A new version of the NSF-sponsored DARwIn-OP open-source robot has been spotted, the latest handiwork from Virginia Tech in collaboration with Purdue University, University of Pennsylvania, and Robotis Co. The images were discovered in among the DARwIn-OP support site photos by the RoboSavvy forum, though right now it's unclear exactly what changes have been made.
The robot differentiates itself by the openness not only of its hardware design but its software. The developers have committed to making all of the CAD files necessary to fabricate the 'bot available, while the software is also open for free distribution and modification. It's no basic firmware, either; according to Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory professor Dennis Hong, the DARwIn-OP will have:
"Impressive HW (hardware), but even more impressive SW (software) it will have. All free and open of course! Bipedal walking engine, vision, localization, autonomous behaviors... Good enough for advanced research, making it able to be used beyond hobby robotics."