Tag Archives: Robot Hardware

A survey on open hardware robotics

V. V. Patel, M. V. Liarokapis and A. M. Dollar, Open Robot Hardware: Progress, Benefits, Challenges, and Best Practices, IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 123-148, Sept. 2023 DOI: 10.1109/MRA.2022.3225725.

Technologies from open source projects have seen widespread adoption in robotics in recent years. The rapid pace of progress in robotics is in part fueled by open source projects, providing researchers with resources, tools, and devices to implement novel ideas and approaches quickly. Open source hardware, in particular, lowers the barrier of entry to new technologies and can further accelerate innovation in robotics. But open hardware is also more difficult to propagate in comparison to open software because it involves replicating physical components, which requires users to have sufficient familiarity and access to fabrication equipment. In this work, we present a review on open robot hardware (ORH) by first highlighting the key benefits and challenges encountered by users and developers of ORH, and then relaying some best practices that can be adopted in developing successful ORH. To accomplish this, we surveyed more than 80 major ORH projects and initiatives across different domains within robotics. Finally, we identify strategies exemplified by the surveyed projects to further detail the development process, and guide developers through the design, documentation, and dissemination stages of an ORH project.