The biannual International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence has this year shed light on a new effort to standardize robot instructions around a common platform, so that designers won't have to "reinvent the wheel over and over" with every project. Presently, robot design is undertaken in an ad hoc fashion, with both hardware and software being built from scratch, but teams at Stanford, MIT and the Technical University of Munich are hoping to change that with the Robot Operating System, or ROS. This new OS would have to compete with Microsoft's robotics offering, but the general enthusiasm for it at the conference suggests a bright future, with some brave souls even envisioning a robot app store somewhere down the line. Video after the break.


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