Willow Garage is giving away up to ten of its new PR2 mobile-manipulation robots to research institutions that send in proposals "describing the open source and scientific contributions that they can make with a PR2."
For the past couple of years, our researchers, developers and interns have used prototypes of the PR2 to build exciting new capabilities for robotics. The PR2 program kickstarted development of ROS, an open source robotics platform. It also helped drive new capabilities in the OpenCV computer vision library. One year ago, we accomplished our first Milestone: autonomous navigation with the PR2 robot for 2Ï€ kilometers. Six months ago, we accomplished our second Milestone: opening doors, plugging in, and 26.2 miles of autonomous navigation. We are now completing our third Milestone, which solidifies the ROS and OpenCV software platforms that form the basis of the PR2 software system.It looks like a friendly fellow, but stay clear of that beak.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.