kkleiner writes "Open source robotics received a huge momentum boost last Friday. Willow Garage, one of the driving forces behind the Robot Operating System, announced that it would be giving away ten of its new and extraordinary PR2 Beta Robots. Willow Garage has an open call for proposals, so that any research group can apply to receive one of the PR2 Betas free of charge. Applicants will have to release their research with the PR2 freely and under standard open source agreements. In this way, Willow Garage is accelerating the field of robotics, not just by making their PR2 Betas available, but by encouraging the shared development of robots and advocating an open source approach."