March 01, 2019

Announcing the MoveIt2 Port

by Rob Coleman
Announcing the MoveIt2 Port

Exciting news – the MoveIt port to ROS 2.0 has begun! We are happy to announce that Acutronic Robotics is partnering with PickNik to sponsor a MoveIt codesprint to begin the port to ROS 2.

Acutronic Robotics has agreed to allocate their internal resources. Two engineers for 4 months of engineering time will begin the port of MoveIt along with funding technical support from PickNik.

This collaborative effort is a natural co-development due to Acutronic’s extensive experience working with ROS 2 and PickNik’s lead maintenance support of MoveIt. Acutronic Robotics will be focused on porting the code to enable their MARA modular robotic arm in the MoveIt ecosystem. The entire MoveIt2 port will be a large undertaking and we expect other organizations will co-sponsor in the near future. We welcome others to contribute to this effort as much as possible.

The MoveIt migration is important for a numbers of reasons, a key one being that it will accelerate ROS 2 adoption. Many companies and R&D teams report they are waiting to migrate to ROS 2 once MoveIt 2 is ready. This was similarly true when ROS Kinetic was released; months later when MoveIt was ready for Kinetic, adoption picked up dramatically.

Some key objectives and approaches of this development include:

  • Basic migration to the colcon build system, DDS-based middleware, and other new ROS 2 tools
  • Strategic planning of migration roadmap and release strategy of the MoveIt 2.0 port
  • Involving MoveIt community throughout the development process
  • Focusing on best approaches to keep the ROS 1 project synchronized with the ROS 2 fork during the transitional period
  • Quality control through extensive code reviews to ensure best practices and MoveIt’s style guidelines are followed
  • Documenting changes in MoveIt on ROS 2
  • Releasing the basic form of native MoveIt support in ROS 2.0

We would like to thank Acutronic Robotics for agreeing to sponsor this code sprint and would like to highlight their modular robotic arm, MARA, the first modular cobot.