Industrial robots use proprietary software and control systems but whole industries have been set up to bridge those barriers so that multi-vendor solutions can happen.
Bob Bauer, from Willow Garage and Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot, debated the open vs. closed debate in a spontaneous discussion last year in France and reported here on The Robot Report.
As the debate rages on, very pragmatic solutions are also happening including providing multi-vendor solutions like Tesla did at their new auto factory, or as others are doing with the use of ROS-Industrial.
Some of the big robot makers are beginning to make an effort, e.g., ABB launched RobotStudio to make programming and simulation easier.
Two start-up companies, Rethink Robotics and Universal Robots, both use ROS as they penetrate the small and medium-sized shops and factories that need flexibility for their short runs. Soon they may have app stores to share their apps.
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