Rethink Robotics has unveiled the Sawyer Software Development Kit (SDK) designed for researchers and students to build and test programs on the Sawyer collaborative robot. The Sawyer SDK will be available on all Sawyer robots, allowing access to both the Intera manufacturing software and the SDK software, starting in March 2018.
With a wide range of uses for university research teams and corporate R&D laboratories around the world, the Sawyer SDK offers further compatibility with ROS and state-of-art Open Source robotics tools.
The Sawyer SDK integrates with the Gazebo Simulator, which creates a simulated world that allows researchers to test code before running it on the robot. The Sawyer SDK also includes a new motion interface that allows researchers to program the robot in Cartesian space. This development lowers the barriers for motion planning for programmers without a full robotics background.
The new release also allows researchers to leverage new impedance and force control. Sawyer SDK also includes support for ClickSmart, which is the family of gripper kits Rethink announced in 2017 to create a fully integrated robotic solution.
“As we have with all of our SDK releases, we’re continuing to set the standard in research with industry-leading features that allow universities and corporate labs to push the field of robotics forward and publish their research faster,” said Scott Eckert, president and CEO, Rethink Robotics.
Sawyer SDK pilot programs
Sawyer SDK is being piloted in robotics programs at multiple universities, including Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology and Northwestern University.
“Robotics is a field that combines technological and engineering skills with creativity, and the inventiveness our students have shown so far with the robots has been astounding,” said Dr. Animesh Garg, postdoctoral researcher in the Stanford University department of computer science.
Animesh and his team of researchers have put Sawyer to use executing tasks directly from virtual reality (VR) input using automatic decomposition in simpler activities. Sawyer is also used for ongoing work in learning to use simple tools, such as hammers and screwdrivers.
Stanford University’s Experimental Robotics class allows students to think beyond day-to-day industrial tasks. They’ve trained Sawyer to draw, and track moving targets and hovering drones.
Rethink’s Sawyer has enabled faster learning curves for researchers and students alike, making it easier than ever with the Sawyer SDK release.