Willow Garage to make domestic robot development open source

I found this C|Net news article via Slashdot talking about a company named Willow Garage that hopes to develop domestic robots, autonomous boats, and autonomous cars. I’m especially interested in this development since I’m such a fan of Asimov, who is attributed to first using the term ‘robotics’. I’m not sure that there will be any sentient robots any time soon, but I’m glad to see that the development information will be open source. I think that keeping the design specifications open will be a good thing, rather then keep them secret which could lead to a monopoly like US Robotics and Mechanical Men in Asimov’s writing.

How far do you think robotics will have progressed 10, 20, or even 50 years from now? I’m interested in reading your comments about this.

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