Willow Garage

Willow Garage develops hardware and open source software for personal robotics applications.


We see personal robots as the next paradigm-shifting personal productivity tool.  By investing in open source and open platform adoption models, we aim to lay the groundwork for the use of personal robotics applications in everyday life.

Who We Are

Willow Garage is a team of experts in robot design, control, perception, and machine learning, with both a strong theoretical background and a demonstrated drive to produce practical systems.

Approximately one third of our team is made up of robotics researchers whose specialties include: grasping/manipulation, human-robot interaction, motion planning, perception, and task planning. Researchers provide an institutional expertise to ensure that Willow Garage stays at the technological forefront of the many depth expertise areas represented in robotic technologies.

Focus on Impact

We invest time and resources in the areas that we believe will most effectively promote the efficiency of the personal robotics research and development community. We are constantly looking for opportunities to help you become more efficient – if you have suggestions, please let us know.

Open Source

We are committed to open source robotics software and the furtherance of the open source personal robotics community. We helped found, and continue to contribute heavily to, the robot operating system, ROS.  The ROS software we contribute is BSD-licensed, making it completely free for anyone to use and change, and free for other companies to commercialize on. We see this open-source approach enabling robotics innovation, and helping to ensure that the adoption of robotic technologies is a transparent process with positive societal impact.

External Collaboration

Willow Garage is only one part of the open-source robotics community. We try to focus our efforts in ways that will make the entire community more productive. Willow Garage actively engages research labs and companies as partners, collaborators, customers and advisors in the development of both our hardware platform and open source software. Willow Garage also supports researchers who would not otherwise have the bandwidth or funding to open source their work.

PR2 Beta Program

Willow Garage is giving out eleven PR2 Beta robots at no cost to leading research institutions in robotics:

  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  • Bosch
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Stanford University
  • Technische Universität München
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Pennsylvania, GRASP Lab
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Tokyo, JSK Robotics Laboratory


We take safety very seriously at Willow Garage for two main reasons:

  1. We don’t want anyone to be hurt by our robots.
  2. We believe that personal robots will not gain wide acceptance unless safety concerns are adequately addressed.

We have a Safety Board that coordinates safety related activities at Willow Garage and at the sites that have our robots.

Information about PR2 Safety can be found at PR2 Safety.

To report a safety incident or ask a question, contact us at: Safety Contact.


Willow Garage is organized to encourage spin-out companies. We intend for spin-outs to participate in the industry, enabled by projects developed at Willow Garage. These spin-out projects should have broad applications that deliver significant contributions to the robotics community and beyond.

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