4th Innovation Days: Open source robotics on the map?

Open source robotics on the map?

4th Innovation Days: Open source robotics on the map?

Create a mobile robotics platform and software based on an open source model to be used at national level, by universities, research centers and companies. The proposal was born from the debate that followed the Robotic Coonference on the Map, organized by the Portuguese Robotics Society – SPR in the 4th Innovation Days.

«Robotics is expensive. It is expensive in equipment, in time, in development, in security, in reliability. A major challenge was to lower development costs to accelerate development». That was how José Santos-Victor, from the Systems and Robotics Institute of Instituto Superior Técnico, introduced the project.

The objective is to unite research centers, large, small and medium-sized companies, in order to share technology. Make available to everyone what each one currently does best, saving time and costs. Thus, whenever it was necessary to work on a mobile robotics basis, the model would be used, investing only in its development in the area in which it is intended to innovate.

Standardize, «because there are a lot of people doing similar things, this would allow us to work on one platform», believes the IST researcher. Saving time and money on what is already known technology that would be applied in the development of what is, in fact, innovation.

João Sentieiro, president of the Foundation for Science and Technology, questioned the economic return of a project like this: “what would lead entrepreneurs to align with strategy?”, He asked.

José Santos-Victor gives as an example the humanoid robot RobotCub – an open source platform that is expected to have 20 copies in Europe in the middle of next year, making it the largest community of humanoids worldwide.

Paulo Monteiro, from ABB Robótica, warned of the need to «reach out to companies, to show solutions». Assuming that there is a divorce between companies and universities, he guarantees that, both large companies and SMEs, “if they see an interesting and viable project, they will have every interest in putting it on the market”

Joana Fernandes