Advanced science.  Applied technology.

SwRI announces collaboration with OSRF to advance industrial robotics

For immediate release

San Antonio — June 3, 2014 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) announced today it has entered a cooperative agreement with Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) to strengthen collaborations in manufacturing automation, industrial robotics, machine perception and machine vision. The agreement calls for sharing research information between the two organizations to help collectively solve robot software research problems; the mutual exchange of free-of-charge software licenses; and organizing conferences, seminars and symposia to ensure continued development in open-source software for robotics.

OSRF, an independent, non-profit organization, fosters the open-source Robot Operating System known as ROS, and provides open-source libraries and tools to help software developers create robot applications, as well as the Gazebo robot simulator, which is widely used within the ROS community and elsewhere. SwRI led the development of ROS-Industrial, an open-source project that extends the capabilities of ROS to industrial applications.

“The SwRI-OSRF collaboration will help facilitate the expansion of software tools and resources for a number of stakeholders including ROS-Industrial users,” said SwRI Senior Research Engineer Paul Hvass, who heads the ROS-Industrial Consortium, a membership organization led by SwRI to provide cost-shared applied research and development for advanced factory automation. “Because OSRF sets both the short- and longer-term strategies for the ROS core software, this closer working relationship will help ensure the strategic direction for both ROS and ROS-Industrial are well aligned.”

“I worked closely with SwRI exploring the viability of an industrial flavor of ROS over three years ago, and I am delighted to now formalize our collaborative relationship,” said Brian Gerkey, chief executive officer of OSRF. “It is great to see the industrial user community come together in support of ROS-Industrial with a focus on advanced robotics capabilities for new advanced manufacturing applications.”

SwRI is an independent, non-profit applied research and development organization specializing in transferring fundamental research to create applied technology to solve client problems. SwRI maintains the ROS-Industrial software repository and manages the ROS-Industrial Consortium.

For more information about SwRI's work with robotics and ROS-Industrial, see and or contact Robotics and Automation Engineering Manager Clay Flannigan at (210) 522-6805 or

For more information, contact Deb Schmid, (210) 522-2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.