Shadow Robot collaborator Clearpath Robotics release design files for PR2 Robot
Apr 5, 2023
Developed by Willow Garage, the PR2 is a mobile manipulator that has been used in numerous research projects for over a decade. Its advanced capabilities and versatility have made it an indispensable tool for scientists and engineers working in the field of robotics.
The PR2 is a unique robot that combines mobility and manipulation capabilities, enabling it to navigate complex environments and perform a wide range of tasks. It has been used in various research projects, including mobile manipulation, perception, learning, and human-robot interaction. The robot has also been used as a platform for developing new robotic technologies, such as the Robot Operating System (ROS), which has become a standard in robotics research and development.
During the PR2’s development, Shadow Robot developed the Smart Motor version of our Dexterous Hand to fit with PR2. This revolutionary type of robotic hand has transformed the way many sectors use robots. The Shadow Robot Dexterous Hand is a robot hand that has similar size, shape, and movement capabilities to those of a human hand and complemented the PR2’s capabilities. The software integration was easy thanks to the adaptability of ROS, and the ease of integration and sensor fusion available.
The release of the PR2 design files carries enormous significance for the robotics industry, as it will allow anyone to build their own PR2 from scratch or modify the existing design to create new versions of the robot. This move will democratize the development of new robotic technology, making it more accessible and affordable to researchers, educators, and enthusiasts alike.
The company said when releasing these files: “Clearpath Robotics has been a long-standing supporter of PR2, with the intention of providing important resources to its users. On that account, we are thrilled to have all design files for PR2 available for download on our new documentation website. The hardware and 1000+ software libraries currently available for PR2 affirms new opportunities for robotics researchers to focus on. We are excited to see how these supplementary resources will help developers with their applications.”
By releasing the PR2 design files, Clearpath Robotics is providing an opportunity for the robotics community to expand and improve upon the existing technology. Researchers and engineers can now modify the robot’s design to fit their specific needs or create entirely new versions of the PR2 with enhanced capabilities. This will undoubtedly lead to the development of new technologies and applications that were previously unimaginable.
Matthew Godden, Shadow Robot’s Senior Robotics Design Engineer, said “This is good news for owners of PR2’s who want to keep them running; but also for the robotics community as a whole also to have a good example design to look at and take inspirations from when designing and building their own hardware. Despite PR2 being nearly 15 years old there is a lot of applicable value being released here.”
Moreover, the release of the PR2 design files is expected to accelerate the pace of innovation in the robotics industry by lowering the barrier to entry for new players. Startups and small businesses can now leverage the existing design to create new products and services that cater to specific markets. This will create new opportunities for growth and innovation, and ultimately benefit the industry as a whole.
Rich Walker, Director at Shadow Robot said “At Shadow, we feel the release of all design files for the PR2 robot is a significant milestone for the robotics community. It provides an opportunity for researchers, educators, and enthusiasts to build their own PR2 or create new versions of the robot with modified capabilities. This move should help democratize the development of new robotic technology, accelerate the pace of innovation, and create new opportunities for growth and discovery.”