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MoveIt Maintainer Meeting Notes - May 23rd, 2019

MoveIt Meeting Notes:


  • Jens Petit - GSoC student, studying in Munich, integrating Bullet as a collision checker
  • Omid Heidari - PhD student from Idaho State U, intern at Picknik, working with TrajOpt
  • Jorge Nicho - SWRI in San Antonio, most internal projects at the moment
  • Jon Binney - CTO at Iron Ox, has arms using MoveIt
  • Bryce Willey - Realtime Robotics, Mentor for Jens, and OMPL refactoring
  • Victor Vilches - port of MoveIt to ROS 2
  • Simon Schmeisser
  • Henning Kayser - Picknik
  • Mike Lautman - Picknik, working on Cartesian interpolation planners, MoveIt Grasps
  • Nathan Brooks - Picknik, Codeowners effort
  • Gijs
  • Andy McEvoy - PickNik
  • Dave Coleman - PickNik

Moveit 2 Dashing Release

  • Acutronic provided 2 engineers originally, 2 more joined

  • Can successfully plan! Can reproduce the first example from the MoveIt tutorials!

  • a demo on how to estimate collisions without sensors?

    • aiming to get some traction towards Dashing pre-release
  • Launching an alpha release for ROS2 for Dashing makes sense.

    • Release it from the fork at Acturonics
    • not enough time to get everything into the ros-planning main repo
    • don’t want to impose on MoveIt maintainers before the complete port is finished.
    • releasing a docker with everything
    • support for 18.04 and OSX (definitely by the next 31st)
    • still a lot of work to do
    • Try it out here: any criticism is welcome
  • Acutronic is internally considering to contribute further (than just the initial ROS2 port), another announcement in 2-3 weeks

  • Qs:

    • What does Window’s support look like:
      • Not sure, no one present had extensive Windows experience
      • OSX support involved a lot of CMakeLists.txt changes (linking and compilation)
        • minor changes elsewhere
    • Did ROS2 have everything there that we needed?
      • Short answer: No.
      • Acutronic is compiling a list of known issues
      • Parameters weren’t working at the beginning, actions have a lot of issues
      • FastRTS is okay with parameters, but memory leak in in ros_wmd makes some parameter fetching makes things buggy
      • MoveIt is definitely a good battleground for testing ROS2
      • Acutronic still had to port several external dependencies outside of MoveIt as well
    • No debian files for release, just the docker hub image

ROSCon workshops

  • Dave submitted an application for MoveIt workshops on the MoveIt Task Constructor and MoveIt 2.0
  • Victor with be organizing the 2.0 workshop
  • Volunteers will be needed to help run the workshop

GSoC/PickNik Intern Projects

  • Jens Petit is integrating Bullet as a collision checker in MoveIt, for continuous collision detection in MoveIt.
    • Current status, just beginning, but progressing
  • Omid Heidari: doing TrajOpt as a new motion planner. Moving from TrajOpt_ros (tesseract planning effort)
    • To use Jens’s work for collision detection and integrate into TrajOpt
    • Has added an empty template planner, now starting to move TrajOpt in

MoveIt grasps: Mike Lautman

  • MoveIt grasps has had a lot of improvements recently, from Reputa (?) Robotics

  • Grasp planning (approach, retreat, lift planning)

  • Now being actively maintained

  • Differences between this an Intel?

  • Assumes that everything is cuboid, supports finger and suction graspers

    • No machine learning, a simpler, more lightweight approach
  • Used the Schmalz multi-suction gripper, the Robotiq 2-finger gripper

  • Tutorial to enable for a new end effector?

Future Roadmap of MoveIt

  • Dave has some ideas, wants feedback

  • Having a strong roadmap can get us Funding/Engineering time, add new contributors

  • Different Phases:

    • After MoveIt 2 in Beta, a refactor to look more like navigation 2
    • Then a new focus on determinism
      • TrajOpt, stopping OMPL from giving you random looking plans
    • Making MoveIt realtime control ready
    • What are the big needs of MoveIt?
  • Victor: everything realtime gets very complete

    • We should consider if we want to do things fast, that gets in the way of determinism sometimes
    • making layer 2 up to layer 7 of the OSI stack deterministic would be the first part of this
  • Jon: we should consider making plans that nicely run on realtime controllers

  • Could focus ideas by succinctly describing 3-6 well described use cases:

    • Pick and place
    • Research on a mobile robot
    • planning to have a meeting outside of this one to brainstorm use cases for motivating the future roadmap
  • By realtime, we mean having certain planning components run faster.

    • 1Khz controllers
    • replanning 100Hz closed loop
  • Taking advantage of ROS 2 features

  • Biggest weakness of the project: OMPl is a little dissatisfying

  • A lot of the concepts in MoveIt are too complex for most industrial arm cases:

    • MoveIt simple by Shaun Edwards
    • In the MoveIt survey, a lot of people use Industrial arms
  • Victor: we need to improve/unify the software architecture diagrams to better understand how MoveIt works between all of the nodes/connections, etc.

Opening the Meeting to the general public

  • Should we open the meeting to everyone who wants to be in it?
    • originally, the purpose of this meeting was to keep everything alive, a small, once a quarter, intimate discussion on what to do
    • Now has expanded to once monthly, more maintainers have been added recently
    • Google Hangouts has a limit of 10, that we hit recently, but we’re now doing Google Meets, which could support up to 50 people
    • we don’t want beginner users asking questions during this meeting, stick to the agenda
    • usually about 1/2 agenda items are larger PRs under debates
    • None opposed, will start announcing and linking the meeting to the public at large.
    • How do we relate to the recently created manipulation working group?
      • group all projects not necessarily in Moveit but are still relevant to manipulation.
      • manipulation is focused soley on ROS2 however, so both meeting should be around.
      • having an overall joined discussion would be nice, so consider stopping by the manipulation group

Agenda items not covered:

  • Clang-tidy slow down (Andy Z and Robert H): neither were present
  • Applications webpage update (Yu Yan): Yu was on call, but wasn’t responding, not much progress recently
1 Like

Apologies, for some reason, others couldn’t hear me online at yesterday’s meeting. I would like to update some progress on moveit_example_app.

  • Drafted a new page on, the PR is ready.
  • Prepared a repo with an application and its tutorial added. A app tutorial template is also included so that a new app tutorial can follow the similar structure. Currently, the repo is still internal. The first app demonstrates how to use OpenVINO GPD with MoveIt pick and place pipeline. The app can run in simulation with recorded point cloud and environment setup. If the user has the same robot arm and gripper, it can also run on a real robot.
  • Still preparing the docker images and CI test for the project. The plan is to make a mechanism that new app can be added in a similar way.