PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 15, 2016 – Toyota Research Institute (TRI) announced that it will join forces with the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) and its newly-formed for profit subsidiary Open Source Robotics Corporation (OSRC) to expand the development of both open source and proprietary tools for Toyota’s fast-growing robotics and automated vehicle research initiatives. This move to significantly expand TRI’s research and engineering capabilities reflects Toyota’s ongoing evolution beyond the boundaries of the conventional automotive industry to become a broad-based mobility technology company.
Toyota Research Institute is also awarding OSRF a $1 million charitable contribution in support of its mission to advance the development and adoption of open source robotics software.
“At Toyota, we are creating better ways to move, whether it’s across the room, across town, or across the country,” said TRI CEO Gill Pratt. “The Open Source Robotics Corporation team brings unparalleled technical expertise and industry-leading technology platforms, which we intend to embed in the heart of our research programs. TRI also believes that the open source movement can catalyze the development of the robotics industry, and we are excited to help OSRF expand its impact."
"As the nine-year anniversary of ROS approaches, it's humbling and extremely gratifying to see the widespread adoption of open source robotics tools such as ROS and Gazebo," according to OSRF CEO Brian Gerkey. "It's particularly exciting to see increased commercial uptake among commercial innovators such as TRI. We're looking forward to further advancing ROS and Gazebo and to share those developments with the worldwide open source robotics community."
OSRF is an independent non-profit organization founded by members of the global robotics community to support the development, distribution, and adoption of open source software for use in robotics research and education. The group oversees the development of the Robot Operating System (ROS), a flexible framework for writing robot software, and Gazebo, a 3D multi-robot simulator.
As part of the two-year agreement, TRI will leverage the expertise of OSRC’s engineering team, engaging them in a variety of initiatives. The deal also builds on Toyota’s overall commitment to move past the confines of traditional corporate R&D.