Open Source at Gostai
Urbi Open Source Edition
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Urbi is an innovative, simple to use, yet powerful universal software platform for robotics. It includes a C++ distributed component architecture, a parallel and event-driven script language for orchestration, and many modules and interfaces to other platforms or components. It is already compatible with many robots, including Nao, Aibo, Segway RMP, Spykee or Lego Mindstorm, and the number is growing!
Urbi Open Source
Going open source is the best way to make sure that Urbi will always be available freely for everyone to use, check and share, while maintaining a dual licensing model providing support and advanced features for commercial partners. Coming from an academic research lab, Gostai has always believed in the open-source model and sharing of innovation. It has been a long time since we worked to prepare Urbi for that move, and now it's ready!
What is exactly open sourced?
Precisely: the Urbi kernel, which is the urbiscript interpreter and scheduler. The UObject component architecture and liburbi will also be open source, but they have been already for many years with a GNU GPL license, so nothing new here.
What open source license, exactly?
The license we selected is the GNU Affero GPL v3, which is a license fully compatible with the GNU GPL. In a nutshell, this license extends the notion of "distribution" to network use. For more discussion about the AGPL V3, check this link.
What is a 'dual-license model'?
The GNU AGPL V3 is not usable by companies who would like to use the licensed code together with their closed-source code, because the GNU AGPL requires that you publish the source code of any derived work that you distribute. In that case, those companies can turn to Gostai to obtain a commercial license, which frees them from the obligations of the GNU AGPL. Most famously, this was the model used by the Qt library for many years. In our case, the commercial license will also include interfaces to industrial standards and advanced support.
Can I contribute to the code?
Of course! You are encouraged to submit patches, they can be accepted after a review process for quality and consistency. We also require you either to release your patch with a MIT or BSD permissive license, or to agree that we can use your contribution in our closed source commercial license. You keep your copyright, but you give us a license to re-license your code, so we can freely integrate it into the official release of Urbi.
How much will Urbi cost now?
It's free, if you are happy with the GNU AGPL V3 compatible license
What operating systems are supported?
Linux, Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OS X. We have also compiled Urbi for arm and MIPS processors, so we are confident that it should work for your particular need too.
What is not going open source?
Mainly the Gostai graphical programming Suite. We sell this application to our industrial or academics clients who need to build and execute hierarchical finite state machines or reconfigurable graphical interfaces, in an environment that is tightly coupled to Urbi.