PR2 maker Willow Garage turns to commercial robotics

(Credit: Willow Garage)

Things are changing over at robotics startup Willow Garage, the open-source powerhouse known for its very adaptable domestic bot PR2.

Following an IEEE Spectrum report earlier today saying Willow Garage would shut down in the next few months, the company announced on its blog that it “has decided to enter the world of commercial opportunities with an eye to becoming a self-sustaining company.”

“This is an important change to our funding model,” it added.

Founded in 2006 by Google search engine co-designer Scott Hassan, Willow Garage has been committed to developing open-source robots such as PR2 and TurtleBot and was instrumental in launching the ROS robot operating system.

The terse announcement left it unclear what the new focus will mean for the future of the nearly 50 PR2 robots already in use around the world. The company said its “support of the platform will not diminish.”

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