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Adept Technology applies open source ROS software

Adept Technology, a leading provider of intelligent robots and autonomous mobile solutions, today announced a collaboration with Willow Garage to deliver solutions for manufacturing and industrial applications harnessing the strength of Willow Garage's ROS software framework with Adept's proven industrial robotic solutions.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
February 15, 2012

Adept Technology, a leading provider of intelligent robots and autonomous mobile solutions, today announced a collaboration with Willow Garage to deliver solutions for manufacturing and industrial applications harnessing the strength of Willow Garage’s ROS software framework with Adept’s proven industrial robotic solutions. The two Silicon Valley-based companies along with Texas-based Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) are contributing to the ROS-Industrial project to combine the reliability of proven industrial robotics with the inherent flexibility of open source software.

The ROS-Industrial project leverages the legacy of Adept’s leadership in industrial automation, the rapidly growing community of ROS developers, and SwRI’s experience in transitioning technology from research to practical application. It is the objective of the project to merge the expansive development opportunities offered by open source software with the exacting requirements associated with production and manufacturing.

“This is a tremendous step forward for the robotics industry,” said John Dulchinos, president and chief executive officer of Adept. “Bringing together the factory proven performance of Adept robots with the enabling open source software technology of ROS extends the state-of-the-art in industrial robotics, and makes the largest library of reusable robotics applications software available to a demanding industrial community to lower their total cost of ownership.”

Willow Garage created and has supported ROS as part of its commitment to open source robotics software and the furtherance of the open source robotics community. The company has been a leader in founding and continuing to contribute heavily to the robot operating system, ROS. ROS software is free for anyone to use and change, and free for other companies to commercialize on. As has been proven in other fields, an open source approach enables robotics innovation and helps ensure that the adoption of robotic technologies is a transparent process.

“We are excited to be working with Adept to bring an open source software platform and the industry’s largest applications library to industrial applications,” said Steve Cousins, president and CEO of Willow Garage. “Willow Garage is committed to making robots the next breakthrough industry by expanding the range of applications while reducing the technical barriers to entry, including the largest concentration of robots currently found in manufacturing.”

The initiative is focusing its efforts in ways that will make the manufacturing community more productive. Key to this objective is the efforts of Southwest Research Institute’s experience in both the
research and industrial communities. SwRI researchers and engineers see open source software and the ROS-Industrial project as enabling the transition of robotics research to meaningful application in Industry.

“We are pleased to participate in this work, as the benefits of introducing the open source ROS robotics community to industrial challenges will be transformative,” said Clay Flannigan, manager of
Robotics and Automation Engineering at SwRI. “The objective of this project is aligned with our charter to provide expertise in bringing
fundamental research and technology to bear in industrial applications.”

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