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Twelve robots that run Linux

The future of robotics is open source. Linux helps power these 12 robots.
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1 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

3DR Solo

The Solo from 3DR debuted in mid-2015. It's the company's attempt to compete head-to-head with DJI and its massively popular Phantom. The Solo runs dual processors running Linux.

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2 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

Baxter from Rethink Robotics

Baxter is the lovable collaborative robot that's lowering the barrier to entry for flexible factory automation. It runs ROS and Linux. Thanks to advanced path planning and next gen force sensors, it can work alongside humans without putting them in harm's way.

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3 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

BeagleBone Blue

Hooray for educational robots! BeagleBone Blue is the affordable and complete educational robotics controller built around the popular BeagleBone open hardware computer. With complete robotics education curriculum, barriers to learning and growing are completely eliminated.

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4 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

Erle Plane by Erle Robotics

The Erle Plane is a Linux fixed-wing drone from Erle Robotics, which specializes in Linux-based robotic systems.

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5 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

Erle Spider from Erle Robotics

Erle-Spider is a Linux-based legged drone powered by Ubuntu and based totally in ROS, the Robot Operating System. A fully functional Linux computer that includes onboard sensors, exposes several I/O interfaces and can be controlled and programed over WiFi, Bluetooth and even 3G and 4G networks.

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6 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

JACO RE by Kinova

JACO RE is a robotic arm with six degrees of freedom and unlimited rotation on its axes. The arm has attached a three-finger gripper with individual control for each finger. JACO RE can be fitted to a wheelchair to help people with mobility and dexterity issues. Kinova offers support for Ubuntu Linux.

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7 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

LEGO Mindstorms EV3

Unlike previous Windstorms, the EV3, introduced in 2013, runs Linux. That's given hackers the opportunity to create some very cool, very capable robots.

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8 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

RoboRIO (controller) by National Instruments

Built by National Instruments for students competing in the FIRST Robotics Competition, the RoboRIO controller uses Real-Time Linux distribution and LabVIEW reconfigurable I/O architecture and toolset. It can be used for competition bots like the ones above.

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9 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

Relay by Savioke

Speaking of room service ... the Relay by California startup Savioke is a hotel delivery bot. It can operate an elevator by means of WiFi and delivers everything from snacks to toiletries. Evidently toothbrushes are what guests most commonly call down for.

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10 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

Starship

You've heard a lot about packages delivered by flying drones, but land-based drones may soon provide last mile delivery options. Starship, a six-wheeled robot, travels down sidewalks and can carry the equivalent of two grocery bags worth of goods while avoiding collisions with pedestrians and pets.

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11 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

UBR-1 from Unbounded Robotics

Like Baxter, the UBR-1 runs Linux and ROS. The company spun off of Willow Garage, the original developer of ROS. The UBR-1 has a 7 degrees-of-freedom arm with a fancy gripper for collaborative work. It's a mobile robot, so it can zip around a manufacturing floor while avoiding obstacles.

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12 of 12 Greg Nichols/ZDNet

NAO by Aldebaran

NAO is an endearing, interactiverobot companion that can be personalized and used for lots of different tasks. The idea is to customize the bot, and it's been a big hit, with over 7000 sold.

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