Last week was an exciting one in the robotics community, as hundreds of people and dozens of robotics-related companies descended on RoboBusiness 2013 in Santa Clara, CA; just down the road from OSRF headquarters.
In all the enthusiasm and bot-gawking, we wanted to point out some exciting ROS-related news that might be have been overlooked. Rethink Robotics, the company behind Baxter, enhanced the open source capabilities of their research robot.
The Baxter Research Robot now:
- supports MoveIt!, allowing researchers to plan and test trajectory algorithms in a virtual environment before the moves are executed on the robot; and
- offers integrated support for Gazebo, the widely used physics-based robotics simulator.
Those of you who have followed OSRF’s contributions to the DARPA Robotics Challenge, in particular the Virtual Robotics Challenge are already familiar with the capabilities of Gazebo and MoveIt!, but it’s great to see another top-notch robotics company embrace and extend ROS.
We had the opportunity to host Dave Coleman this past summer and witness the rise of Baxter in both reality and simulation. Dave worked closely with Gazebo, ROS, and Rethink to simulate Baxter and develop its controllers. His hard work helped the Rethink team deliver Baxter SDK version 2.0, and added another simulated robot for the robotics community.