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Formant, PickNik Partner on Robot Arm Motion Planning


October 19, 2021

PickNik Robotics and Formant have announced forming a working partnership to help expand both companies’ capabilities of bringing cloud-based mobile manipulation tasks to the forefront of robotics.

Formant provides the data infrastructure necessary to efficiently deploy, command, and scale fleets of robots. The company supports international robots-as-a-service (RaaS) and Fortune 500 companies in several vertical markets. Formant’s telemetry, analytics, planning, and real-time control of robots aims to expedite the new wave of robotic systems into productive commercial use cases.

PickNik Robotics provides supervised autonomy for robotic arm manipulators that bridge the gap between manual control and full autonomy. Their flagship product, MoveIt Studio, is built on top of its MoveIt open-source robotic arm manipulation platform. MoveIt integrates within the Robot Operating System (ROS) to enable robotic companies and developers to build automation applications. PickNik’s software and services have helped companies such as Google, Hyundai, Samsung, and NASA solve hard manipulation problems, the company said.

PickNik recently received an SBIR Phase II award from NASA for robot arm motion planning in microgravity environments. The company also announced the development of a commercialized open-core model of MoveIt, MoveIt STudio, which will focus on supervised autonomy to provide localized autonomous action in high latency environments with the ability to reduce operator oversight.

“We’re excited to be working with Formant,” said Dave Coleman, CEO of PickNik. “We’ve been watching the maturing robotics industry and see a lot of potential in providing supervised autonomy to a similar set of customers as Formant’s platform serves.”

The two companies plan to integrate MoveIt Studio into the Formant platform, allowing both companies to focus on their respective value offerings, and release a beta later this year. Together, the partnership lets customers stay focused on hardware and autonomy, while having access to state-of-the-art pipelines, operational workflows, and user experiences.

For more details on the partnership, visit the Formant website here.

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