In 2007 Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory developed the Robot Operating System (ROS) in support of the STanford Artificial Intelligence Robot STAIR. "ROS is a software framework for robot software development, providing operating system-like functionality on a heterogeneous computer cluster."
In 2008 development of ROS continued primarily at Willow Garage, a robotics research institute/incubator in Menlo Park, California, with more than twenty institutions collaborating in a federated development model. Willow Garage shut down in early 2014. Most employees were retained by Suitable Technologies, Inc, while the support and services responsibilities were transferred to Clearpath Robotics.