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Robot software shootout — the sequel!

Jul 30, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 12 views

Today's nascent robotics market has engendered nearly two dozen general-purpose software development frameworks, nearly all of which run on Linux. This article reviews ten, and briefly describes a few others, before concluding with an analysis of which platforms are best-suited to which uses.

The article begins with a look at the current state of robotic intelligence. It describes applications were robots have been used successfully, and discusses areas where work remains to be done. Salient topics include the potential impact of learning robots, autonomous indoor and outdoor navigation, unmanned vehicle intelligence, robot programming versus robot training, and the many potential uses for advanced, intelligent service robots.

Next, ten specific service robot software platforms are discussed in detail. These include:

  • Microsoft Robotics Studio
  • MobileRobots
  • Skilligent
  • iRobot AWARE 2.0
  • Gostai Urbi
  • Evolution Robotics ERSP 3.1
  • Player, Stage, Gazebo

Other platforms discusssed in brief include:

  • CLARAty
  • Edinburgh Robotics DevBot
  • Pyro (Python Robotics)
  • YARP (“Yet Another Robot Platform”)
  • JAUS

The article was written by Michael Somby, a control systems engineer with experience designing auto-pilot systems and power plant control systems. Somby is also a long-time robotics hobbyist with direct experience using most of the platforms he discusses.

The nicely organized article includes lots of photos, screenshots, and a comparison chart, along with links to an amazing number of robotics resources available on the web. To learn more, read Somby's excellent technical overview, Updated review of robotics software platforms.

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