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I, open source robot

It is common for market laggards to go open source. It is less common for market leaders to do so.

Thus we need to celebrate the Affero GPL 3.0 version of Urbi, software that powers (among others) the Segway RMP and Lego Mindstorm.

The software runs under Linux, Windows, or real time operating systems. The site has instructions for adapting the software to existing robots that were not designed around it.

The head of the French-based producer of Urbi, Gostai founder Jean-Christophe Baillie, made the announcement back in May at the IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Anchorage, Alaska, where Gostai was a gold sponsor.

Gostai isn’t putting all its software under the Affero GPL. It also produces a suite of graphical programming tools for robotics called Gostai Studio, an RTC interface for Urbi called GostaiRTC, and the GostaiNet cloud computing architecture for robotics.

Perhaps the most interesting of these is GostaiNet, which allows a number of robots to be controlled remotely from a cloud cluster. All you need are robots equipped with camera, microphone and speaker, and a WiFi router, and you can build your own robot army to take over the living room.

Why go open source? To help create compatibility among robots, simply the creation of programs and behaviors, and to extend Urbi into mainstream computing, in parallel and event-driven applications with multiple agents.

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