This afternoon, we got a press release that was quite intriguing.
Suitable Technologies Retains Willow Garage Talent to Further Develop Beam Remote Presence Technology
Palo Alto, Calif., August 21, 2013 – Suitable Technologies, Inc., has retained a majority of employees from Willow Garage, Inc. to increase and enhance the development of Suitable Technologies’ Beam™ remote presence system. Suitable Technologies will use the combined resources to further product development, sales and customer support.
See the full press release here.
Our take? It seems to be a good deal for both companies. Willow Garage, over the past few months, has been working on becoming an independent venture on its own. But since most of the scientific and innovation talent has gone to do their own endeavors (Open Source Robotics Foundation keepers of ROS, Industrial Perception, hiDOF, and Unbounded Robotics), Willow was becoming more of a keeper of the PR2 flame and not able to keep such infrastructure afloat.
Bringing the two groups together (which Scott Hassan has been the head of both for sometime) gives Suitable their home once again (the predecessor of the Beam was created there) and a staff that are already versed in build and maintenance of robotic systems.
Seems like the obvious solution to the potential loss of an icon.