HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

Industrial Robotics Gets Open-Source Boost

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Open Source Robotics
apresher   5/2/2012 3:27:36 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Ann.  Interesting developments.  I know that Adept has been doing more in the area of mobile robotics with an acquisition in the last year or so. It will be interesting to see the direction this type of effort takes and what applications become more the area of focus.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Does open source change the game?
Ann R. Thryft   5/2/2012 1:05:10 PM
NO RATINGS
naperlou, this initiative is in its early stages, so it's too soon to tell what will happen with support. I think ttext's point is well taken. In addition, the industrial robot companies are huge and have been developing their own software internally for a long time, so their support needs, assuming they are interested in open source, may be quite different from those of individual hobbyist developers. An open source model for the same basic software platform--ROS--is also being pursued in universities for the Raven II surgical robot. Whether or not a ROS-Surgical comes out of that university research will be interesting to see.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Does open source change the game?
Ann R. Thryft   5/2/2012 1:03:04 PM
NO RATINGS
Beth, it's much too soon to know, since this initiative has just begun, and so far, I think there are two industrial robot companies that have shown interest. Industrial robotics seems to be dominated by three or four large companies, all with their own proprietary hardware and software. I'm not at all clear about how this would benefit them. However, we've had discussions in several other comment threads about the complexities of robot control software and the value--and difficulties--of developing easier-to-use point and click software.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Linux EMC
ttemple   5/2/2012 9:28:20 AM
NO RATINGS
For those interested in such things, www.linuxCNC.org is an open source "CNC" project that derived from work done by NIST in the 90's.

The codebase was started by people at NIST, then went open source when the NIST project ended.  The code has all of the elements of a full motion control system, including trajectory planning, and forward and reverse kinematics modules that allow it to control strange machine geometries such as stewart platforms.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Does open source change the game?
naperlou   5/2/2012 9:24:39 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann and Beth, that is a good question.  I looked at their site, and support is strictly "community" or Willow Garage itself.  There is no paid support.  Open source software in general works becuase there is a paid support option.  You can develop without spending money on the software.  When you are doing something commercial, you can then purchase support, and in some cases a more capable version of the software.  This "upgrade" path is important.  I don't see that here.  I expect that this will remain a research and hobbyist item. 

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Does open source change the game?
Beth Stackpole   5/2/2012 6:13:43 AM
NO RATINGS
Another great example of the power of open source software. What's your sense, Ann, of how open source can foster the development and functionality of industrial robots? Have there been limitations with the technology and its application due to proprietary standards and platforms?

<<  <  Page 2/2
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
Lots of people who write about robots say they give us jobs, instead of taking them away from humans. Based on the evidence in some recent studies, I'm not so sure.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 4 - 8, Introduction to Linux Device Drivers
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service