Software Enables Building, Testing of Robotics Programs


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Rethink Robotics released the Sawyer Software Development Kit (SDK), a software upgrade designed for researchers and students to build and test programs on the Sawyer robot. With a wide range of uses for university research teams and corporate R&D laboratories around the world, the system offers further compatibility with Robot Operating System (ROS) and other open-source robotics tools, as well as a solution to increase access to advanced robotics in the classroom.

The system includes several features that enable users to visualize and control how the robot interacts with its environment. It integrates with the popular Gazebo Simulator, which creates a simulated environment that visualizes the robot and its contact with it, enabling researchers to run and test code in the simulation before running it on the robot. Its integration is completely open source, enabling students to run simulations from their individual laptops without a robot until they are ready to test the code in real time, and enabling professors to provide students with access to the collaborative robot.

Additionally, the system includes a new motion interface for programming the robot in Cartesian space. This development lowers the barriers for motion planning for programmers without a full robotics background and enables researchers to leverage impedance and force control. It also includes support for ClickSmart, the family of gripper kits from Rethink.

The system is available on all Sawyer robots, with access to both the Intera manufacturing software and the SDK software.