Building a New Lab

White Lab Construction

Willow Garage has been going through many changes over the past several months. We were able to test the limits of our ROS software and PR2 alpha prototype hardware during Milestone 2, so our focus has now turned towards delivering these platforms to the outside community. In addition to readying the ROS software for release, we are building a new group, Manufacturing Operations, that is responsible for delivering the final PR2 robots: planning, procurement, material handling and control (Inventory), kitting, assembly, test, qualification and ultimately shipment.

Our hardware lab was vacated last week in preparation for construction that will be completed at the end of this week. This phase of construction includes removal of the old vinyl flooring tile and the installation of new electrostatic dissipative (ESD) tile. ESD protection is required with any electronic device that may have static sensitive components.

The downtime for construction doesn't mean we aren't busy. We have been busy planning part orders, receiving quotations from numerous suppliers and converting them into purchase orders. To give you an idea of scale, the final PR2 build will require over 6,000 parts (if you count every nut and bolt). As of Friday August 7th, we have 70% of the released parts on order and have received over 240 line items.

We will need a place to safely and securely store these parts in an organized fashion to facilitate the pulling of kits to build the various sub assemblies that make up our PR2. Towards the end of this week, a wire mesh partition with a gate will be installed to create a brand-new stockroom to replace the current stockroom (the former exercise room).

We will also need new work cell areas where our assemblers and test and qualify the sub assemblies that comprise a PR2. A burn-in room to fully excercise the components before final assembly will also be developed. In other words, in order to build a PR2, first you have to build the rooms to build the PR2. We look forward to bringing you more photos as it all comes together.

-- John Blazek

Next: Part 2: Stockroom Ready to Fill

White Lab Construction


Looks like PR2 can

Looks like PR2 can automatically assemble itself in this place later

I am excited - Good Luck!

Keep sending photos... Asaf Israel.