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Industrial Robotics Software Repository Established

Motoman robotic arm (Motoman Robotics)

(Motoman Robotics)

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio has set up a repository of software routines for industrial automation that work under the Robot Operating System. The software collection of tools, libraries, and drivers is publicly accessible and licensed under the open-source Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) license.

The Robot Operating System (ROS) provides functions and routines for applications development, such as hardware abstraction, device control, and message exchanges between processes. The primary goal of ROS is to encourage code reuse in robotics R&D, with code for various processes collected in packages or stacks, and made available in distributed repositories.

The SwRI collection is one of those repositories. The software provides a toolkit for industrial applications, such as in factories or warehouses. The applications include those developed by robotics developers, such as the Motoman Robotics division of Yaskawa America and Willow Garage. One such application is an interface for motion-control with collision prevention on the Motoman SIA10D robot arm using the DX100 robot controller (pictured left).

“SwRI had previously used ROS for industrial and advanced manufacturing systems to facilitate rapid development and lower costs,” says SwRI research engineer Shaun Edwards. “We want to take ROS into the industrial world,” Edwards adds, “by combining its high-level functionality with the relatively low-level reliability and safety of industrial robot controllers.”

In the following video, Edwards tells more about the repository and shows the robot arm in action.


Read more: Honda Advances Autonomous Humanoid Robot and Robot Arm

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