28 Jul '12, 11pm

Apple vs. Microsoft vs. Linux all over again, this time in robotics?

In this guest post, Frank Tobe, a robotics analyst and publisher of The Robot Report , describes a recent debate between two prominent robotics executives and their opposing views on how to nurture profitable robotics businesses. Left: Colin Angle, co-founder and CEO of iRobot, in Bedford, Mass. Right: Robert Bauer, executive director for commercialization at Willow Garage in Menlo Park, Calif. What's the best approach to building commercially successful robotics companies: To develop specific, proprietary products that satisfy the needs of large markets, or to develop and share free, open-source technologies and wait for the commercial applications to emerge? These two points of view were presented by executives from iRobot and Willow Garage in a spirited cocktail party debate the other evening in Lyon, France, at InnoRobo 2012, a trade show for service robotics. Here's h...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-soft...

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