The past year has been very exciting watching the momentum that’s been building behind Willow Garage‘s Robot Operating System (ROS).  While ROS is going in a very good direction, its introduction to the market arguably made it just “that much harder” for developers to select which platform to use for the software backbone of their mobile robotic platform.  For example, when one looks for software options for the implementation of SLAM, there is a plethora of possibilities including numerous proprietary and open-source options.  While nodes have been specifically developed for ROS to provide SLAM capabilities, it’s terrific news to see that Karto mapping, by SRI International, has gone open-source and has worked with Willow Garage to be integrated with ROS’ navigation stack.

In addition to being integrated with ROS, going open-source opens the door for this solid SLAM component to become fully integrated with other robotics software backbones such as Orca, Carmen, and Urbi Forge, to name a few.

The original announcement may be found at

Billy McCafferty