Southwest Research Institute is launching ROS Industrial Consortium, a cooperative research consortium. This effort has several important benefits. It will help make recent research in robotics and 3D perception available to industrial users and allow them to perform adaptive manufacturing tasks. Academic researchers stand to benefit as industrial quality and safety needs will focus work on improving the robustness of open source robotics software. This will also open up industrial robotics opportunities for graduate students with ROS experience that are looking to escape academia. Industrial robotics integrators stand to benefit as reduced system integration time will encourage robotic manufacturing applications to become more complex, increasing total billable hours.
It will be interesting to see the impact of industrial robot manufacturers embracing open source software and the new manufacturing applications that become possible.