Two of the four robots inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame on Oct. 23 ran embedded Linux. Aldebaran Robotics’ humanoid, partially open source Nao robot, known for its use in RoboCup robot soccer competitions, won in the Education & Consumer category. And iRobot’s PackBot remote sensing robot, which runs proprietary Linux, took the Industrial & Service award.
Linux is not yet a major force in the multi-million dollar industrial robot market, where proprietary real-time operating systems (RTOSes) are the norm. But for more than a decade it has enjoyed a growing presence in service, research and consumer robots. These have ranged from hobbyist and educational humanoid robots, to NASA rovers, to unmanned automated vehicles (UAVs).