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Willow Garage TurtleBot advances open source do-it-yourself robotics

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Willow Garage TurtleBot, an open source programmable robot with a 3D vision system, is available to preorder, starting at $500.

Willow Garage reaches robotic milestone involving beer (video)

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Finishing off the week on a fun note, we see that robotic firm Willow Garage — of special interest to Foresight due to their emphasis on open source — has achieved an important milestone in robotics: namely, the ability for a robot to fetch a beer from the fridge and deliver it. It’s worth seeing [...]

Berkeley gets Willow Garage robot to fold towels: video

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Finally, the first step has been made toward the longed-for goal of a robot which can do laundry: Of course, this also gives us some idea of other formerly human-only tasks that robots are likely to take over in the next decade or two. Thanks to for bringing this to our attention.  —Chris [...]

AI: how close are we?

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

In the terminology I introduced in Beyond AI, all the AI we have right now is distinctly hypohuman: The overall question we are considering, is AI possible, can be summed up essentially as “is diahuman AI possible?”  The range of things humans can do, done as flexibly as humans can do them, and learned the [...]

Nanopants, redux

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Dexter Johnson writes, “What Should We Call the (Nano)technology in Your Stain-resistant Pants?” …  the competition for ownership of the term “nanotechnology” that seems to persist between the adherents to MNT, as exemplified by the Foresight Institute, and those who use the term to acknowledge developments in manipulating and exploiting structures that have at least [...]

Moore’s Law and Robotics

Friday, June 26th, 2009

One thing I was at some pains during my recent visit to Willow Garage was the likely impact of Moore’s Law on the course of robotics development in the next few years. This is of great interest to a futurist because if computation is a bottleneck, it will be loosened in a well-understood way over [...]

Willow Garage Robotics

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

After hearing an excellent talk by Willow Garage president Steven Cousins at PARC last Thursday, I wangled a visit to the company Monday and talked to a few more people. Willow Garage is a research robotics company in Silicon Valley which has a unique mission for a start-up. They are oriented to making an impact [...]