The development of reliable, robust and capable service robot platforms is expensive and time consuming. On the other hand, stable hardware is a prerequisite to be able to concentrate on the targeted research area. This paper proposes a strategy to make such high-end service robot platforms available as research platform, by means of the example of CareO-bot ® 3 developed at Fraunhofer IPA. Several methods to provide robotic hardware for research are introduced, starting from the maintenance of a common open-source repository, to the making available of simulation models of the hardware components and the possibility of remote access via a web-interface. It is shown, that Care-O-bot ® 3 is particularly suited as research platform through the modular structure of its hardware components. Thus, a very flexible set-up for Care-O-bot ® 3 is possible, making it easy to adapt to the specific requirements of different robotic research fields.