PickNik Robotics Launches MoveIt Studio Developer Platform and SDK

The company said its products enable robotics and software engineers to more quickly build advanced applications that include manipulator arms.

PickNick Robotics

The MoveIt Studio behavior tree interface controlling a UR5e robot arm.
PickNik Robotics designed MoveIt Studio to help engineers develop manipulation applications in a variety of industries, including aerospace, manufacturing, and healthcare.

PickNik Robotics today announced the commercial availability of both its MoveIt Studio Developer Platform and MoveIt Studio SDK, or software development kit. The Boulder, Colo.-based company said the new software products help robotics and software engineers create, debug, and ship complex manipulation projects faster.

“These premium offerings leverage cutting edge approaches that we have developed over seven years working with some of the best robotics companies in the world,” said Dr. Dave Coleman, CEO of PickNik Robotics. “Both MoveIt Studio products ensure customers don’t have to waste time programming common manipulation behaviors. This will further evolve the robotics industry by making it more practical to use advanced manipulation techniques in more applications.” 

MoveIt Studio can be used for a variety of robotic manipulator applications including those used in space, defense, factory automation, supply chain, agriculture, healthcare, clean energy, offshore energy, undersea exploration, and more, the company said.

More on the MoveIt Studio Developer Platform

The MoveIt Studio Developer Platform is designed with a user-friendly interface, according to PickNik Robotics. It includes a set of pre-built tools intended to make it easy to build and debug behavior trees, inspect trajectories, diagnose failures, and provide robot recovery.

The company cited benefits including:

  • Low-code development of complex manipulation for non-experts
  • Remotely develop and test robot hardware
  • Introspection into complex AI decision making
  • Arm trajectory recall, rewind, and introspection
  • Remote arm jogging and operator in the loop recovery
  • Planning optimizations to help robots motion plan smarter and faster
  • Tools to take a process from prototype to production

More on the MoveIt Studio SDK

The MoveIt Studio SDK is a runtime framework that is highly extendable through a plugin-based behavior architecture that allows a robot to make its own decisions, said PickNik Robotics. It includes a library of behaviors for the most common robot manipulation tasks, and it allows companies to develop their own for application-specific needs such as leveraging their specific machine learning models.

The SDK enables robot engineers and operators to assemble complex tasks without having to worry about the details of how each sub-task is implemented, claimed PickNik Robotics. It also offers the ability to reuse sub-tasks and build applications on top of these pre-developed and hardened behaviors. This allows the developer to iterate faster and build more robust solutions.

Potential benefits include:

  • Build production systems on a robust foundation
  • Automated error-handling and fault tolerance
  • Plan multi-step, complex tasks
  • Quickly build software that can react to changes
  • Logging to help understand rate limitations and process bottlenecks
  • Reduce research and development costs and ship faster

MoveIt Studio based on widely used MoveIt framework

PickNik Robotics also leads the development of the open-source MoveIt project, a widely used robotic motion planning framework within the Robot Operating System (ROS). MoveIt is used heavily by companies and academics to enable robotic arms to interact and manipulate objects, the company said.

It is now used worldwide in thousands of robots, including projects by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Fetch, Kinova, and Franka Emika. The MoveIt Studio 1.0 Developer Platform and SDK are software products that extend MoveIt to give robot technicians access to the advanced algorithmic capabilities with an accessible user interface, the company said. 

MoveIt Capabilities Overview.

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PickNick Robotics

The MoveIt Studio behavior tree interface controlling a UR5e robot arm.

Robot Technologies