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Company Plans to Give Away Open-Source Robots

Willow Garage is giving away several self-charging, mobile robots to researchers.

Willow Garage, a California-based company that has long pushed for open-source personal robots, announced late last week that it will give about 10 of its PR2 Beta robots to researchers who propose interesting open-source projects. The PR2 is a wheeled robot that can autonomously navigate inside, open doors, and even plug itself in when it’s low on power.

Willow Garage group hopes to push forward the field of open-source robotics generally. It could allow researchers to draw on common hardware and software programs for robots instead of needing to start from scratch, hopefully advancing the field of robotics.

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