Mobile manipulation and other robotics applications require sophisticated motion-planning software. RE2 Robotics Inc. and PickNik Robotics Inc. today announced a strategic partnership to accelerate the development of RE2’s autonomous robots using PickNik’s MoveIt Studio software.
“Using our MoveIt Studio software, companies such as RE2 Robotics can speed up development of complex motion planning in their robotic arm applications,” said Dr. Dave Coleman, CEO of PickNik Robotics.
“We are really impressed by the capabilities of RE2’s robot arms and the variety of applications they are tackling,” he added. “It is exciting to partner with them, bringing our advanced software and expertise to help them meet the high demand for their technology.”
RE2 Robotics provides the RE2 Sapien family of robotic arms, the RE2 Detect computer vision software, and the RE2 Intellect autonomy software to enable mobile manipulation systems that can operate in a variety of complex indoor and outdoor environments.
The Pittsburgh-based company said it can help industrial and defense customers conduct remote operations, improve worker productivity and safety, and reduce operational costs.
Founded in 2015, PickNik Robotics said it helps companies address the technical, cost, and time challenges around the development of robotics applications. The Boulder, Colo.-based startup has partnered with organizations such as NASA, Google, Amazon, and Samsung. It said it also supports open-source robotics movement and is the lead developer of the MoveIt motion-planning software.
MoveIt Studio built on ROS 2
RE2 Robotics uses MoveIt Studio to speed the integration of its RE2 Sapien and RE2 Sapien Sea Class robotic arms for new applications across multiple markets. PickNik said its software provides an intuitive user interface that allows robot operators to remotely manage complex robotic arms using “supervised autonomy.”
MoveIt Studio is based on the open-source MoveIt 2 platform, which PickNik described as an industry standard for robotic arm control through the Robot Operating System (ROS 2). The company offered a beta version of MoveIt Studio in November.
RE2 said it is using MoveIt Studio for advanced trajectory planning and collision avoidance to augment RE2 Detect and RE2 Intellect.
RE2 and PickNik grow partnership
The companies said their partnership formalizes their existing relationship and will help them continue to lead in their respective market spaces.
“At a rapid rate, businesses in the construction, aviation, and energy industries are turning to robotics to increase productivity and enhance worker safety as they continue to adjust to the challenges that are being presented by both widespread labor shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jorgen Pedersen, president and CEO of RE2 Robotics.
“As the market demand for our technology continues to soar, formally partnering with PickNik Robotics allows us to focus on our computer vision and autonomy algorithms, RE2 Detect and RE2 Intellect, knowing that we have a trusted solution for motion planning,” he added.
“PickNik Robotics’ deep knowledge of robotics software has been a valuable component in the development of our autonomous systems,” said Dr. Amanda Sgroi, director of computer vision and autonomy at RE2 Robotics. “MoveIt Studio enables us to optimize the motion planning of our mobile manipulators on a highly efficient level for combinations of fine manipulation tasks and large, open-space moves.”