Energid Technologies Corporation, a robotic systems and software company, has announced that it has released version 4.0 of its Actin software toolkit. This new robotics software includes intuitive graphical configuration tools for human operators and powerful simulation and control techniques for next-generation robots.
Robotic systems are increasingly complex, with high-degree-of-freedom robots working in proximity to people and each other on challenging tasks that require visual, laser radar, and touch feedback. With this 4.0 release, Actin has been updated to enable new robotic systems to be applied economically in more applications.
“Many contact us wondering if hard and unpleasant tasks at their workplace could be done with a robot,” said David Askey, CBDO at Energid. “With Actin 4.0, the answer, increasingly, is yes—it can be done, and it can be done cost effectively.”
Actin 4.0 includes configurable limits on joint acceleration that enable all types of hardware, even legacy systems, to work in new and challenging environments.
Calculated motion is tailored to the degrees of freedom in the robots and the constraints in the workspace. A seven-axis arm, for example, will gain the dexterity of a human arm, and a point task like a button press will be fast and fluid.
This release of Actin is cross platform, supporting Windows, Linux, OSX, and VxWorks. In addition to native C++ support, it includes a Python interface, connects across networks using DDS, and is extensible through a powerful API that allows customization of control, simulation, and human interfacing.
To enable multiple robot arms operating in the same workspace, prioritization, collision avoidance, and—especially—collision dodging provide operators with the tools they need for complex tasking. Coordinated robotic operation can be sequenced with an easy graphical interface made possible only through Actin’s algorithmic tools.
“We take advantage of every bit of freedom,” said James English, CTO at Energid. “If completion time is flexible, tasks are prioritized down. If there are extra joints, limber movements avoid collisions. If a task can be done in more than one way, the options are traded off.”
Supporting customers in diverse fields that include energy, transportation, space, manufacturing, and research, Actin 4.0 offers breakthroughs for customers in control and multiphysics simulation. Capabilities include high fidelity 3D rendering, global and local path planning, advanced sensor integration, CAD model conversion, dynamic grasping, mobile manipulation, graphical programming, and on-the-fly robot reconfiguration.
“Robots using Actin are environmentally aware,” said Neil Tardella, CEO at Energid, “with control that integrates vision and other sensors to drive reactive motions—instead of a robot stopping when a collision occurs, Actin gives dynamic online motion to avoid collisions before they occur.”