open source change the game?
Ann R. Thryft   5/4/2012 12:02:12 PM
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Mydesign, this ROS-Industrial effort is quite new, so no open source software exists yet in this application. However, ROS itself, on which ROS-Industrial is based, has been around about four or five years. The Wikipedia article is a good intro:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROS_(Robot_Operating_System)

and there's a list of robots using ROS here

http://www.willowgarage.com/pages/software/ros-platform


Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Does open source change the game?
Ann R. Thryft   5/4/2012 12:01:21 PM
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I agree, Beth--that seems to be the usual trajectory. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out, and whether this proprietary vs open standards situation resembles others so far.


Beth Stackpole
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Re: Does open source change the game?
Beth Stackpole   5/4/2012 6:44:37 AM
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I think the first reaction to any open source movement by established players is to dig in their heels, especially since they have typically sunk millions of dollars into R&D for their proprietary platforms. The truth is, though, they go where the market is. If those building industrial robots for medical or whatever applications gravitate to the open source stuff, the big players will eventually follow with some kind of support.

Mydesign
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Re: Does open source change the game?
Mydesign   5/4/2012 6:15:30 AM
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Charles, if they have a fear that open source software can dilute the monopolistic nature of business, obliviously objections may come. I don't know the story of wind river against Linux, but now they are offering Wind river for Linux.

Mydesign
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Re: Does open source change the game?
Mydesign   5/4/2012 6:05:33 AM
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Beth, one more area where our open source software is dominating. Am not sure so far any open source software's are used for robotic program in extensive mode. But am sure that this consortium can help to create more innovative developments in the same area.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Does open source change the game?
Ann R. Thryft   5/3/2012 3:44:39 PM
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Chuck, I think ROS and definitely ROS-Industrial are all too new for the larger industrial robot companies to have much reaction yet. I plan to follow that up, although I'm finding it difficult to get input. Meanwhile, I think the main point here is letting smaller companies that want to get into robotics do so by giving them some leverage. But your point is well taken--I also remember that reaction to Linux--and I wouldn't be surprised if there is resistance among the larger companies that have done their own internal proprietary development all this time.


ChasChas
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Re: Does open source change the game?
ChasChas   5/3/2012 10:19:30 AM
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Good point, naperlou. Just because someone someone wants to "pick their own" for quality, cost and customization, doesn't mean they they won't want support after the sale.

Charles Murray
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Re: Does open source change the game?
Charles Murray   5/2/2012 8:45:23 PM
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Ann, has there been resistance from propietary software developers on this? I remember when Linux starting gaining momentum and Jerry Fiddler of Wind River repeatedly referred to Linux as a "phantasm," before his company finally gave in to the movement.

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