Frequently asked questions

MoveIt Pro empowers robotics engineers to rapidly develop complex robotic arm applications with its low-code, user-friendly interface. It simplifies tasks like multi-step motion planning, ML perception, grasp generation, collision checking, and more, saving both time and costs associated with R&D efforts.

Yes, MoveIt Pro is robot arm agnostic, allowing you to develop applications that can be transferred between various models or brands of robot arms using the URDF standard. This flexibility enables you to iterate on performance needs and potentially lower costs by switching between robots.

Behavior trees are a hierarchical structure commonly used in robotics and AI to define and control the behavior of autonomous systems, such as robot arms. They offer a visual representation of decisions and fallbacks that a system can take in response to different conditions or stimuli. MoveIt Pro's integrated behavior tree editor combines model-based design with motion and task planning, enabling the creation of sophisticated robotic behaviors.

MoveIt Pro enables developers to switch between multiple types of simulators as well as real hardware, to test different aspects of the system. MoveIt Pro supports the following simulator sources out of box:

  • Non-Physics “mock” components that provide a digital twin of your robot
  • Physics-based Gazebo, a ROS standard

Custom or commercial simulators, such as Isaac Sim and Mujoco, can be integrated by connecting them to the relevant ROS topics, services, and actions.

MoveIt Pro is designed to support the entire lifecycle of teams developing their own robot arms in-house. It includes features like reachability analysis, diagnostic tests, and calibration apps to configure cameras and kinematics for your custom robot arms.

Our customers have used serial, USB, CAN, and EtherCAT to interface to their custom hardware for both trajectory and servoing based control.

Installing MoveIt Pro will immediately provide you with a containerized developer environment with two robot arm simulation examples, dozens of motion planning behaviors, and sample objectives built using these behaviors.

MoveIt Pro primarily operates through its user-friendly interface, requiring minimal coding for most tasks.

If you wish to extend or build on top of existing MoveIt Pro capabilities, we have made it easy to create custom behavior plugins, which are designed with ROS development best practices in mind. We provide one click buttons for creating custom C++ behaviors that are ROS-less and ROS-full (with full access to the MoveIt planning scene)!

You can also use these custom C++ behaviors to talk to any other ROS node on your system, regardless of which language it was written in. This interoperability empowers you to build upon your current codebase and seamlessly integrate it into MoveIt Pro's streamlined development process for creating, testing, and deploying sophisticated robot arm applications.

Custom behaviors can be tailored to incorporate your specific use-case and functionality, such as employing an ML model to detect application specific objects. These behaviors are developed within MoveIt Pro’s flexible and reusable framework, facilitating the integration of adaptability, fault tolerance, and safety features. The resulting custom behavior can consistently achieve its desired performance objectives while maintaining robustness and reliability.

If you already have an architecture you are familiar with that talks to other components, such as PLCs, but also want the power of MoveIt Pro for your robot arm, not to worry! We built the MoveIt Pro Runtime so that you can easily invoke and monitor MoveIt Pro objectives from a ROS Python node, ROS C++ node, or even a websocket.

You can also use these custom C++ behaviors to talk to any other ROS node on your system, regardless of which language it was written in. This interoperability empowers you to build upon your current codebase and seamlessly integrate it into MoveIt Pro's streamlined development process for creating, testing, and deploying sophisticated robot arm applications.

Yes! The most common way this is done is by exposing your ML capability via a ROS Python action server, and then writing a short custom behavior to invoke and react to the action server results.

Not directly, MoveIt Pro is specifically designed from the ground up to work with the commercial-grade ROS 2 (Robot Operating System 2). It takes full advantage of the capabilities offered by ROS 2 to provide a seamless and powerful development environment for creating and deploying robot arm applications. If you're using ROS 2, MoveIt Pro offers a comprehensive set of tools and features to enhance your robotics development process. However, if you have a ROS 1 <---> ROS 2 bridge for a specific ROS 1 node, it can be launched and leveraged in your Pro application. Talk to the PickNik team about adding ROS 1 support if it is critical to your application.

While traditional pendant programs offer a simple and easy interface to programming some types of highly structured applications in factories, MoveIt Pro enables you to go beyond by providing far more advanced capabilities. MoveIt Pro is a comprehensive development environment that enables you to create, simulate, test, and deploy complex robot applications with features like collision checking, multi-step motion generation, task planning, and native ROS compatibility. This empowers robotics engineers to develop sophisticated behaviors, automate tasks, iterate rapidly, and create custom extensions, ultimately unlocking the full potential of your robot arm beyond what a pendant program can offer.

The MoveIt Motion Planning Framework is popular open source software in the ROS community that provides a low level foundation for robot motion planning and manipulation. MoveIt Pro, on the other hand, takes this capability to the next level by offering a fully integrated development environment and user interface. With MoveIt Pro, you gain access to a range of additional, advanced features such as a user-friendly behavior tree editor, integrated ML perception and grasping capabilities, automatic ROS node and arm fault recovery mechanisms, seamless simulation and hardware switching, and a dedicated support team. In addition, MoveIt Pro is fully backed by a dedicated team of developers and support engineers at PickNik, providing you the warranties and guarantees you need to build critical applications.

MoveIt Pro is our professional grade runtime and developer platform for robotics solutions, which includes two key components:

  • MoveIt Runtime extends our industry leading MoveIt Open-Source Software (OSS) for motion planning. MoveIt Runtime provides a stable, commercially supported ROS 2 foundation and integration of advanced motion planning, perception, grasping, and behavior tree capabilities for reliable solutions in unstructured environments.
  • MoveIt Studio is both a developer tool for rapid design and implementation of new behaviors and behavior trees, as well as a front end interface for creating and executing supervised autonomy tasks.
With MoveIt Pro developers can use MoveIt Studio and MoveIt Runtime to design, test, and debug their robotic applications followed by a seamless transition to exclusive use of MoveIt Runtime if an operator frontend is not required.

Yes, MoveIt Pro provides dedicated support from a knowledgeable team that can assist with any issues you encounter during development. In-person training courses and online documentation are available to help you master MoveIt Pro's capabilities.

PickNik is constantly adding new capabilities and supporting more types of robots, with a large and active development team releasing a stable version of MoveIt Pro every 3 weeks. We are very open to feature requests and will prioritize needs from paying customers. Talk to our sales team about what missing features are critical to adopting MoveIt Pro, and we can often add that as a promise in a proposal we submit to your company.