MoveIt, the Popular Open Source Platform for Robotic Arms, Releases ROS 2 Version

February 18, 2020
  • MoveIt is the most widely used open-source software for robotic manipulation
  • It is the third (of thousands) most popular package in the Robotic Operating System (ROS)
  • MoveIt 2 Beta enabled new levels of realtime control

Boulder, CO — February 18, 2021 — PickNik Robotics today announced the release of a much anticipated new version of MoveIt for use with the industry-advocated ROS 2. PickNik Robotics and its partners Intel, Amazon, Open Robotics, and many worldwide contributors to MoveIt, are excited to see this big step forward in providing next generation open source robotics.

“With this release, MoveIt is ready to further expand and meet the needs of demanding applications across the industry,” said Dave Coleman, CEO of PickNik Robotics and lead maintainer of the MoveIt Project. “With the robotic arm market expected to exceed $39.2 billion by 2024, PickNik Robotics is taking a new approach to supporting this market by continuing to build open source products with our partners.

It’s an exciting alternative to the model of traditional vendor lockin software.” MoveIt 2 will enable many compelling advantages over its predecessor, namely faster, more reactive planning through realtime control of robot arms. The new platform version will enable more reliable robot behaviors, based on industry feedback.

MoveIt was initially developed at Willow Garage which was started in late 2006 by Scott Hassan, who had worked with Larry Page and Sergey Brin to develop the technology that was the predecessor to the Google search engine. MoveIt has evolved for the past 10 years and is now an easy-to-use robotics manipulation platform for developing applications, evaluating designs, and building integrated products. The software is used heavily by both industry and academics to enable robotic arms to pick things up, interact with them, and move them to new locations. MoveIt also provides powerful tools and capabilities to startups to build robotics applications, previously thought out of reach by factors of cost.

MoveIt 2 and ROS have more recently garnered the attention of many companies following years of adoption from academia, startups, and government sponsored efforts like NASA’s Robonaut program. Within the ROS community and industrial consortiums, numerous industrial players such as Microsoft, Toyota, Samsung, LG, Intel, and Amazon have heavily invested in the development of open source robotics solutions. “MoveIt is a key component of the ROS 2 ecosystem, and we are happy to see the release of MoveIt 2. The capabilities provided by MoveIt open up many applications for the community.” said Tully Foote, ROS Platform Manager, Open Source Robotics Foundation.

While most tech fields have been influenced by the open internet, the vast majority of robots are still coded in walled gardens using closed source software. This a problem because creating truly general robot software for even trivial tasks is so difficult that no single person or institution can hope to do it on its own. MoveIt’s supporters believe that open source, collaborative development is the best hope for robust, safe and secure robotics software.

PickNik Robotics has been leading development of MoveIt 2 in coordination with the ROS 2 efforts. PickNik is an open source oriented company and lead maintainer of the popular MoveIt framework.

Accelerate Your Robotics Development | About PickNik: Since 2015, PickNik’s mission has been to address technical challenges while dramatically reducing development time for advanced robotic applications. To achieve this, PickNik supports and collaborates with the worldwide open source robotics movement, providing companies with cutting edge research and barrier-free open source software.