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A Robot in Every Browser: Simulation and Programming in the Cloud

Brian Gerkey (Open Source Robotics Foundation)
Location: C260
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)

Inspired by the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the DRC was designed to help spur development of advanced robots that can assist humans in mitigating and recovering from future natural and man-made disasters. Robots are ideal solutions in these scenarios in that they can enter environments that are unsafe to humans. The challenge is to have the robots be able to navigate and manipulate items within an unstructured and unstable environment.

The robotics industry has long been held back by the need for roboticists to be experts in both hardware and software. An architect as well as a builder, to use one comparison. Recognizing this challenge, the DRC was formulated using a common open source platform, called Gazebo from Open Source Robotics Foundation, and a standard hardware robot, ATLAS from Boston Dynamics. You might say that Gazebo is to robotics what AutoCAD is to architects.

In this presentation, Brian Gerkey of Open Source Robotics Foundation will discuss the challenges in overseeing the Virtual Robotics Challenge, both technical and design-specific, how the event tasks were selected, as well as the opportunity for Gazebo to be an ongoing platform for robotics research and education.

Photo of Brian Gerkey

Brian Gerkey

Open Source Robotics Foundation

Brian Gerkey is CEO of OSRF. Prior to joining OSRF, Brian was Director of Open Source Development at Willow Garage. Previously, Brian was a Computer Scientist in the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI, and before that, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford University. Brian received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2003, his M.S. in Computer Science from USC in 2000, and his B.S.E. in Computer Engineering, with a secondary major in Mathematics and a minor in Robotics and Automation, from Tulane University in 1998.

Brian is a strong believer in, frequent contributor to, and constant beneficiary of open source software. Since 2008, Brian has worked on the ROS Project, which develops and releases one of the most widely used robot software platforms in robotics research and education (and soon industry). He is founding and former lead developer on the open source Player Project, which continues to maintain widely used robot simulation and development tools. For his work on Player and ROS, Brian was recognized by MIT Technology Review with the TR35 award in 2011.