Last month California-based open-source robotics company Willow Garage issued a call for rigorous and creative research proposals involving their PR2 robot, and announced a plan to make 10 PR2s available for free use. The call created quite a stir in the research community, and resulted in an overwhelming volume of responses:
Willow Garage received 120 Letters of Intent from universities, companies, robotics clubs, and hackerspaces from 27 countries on 5 different continents, with proposed programs covering areas from motion planning to multi-robot coordination, and from education to eldercare. The winning proposals will be announced after the call's final deadline on March 1st. But whoever wins, the incredible level of interest for this call promises a bright future for everyone working on open-source robotics.
Willow Garage: http://www.willowgarage.com/blog/2010/0 ... ta-program