Intrinsic to Acquire Open Source Robotics Corp. to Expand Robotics Software Development Tools

Intrinsic said its purchase of OSRC will help it "accelerate" its mission and provide better software tools for robotic developers.


From left to right:​​​​ Brian Gerkey, former CEO at Open Robotics; Wendy Tan White, CEO at Intrinsic; and Torsten Kroeger, CTO of Intrinsic.
Intrinsic said it will buy the Open Source Robotics Corp., the commercial subsidiary of the Open Source Robotics Foundation, for an undisclosed amount.

Robotics software developer Intrinsic Innovation LLC is acquiring Open Source Robotics’ commercial division for an undisclosed amount. Intrinsic CEO Wendy Tan White announced the news in a company blog post today.

“At Intrinsic, we’re aiming to accelerate a new generation of robotics developers,” she wrote. “We want to make programming intelligent robotic solutions as simple as standing up a website or mobile application.”

“To realize this vision, we’re welcoming Brian Gerkey, former CEO and co-founder of the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF), and his team to Intrinsic by acquiring the business of its commercial subsidiary, the Open Source Robotics Corporation (OSRC),” said Tan White.

Intrinsic will also be acquiring Open Source Robotics Corporation Singapore (OSRC-SG). 

Tan White noted that the OSRF will not be greatly impacted by the deal because it is a separate part of Open Robotics. The foundation will continue to manage and offer open-source tools such as the Robot Operating System (ROS), Gazebo, and Open-RMF for free.

Intrinsic plans to expand ROS tools

Intrinsic came out of X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, and is now independently run under the Mountain View, Calif-based company. It primarily creates software for developers of industrial automation. Intrinsic has already been using ROS to help build its tools, Tan White noted.

“Our team is eager to welcome and work with our new colleagues, expand our use and integration of ROS tools, and build the Intrinsic platform,” she said. “As we work together to support and serve developers, we see immense value in creating a software platform that expands access to intelligent robotics in a way that’s compatible, useful, and open, while creating countless opportunities where they didn’t exist before.”

The Open Source Robotics Foundation, also known as Open Robotics, was started in March 2012. Its stated mission is to “support the development, distribution, and adoption of open-source software for use in robotics research, education, and product development.” Open Robotics created OSRC in September 2016.

As part of the move, Gerkey will join Intrinsic and work on the OSRC team, and Vanessa Yamzon Orsi will become the new CEO of the foundation. Gerkey shared additional details about the restructuring in a post published today. 

“I've been developing open-source robot software for over 20 years, and I can't overstate how big this opportunity is for our community and the future of our industry,” Gerkey said in a statement. “Our team has always been and will remain committed to building and supporting the infrastructure on which we all depend.”

“Being part of Intrinsic not only allows us to invest more into ROS, Gazebo, and Open-RMF, but [also] to go further by making new options available to developers through the Intrinsic platform,” said the former Open Robotics CEO.

Intrinsic’s motion planning software orchestrates four industrial robots to build wooden pods for a sustainable architecture project ​​by Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

About the Author

Cesareo Contreras's avatar
Cesareo Contreras
Cesareo Contreras was associate editor at Robotics 24/7. Prior to working at Peerless Media, he was an award-winning reporter at the Metrowest Daily News and Milford Daily News in Massachusetts. Contreras is a graduate of Framingham State University and has a keen interest in the human side of emerging technologies.
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From left to right:​​​​ Brian Gerkey, former CEO at Open Robotics; Wendy Tan White, CEO at Intrinsic; and Torsten Kroeger, CTO of Intrinsic.

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