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Part 1: Breaking the Wheel

Part 1: Breaking the Wheel

Part 1 of our 5-part documentary about ROS (Robot Operating System). This is the story of how ROS went from being an academic side project to a platform that is revolutionizing the world of robotics.

ROS timeline

Feb. '06

Stanford Personal Robotics Program image

Stanford Personal Robotics Program begins building the PR1

Jan. '07

Willow Garage hires its first employees

Aug. '07

The first PR1 prototype is announced

Nov. '07

ROS logo

Willow Garage begins its personal robotics project and formalizes ROS

Aug. '09 is created

Jan. '10

ROS 1.0 is released

May '10

Willow Garage gifts PR2 robots to 11 research institutions

Nov. '10

TurtleBot image

TurtleBot is created

May '11

ROS reaches 100 repositories

Feb. '13

Open Robotics logo

Responsibility for maintaining ROS moves to Open Robotics

Feb. '14

Closed sign image

Willow Garage offically shuts down

Dec. '17

ROS 2.0 is released

Bonus content


Before he started work on ROS, Brian Gerkey created an open source robot simulation program that helped change the game.

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Why We Shouldn’t Fear a Robot Uprising

The idea that robots will rise up against humans is the stuff of science fiction. But should we be worried about it happening in real life?

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Build your own robot

Our Co.Lab Robot Kit lets you join the revolution and build a robot the open source way.

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From the Films

Brian Gerkey

Brian Gerkey

CEO of Open Robotics

Brian was director of open source development at Willow Garage where he helped lead the development of the Robot Operating System (ROS). He is currently CEO of Open Robotics.

Learn more about Open Robotics

Melonee Wise

Melonee Wise

CEO of Fetch Robotics

Melonee was Willow Garage’s second employee. She worked on the team that developed ROS and also spearheaded Willow’s intern program. She is now the CEO of Fetch Robotics.

Learn more about Fetch Robotics

Keenan Wyrobek

Keenan Wyrobek

CTO and Co-founder of Zipline

Keenan co-created ROS while a graduate student at Stanford. He went on to be a leader at Willow Garage. He is now the CTO and co-founder of Zipline.

Learn more about Zipline

Leila Takayama

Leila Takayama

Human-Robot Interaction Researcher at University of California, Santa Cruz

Leila researched human-robot interaction at Willow Garage. She is now an associate professor of computational media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Learn more about Leila’s research

Evan Ackerman

Evan Ackerman

Editor at IEEE Spectrum

Evan is a contributing editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics, science, and technology.

Learn more about Evan

Nate Koenig

Nate Koenig

CTO of Open Robotics

Nate got his start as an intern at Willow Garage. He is now the CTO of Open Robotics where he helps lead development of the open source robotics simulator he developed—Gazebo.

Learn more about Open Robotics

Steve Cousins

Steve Cousins

CEO of Savioke

Steve is the former president and CEO of Willow Garage. He now serves as the CEO of Savioke, a service robotics company.

Learn more about Savioke

Louise Poubel

Louise Poubel

Software Engineering Supervisor at Open Robotics

Louise works on ROS and Gazebo, and helps lead interactions with the larger open source community.

Learn more about Open Robotics

Kevin Knoedler

Kevin Knoedler

Winner of the 2017 NASA Space Robotics Challenge

Kevin is a stay-at-home dad who made headlines when he single-handedly won a national robotics challenge.

Read more about Kevin’s win

How to Start a Robot Revolution

Common Connections
To do the grand tasks society needs from them, robots need to master the mundane. Leila Takayama and Chris Nicholson explain why.
Watch their conversation

See more stories

Collective discovery

Robotics isn’t the only field undergoing a revolution. Meet the people advancing artificial intelligence.

Read the articles

The Open Source Roots of Robotics

Brian Gerkey
CEO, Open Robotics

Watch the talk

The Open Source Roots of Robotics

Brian Gerkey
CEO, Open Robotics

Go inside the open source robotics revolution with one of the innovators who launched it.

Watch the talk

Farming for the future

Self-driving cars are a prime example of robotics in action. See why they’re also key in furthering the field of A.I.

Watch the film

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