CoroWare, Inc. (COWI) announced support for the Robotics Operating system (ROS), an open-source meta-operating system for mobile robots, on its CoroBot and Explorer product lines. The company will launch a ROS early adopter program for developers, educators and researchers who are building applications on the CoroBot and Explorer platforms, according to a statement.
CoroWare will support ROS on both Ubuntu Linux and Windows 7 for Embedded Systems. By integrating its hardware platform with ROS, mobile robotics researchers will be able to exploit the rapidly expanding ROS ecosystem of tools, libraries, and system software, allowing them to spend a greater amount of time and effort developing application specific software and algorithms.
Over the past decade, robotics educators, researchers and developers have increasingly moved from proprietary mobile robot hardware and software technologies to platforms that are based on commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware and open source software components to implement mobile robot applications rapidly and affordably.
"When ROS was founded more than three years ago, we looked forward to the day when we would see the OS deployed on robots outside of Willow Garage," said Brian Gerkey, director of open source development at Willow Garage, whose company is the principal maintainer of ROS.
CoroWare will also be launching a ROS Early Adopter Program for developers to further drive the creation of innovative mobile robot applications on the CoroBot and Explorer platforms. The ROS Early Adopter Program will include instructor-led sessions on implementing ROS applications using CoroWare's HD videoconferencing service, CoroCall (http://www.corocall.com).
"CoroWare's research and education customers are asking for open robotic platforms that offer a freedom of choice for both hardware and software components," said Lloyd Spencer, President and CEO of CoroWare. "We believe that ROS will further CoroWare's commitment to delivering affordable and flexible mobile robots that address the needs of our customers worldwide."
CoroWare will formally launch its ROS Early Adopter Program and will begin shipping ROS on the CoroBot and Explorer and CoroBot product lines starting the second quarter of 2011.