An open source iCub robot mounted on a supporting frame. The robot is 104 cm high and weighs around 22 kg
An open source iCub robot mounted on a supporting frame. The robot is 104 cm high and weighs around 22 kg

Open-source robotics (OSR) is where the physical artifacts of the subject are offered by the open design movement. This branch of robotics makes use of open-source hardware and free and open-source software providing blueprints, schematics, and source code. The term usually means that information about the hardware is easily discerned so that others can make it from standard commodity components and tools—coupling it closely to the maker movement[1] and open science.



See also: Lethal autonomous weapon § Ethical and legal issues, and Ethics of artificial intelligence



This is a non-exhaustive list of open source robots: Plen2 Eiro robot Poppy Complete humanoïd robot inmoov Molecubes and the quadcopter-drone system Agilicious[2][3]


A first sign of the increasing popularity of building robots yourself can be found with the DIY community. What began with small competitions for remote operated vehicles (e.g. Robot combat), soon developed to the building of autonomous telepresence robots as Sparky and then true robots (being able to take decisions themselves) as the Open Automaton Project and Leaf Project. Certain commercial companies now also produce kits for making simple robots.

A recurring problem in the community has been projects, especially on Kickstarter, promising to fully open-source their hardware and then reneging on this promise once funded, in order to profit from being the sole manufacturer and seller.


Popular[citation needed] applications to date include:

See also


  1. ^ Gibb, Alicia (2015). Building Open Source Hardware: DIY Manufacturing for Hackers and Makers. New York. pp. 253–277.
  2. ^ Yirka, Bob. "Open-source and open hardware autonomous quadrotor flies fast and avoids obstacles". Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  3. ^ Foehn, Philipp; Kaufmann, Elia; Romero, Angel; Penicka, Robert; Sun, Sihao; Bauersfeld, Leonard; Laengle, Thomas; Cioffi, Giovanni; Song, Yunlong; Loquercio, Antonio; Scaramuzza, Davide (22 June 2022). "Agilicious: Open-source and open-hardware agile quadrotor for vision-based flight". Science Robotics. 7 (67): eabl6259. doi:10.1126/scirobotics.abl6259. ISSN 2470-9476. PMID 35731886. S2CID 249955269.
  4. ^ "DIY commercial vacuum robot". The Red Ferret Journal. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. ^ "DIY Roomba preposition on Arduino motherboard". Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  6. ^ Vrochidou, Eleni; Manios, Michail; Papakostas, George A.; Aitsidis, Charalabos N.; Panagiotopoulos, Fotis (September 2018). "Open-Source Robotics: Investigation on Existing Platforms and Their Application in Education". 2018 26th International Conference on Software, Telecommunications and Computer Networks (SoftCOM): 1–6. doi:10.23919/SOFTCOM.2018.8555860.
  7. ^ Jensen, Austin M.; Morgan, Daniel; Chen, YangQuan; Clemens, Shannon; Hardy, Thomas (1 January 2009). "Using Multiple Open-Source Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for 3D Photogrammetry and Distributed Wind Measurement". Volume 3: ASME/IEEE 2009 International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications; 20th Reliability, Stress Analysis, and Failure Prevention Conference: 629–634. doi:10.1115/DETC2009-87586.