PR2 Open Source Discount Award Application Guide & FAQ

> Funding > Open Source Discount

This discount award program aims to encourage and reward those who have made significant contributions to the open source community. Winners will receive a 30% discount on the PR2 System, bringing the cost to $280,000 (+ taxes and shipping).

Evaluation Criteria

We expect that many applicants will have contributed to the open source community by releasing code. However, we welcome applications from those who have contributed to the open source community in other forms as well, such as open-source sound libraries, study protocols, etc. For simplicity's sake, however, we will henceforth use "code" to refer to any open and freely available community resource.

We will award individuals with a track record of releasing and maintaining useful functionality for the open source community. When evaluating an application, we will look at the code you have made available in a public repository, as well as accompanying documentation and tutorials. We will also look to see if other people are using your code. Finally, we will consider your ability to release as open source the code you would produce with the PR2. We evaluate this by looking at the open-source contributions you have made at your current institution. If you have not yet released code at your current institution (e.g., if you have recently joined the institution), we will want to know whether your institution permits you to release your code as open-source.

How to Apply

Please submit your two page application as a PDF file to

Application Outline

  • Section 1 – Who are you: Please provide a brief summary of who you are and what you do.
  • Section 2 – The Code and Support: Please provide links to your open-source code, including:
    • Links to publicly-accessible code repositories. We will look for:
      • Utility to others in the community
      • Readable and commented code
      • Clearly marked OSI-approved licenses
    • Links to documentation and/or tutorials
    • Links to support forum(s) and/or user email list archive(s)
    • With each link, please provide a brief description of your role in creating or maintaining that item.
  • Section 3 – Demonstration of Usage: Here, we want to see that others are benefiting from your open-source code. There are many ways to demonstrate that your code is useful, here are only a few suggestions:
    • Links to support forum(s) and/or user email list archive(s) that show community activity
    • Use of your open-source code in papers published at other institutions
    • Letters of Support – brief letters (<250 words) from people at other institutions, describing how they benefited from your code
    • Classes taught using your code
    • Download statistics (e.g., from SourceForge or GoogleCode)
    • Workshops, tutorials, or other open meetings organized around your code
    • External funding that was provided specifically to support your development of the code
  • Section 4 – Continued Leadership: Here, we want to see that you will continue leading the community by releasing as open-source the code you develop on the PR2. Below are two suggestions, but you are welcome to support this section with other materials.
    • Signed letter from the appropriate authority at your institution, stating that you currently have permission to release as open-source the code you will develop with the PR2
    • Evidence of an institutional history of open source developmen

Format Recommendations

We recommend that you structure your application as an outline. Your application should contain links to publicly-available resources with only a short introduction for each link. If your materials (such as papers) are not posted online, you may attach a PDF version with your application. In addition, documents such as Letters of Support do not count toward the two-page limit, and can be attached to the application as a PDF file.

Submission and Questions

Please email your questions and application to

Review Process and Deadlines

Awards will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. There is currently no plan to cap the number of Open Source Discount Awards that will be given. This means that each application will be judged on its own merits, and not against competing applications for a limited number of award slots. We currently plan to accept applications through December 31st, 2012. We may end or extend the program before that date. Any such change will be announced on our website.

Applications will be judged by Willow Garage, and awards will be made at Willow Garage's sole discretion. The application process, criteria, and judgement process are subject to change, and are at the sole discretion of Willow Garage.


Is the Award issued to an institution, lab or individual?

The award is issued to an individual. The individual can then choose to apply the award to the purchase of one PR2 System by one institution.

Can more than one person on a given project, in a given lab, or at a given institution win the award?

Yes. Many institutions have lots of open source community leaders, and some of them are even on the same projects.

How many robots can I get at the discounted price?

One robot per award.

How many of these awards will be given out?

There are currently no plans to cap the number of open source discount awards that will be given out. However, this is subject to change.

How often can I win the award?

You can apply again 18 months after receiving your most recent award. If you do not win, you can apply as often as once a month.

If I am awarded this discount, will I have to sign something that says I will commit to specific work in the future?

No. This award is given for past performance. Consider your acceptance of the discount award as acknowledgment of a gentleperson’s agreement to continue being a leader in the open source robotics community. However, when you buy the robot your institution will have to sign the PR2 purchase agreement, which is available here.

What if my open source background is not related to Robotics?

That is okay. We do not require that your demonstrated leadership in the open source community be in robotics. However, we would still look for evidence that you will be a leader in the open source robotics community.

Can you get the award if your robotics work is not software-centric, e.g., Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)?

One of our goals is to make replication of scientific robotics work standard practice in the community, similar to other scientific fields like biology. You could be eligible to win the award if you published as open-source and support materials that make your experiments easy to replicate. In HRI, for example, these materials could include questionnaires, experimental protocols, scoring guidelines, support code, sound libraries, motion libraries, etc.

I have not released open-source code in the past, but our lab has a lot of code. If I put that up on the web will that be enough?

This award is based on contributions to the open source community. Your application will be judged on the whether or not members of the open source community adopt the code that you have released. Once you can demonstrate that the community is using your code then you should apply. Most people get the award for demonstrated leadership over at least several years, but it is possible to win this award with less than a year of effort. You can demonstrate leadership in the open source robotics community by releasing and supporting code that was not previously available as open-source. We have found that useful open-source code gets adopted very quickly.

Is open source hardware eligible?