PickNik Robotics’ MoveIt Space Helps Org

PickNik Robotics’ MoveIt Space Helps Organizations to Easily Command Complex Robotic Arms in the Most Challenging Environments

Software Platform is Ideal for Space Missions and Other Unstructured Environments that Need Reliable Remote Supervision

Boulder, CO — November 17, 2021 — PickNik Robotics, a leader in robotics software and engineering services, today announced additional details about its MoveIt™ Space software platform and the availability of the beta version of the product. MoveIt Space provides state-of-the-art motion planning software with an intuitive user interface that now makes it easy for robot operators to remotely manage complex robotic arms that require supervised autonomy.

In space missions, for example, robotic arms are used to repair satellites and augment astronauts inside space stations, and will also be used to build the future moon base. The challenge is that fully autonomous robotic arms are not yet possible, nor does mission control want them to be. Most applications of robotic arms, outside of factories, still require a human in the loop to provide remote high-level commands, monitoring and support for when the robot gets stuck.

Already being used by NASA and others, MoveIt Space enables robot operators to specify complex sequences of motions for robots (e.g. Robonaut 2) in unstructured environments such as the International Space Station or the future Lunar Gateway. (In June 2021, PickNik was awarded an SBIR Phase II from NASA for robot arm motion planning in microgravity environments.) MoveIt Space can also be used for subsea, defense/security, construction and home uses.

“MoveIt Space enables the best of humans and robots combined,” said Dave Coleman, CEO of PickNik Robotics. “We anticipate this software platform to have a huge impact on the space industry and other unstructured environments.”

Benefits of Using MoveIt Space

Some of the many benefits of using MoveIt Space are listed below.

  • Train operators faster. More intuitive and automated control interfaces reduce the need for highly trained operators and related costs. It also reduces cognitive load on operators.
  • Reduce research and development costs. MoveIt Space leverages cutting edge approaches developed over the years for some of the best robotics companies in the world.
  • Complete projects faster. Robotic projects can get to market quicker with this pre-built platform.
  • Reduce latency. Operators can command robots from long distances by sending brief, high level user instructions that encode a highly reactive, rich command set.
  • Improve safety. Reduce the need for humans in dangerous environments by expanding robot capabilities.
  • Increase accuracy. Perform precise operations by relying on highly tuned, reactive algorithms rather than humans looking at 2D video feeds and picking joint angles.

MoveIt Space Based on Widely Used MoveIt Framework

PickNik Robotics also leads the development of the open source MoveIt Spaceject, 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. It is now used worldwide in thousands of robots, including projects by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Fetch, Kinova and Franka Emika. MoveIt Space extends MoveIt to give robot technicians access to the advanced algorithmic capabilities provided by MoveIt with an accessible user interface.

Availability of MoveIt Space

PickNik Robotics is actively working with several early customers to fine-tune the MoveIt Space software platform. Companies and organizations interested in working with the MoveIt Space beta can contact PickNik Robotics at hello@picknik.ai.

About PickNik Robotics

PickNik Robotics helps companies address the technical, cost and time challenges associated with the development of advanced robotic applications. Major robotics organizations, such as NASA, Google, Amazon, Kindred, and many others, have partnered with PickNik Robotics to develop robotic applications. PickNik Robotics also supports and collaborates with the worldwide open source robotics movement and is lead developer of MoveIt. Founded in 2015, PickNik is based in Boulder, CO. More information at www.picknik.ai