PR2 Beta Program: The Call for Proposals is Out!

Call for Proposals

Today we are unveiling our PR2 Beta robot! We are also announcing to research institutions around the world that you can apply to have one at no cost.

For the past couple of years, our researchers, developers and interns have used prototypes of the PR2 to build exciting new capabilities for robotics. The PR2 program kickstarted development of ROS, an open source robotics platform. It also helped drive new capabilities in the OpenCV computer vision library. One year ago, we accomplished our first Milestone: autonomous navigation with the PR2 robot for 2π kilometers. Six months ago, we accomplished our second Milestone: opening doors, plugging in, and 26.2 miles of autonomous navigation. We are now completing our third Milestone, which solidifies the ROS and OpenCV software platforms that form the basis of the PR2 software system.

These past several months, you may have followed along on this site as our production floor was busy assembling the PR2 Beta piece by piece. Now that the PR2 Beta production robots are coming off the line, we're announcing our PR2 Beta Program, which will enable complete, production PR2 robots to leave the doors of Willow Garage for the first time. The PR2 Beta Program will make available approximately ten PR2 Beta robots at no cost.

We invite research institutions to respond to our Call for Proposals, describing the open source and scientific contributions that they can make with a PR2. The Call for Proposals contains additional details on how we will select the top proposals and distribute PR2s.

We believe that the PR2 Beta Program will accelerate robotics research and drive open source robotics development. We're excited to work with research organizations around the world in moving the open source robotics community forward.

You can find out more about the CFP, including downloadable CFP materials, on our PR2 Beta Program: CFP page.


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Any chance...

Any chance that WG will market a smaller and less capable (and less expensive) version manufactured in China for those of us not part of major research labs etc? ie instead of dual core Pentiums the smaller version could have a Cortex ARM in it, just one camera etc etc. Would be interesting to push out a mass produced, standardised platform to run ROS on for the rest of us ;)

Thanks for your comment. With

Thanks for your comment. With the PR2, we're focused on pushing the limits of mobile manipulation research. There are a variety of lower cost platforms that ROS is compatible with, including the Aldebaran Nao and Erratic -- the open source code has enabled it to be easily ported to many different robots. We're also exploring the possibilities of our Texas teleoperation robot.

The Unorganized Masses

I think it would be interesting to make one PR2 beta available for unaffiliated researchers, amateurs, and also for those organizations considering the purchase of a robot. Access to the PR2 could be provided by scheduled tele-operation sessions, and additional feedback could be provided through the use of streaming webcams. A semi-weekly, weekly or monthly three hour time slot that requires a simple one page proposal would allow those roboticists not currently employed by research organizations to help contribute to open source robotics.