Willow Garage, the robotics research lab responsible for both the open-source robot operating system ROS and the PR2 robot, announced yesterday via its blog and a press release that a majority of its employees are moving over to remote presence company Suitable Technologies. Both companies were founded by Scott Hassan, an early Google developer and creator of eGroups (now known as Yahoo Groups).
Palo Alto-based Suitable says the influx of talent will help the company further product development, sales and customer support for its Beam telepresence robot. For its part, Willow Garage says it will will continue to support PR2 customers and sell its remaining stock of PR2 systems. Anyone interested in PR2 systems or support are directed to continue to contact the company through its website at www.willowgarage.com.
“I am excited to bring together the teams of Willow Garage and Suitable Technologies to provide the most advanced remote presence technology to people around the world,” Hassan said in the company’s statement.
In February, an announcement on the Willow Garage blog titled “Willow Garage is changing” said the company would alter its funding model and begin to pursue “the world of commercial opportunities with an eye to becoming a self-sustaining company.” At the time, the company noted that as an open-source platform, ROS would continue to be developed by supporters including the Open Source Robotics Foundation.
[ photo courtesy of Suitable Technologies ]