Robotics Insider Podcast live episode: Google Acquires ROS?

On Friday 27th of January 2023 we are going to broadcast the first episode of the Robotics Insider Podcast. We start this podcast series discussing the acquisition of Open Source Robotics Corporation by Intrinsic.

  • What happened and why?
  • What can this mean for the future of ROS?
  • Why does it matter for the ROS community?

Come to the live emission on Youtube and participate in the discussion.


This is awesome! Will it be available as audio only?


Hi @ricardotellez -

As you may know, I am OSRF’s new CEO, and @gbiggs is the new CTO.

We are reaching out because the title of your podcast, “Google acquires ROS,” is incorrect. As we have clarified in various other posts, what has been acquired by Intrinsic (an Alphabet company, not Google) are OSRC and OSRC-SG, the for-profit subsidiaries of OSRF.

Google did not acquire ROS; it remains an open-source project of OSRF, as it has always been. OSRF will continue to be the steward of and have oversight of ROS.

Can you please help us to avoid misinformation and change the title of your podcast? Thank you.


Great , I just want to ask did Google acquire ros ? or Intrinsic did

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Hi, @Daviesss. As Vanessa stated above, no one has acquired ROS. It remains an open-source project under the stewardship of OSRF.


Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks for the feedback.

Hi @Vanessa_Yamzon_Orsi and @gbiggs , thanks a lot for your clarification.

Yes, you are right and we know it. The title of the episode is on purpose because that is what the community is saying: many ROS developers understood that Google bought ROS. That is the message that reached many of the ROS developers I talked out there.

That is why we want to do the podcast, to clarify this misconception. In the podcast script we have included the explanation of why those two statements in the title are wrong: first, is not Google but Intrinsic the one involved in the acquisition; second ROS is not acquired since it remains part of OSRF.

Please give us some room to make the correct message arrive to people. For that we need to do some movements. We know how to educate people.

The podcast title is not done with the aim of generating controversy or clickbait. It is done with the opposite aim, to make the community understand that it is not correct, so they should stop saying that. Also to understand the possible implications of the acquisition.

You may be thinking, how is it possible that people understood that Google bought ROS!? We explained it quite clear in our communications!. For the same reason that very few people understands the organization of Open Robotics (with Open Source Robotics Foundation, Open Source Robotics Corporation, Open Source Robotics Corporation-SG. By the way, we explain also that organization on the podcast):

we are robotics developers and we don’t care that much to all those things. We are concentrated on making the robot DO ACTUAL THINGS. So those details about organizations, acquisitions or who is in charge of what escape to many of us and we just simplify the message in order to move forward fast.

Then, that is the main reason we are doing this episode: to clarify that those statements of the title are incorrect. We will try to do it in a different way rather than the posts, questions and IEEE interviews released so far, so we can send the message to people in a different way. May be, in this way we will be able to clarify a few other people understanding of the situation.

I hope you support us on that.

It will be delivered live on Youtube. You can attend and share your opinion or questions on the chat and we will try to address them.

Once finished, the video will be available on Youtube. We will also upload the podcast to the podcast platforms like Apple Podcast, Spotify, and others

Hi Ricardo,
What if the title is in question format instead of an affirmation? In that way it would be self descriptive and the audience would know you are going to explain if that is true or not.


I’ve explained/described it as an acqui-hire, with a tentative promise to keep supporting the main (OSS) product for “a while”.

This would indeed be a very good idea.

Similar to what you write @ricardotellez: “this is what many ROS developers heard”, the nuance of “we did this on purpose, <please read my long and carefully worded explanation here>” will be lost. Especially to those coming across this post from a search engine or a link from social media.


A question would be much better than a (wrong/oversimplified) statement. However, I personally dislike these question mark headlines; see Betteridge’s law of headlines:

“Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”


Good suggestion! Doing the change right now!


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