ADLINK Technology Inc. announces a new strategic investment in Minnesota-based, Rover Robotics. ADLINK will provide financial resources, engineering expertise and technical knowledge to Rover Robotics. The two companies are deeply vested in the future of Robotics Operating System version 2 (ROS2), and this partnership will help both companies to grow their respective product lines.
In a recent press release, the companies stated that they are working together on ROS2 products based on Data Distribution Service (DDS) and industrial robotic controllers.
“ADLINK’s strategic investment in Rover Robotics represents the company’s innovative growth in the robotics market into 2021 and beyond,” said Elizabeth Campbell, general manager of ADLINK Technology, Americas division. “We look forward to future technological advancements and diversifying our product offerings beyond traditional robotics platforms, hardware and open source software.”
“Given our commitment to embedded technologies, this partnership allows us to further enhance our ruggedized product offerings beyond the military and defense sectors,” said Jeff Munch, CTO of ADLINK Technology, who will also join the Board of Directors of the company. “The integration of Rover Robotics’ technology into ADLINK industrial robotic controllers will allow us to increase our market presence with autonomous mobile robots.”
A Ruggedized Mobile Robotic Platform
Rover Robotics produces a product line of 2 or 4 wheeled, and tracked mobile robotic platforms. The Rover Pro platform offers a ruggedized design with an IP67 rating, capable of operation both indoors and outdoors. Currently the Rover Pro platform starts at about $6K (USD). However, Rover Robotics is planning to release a new model, the Rover Zero V2 in February 2021, and it will list for about $2K (USD). This announcement is significant as this delivers a substantial and mature design for the price point.
Japan based ADLINK produces a variety of industrial camera and industrial computer solutions. For mobile robotics, ADLINK introduced the ROSCube in 2020 along with the Neuron SDK - ADLINK’s Powerful ROS2 Development Kit.
The big winner here is Rover Robotics, who now has the financial, engineering and channel support of a market leader. The strategic partnership with ADLINK ensures that the Rover Robotics hardware and software can keep up with the rapid pace of progress being made by silicon manufacturers.
“We are pleased to be working with ADLINK Technology, and thank them for their partnership and investment in Rover Robotics,” said Nick Fragale, co-founder and CEO of Rover Robotics. “We look forward to collaborating on joint solutions and expanding our product portfolio.”
ROS2 Matures As It Gains Acceptance
The Robot Operating System (ROS) has emerged as the key open-source operating system for industrial mobile robots. A majority of the autonomous mobile robot market got their start with ROS as the operating system for their mobile platforms. ROS2 is the second generation of ROS, and while it is still maturing, it is reaching the state that it is ready to leave the lab and begin use in commercial, industrial applications.
This announcement by ADLINK Technology and Rover Robotics is likely the first of several new strategic moves across the market as ROS2 evolves and matures as the accepted mobile robotics development platform in 2021 (and beyond). Both of these companies are "all-in" on ROS2 development and are part of a vibrant and growing community of open-source advocates and developers.
[Editors note: ADLINK Technology was recently a sponsor of The Mobile Robot Guide]