As its authors state, “MoveIt!” is an open source software for ROS (Robot Operating System) which is state of the art software for mobile manipulation. In fact, we could state that “MoveIt!” is becoming a de facto standard in the mobile robotics field, as more than 65 robots are using this software nowadays, including the latest robots developed by Robotnik.

“MoveIt!” includes different utilities that speed up working with robotics arms, and helps not being continuously “reinventing the wheel”, following the ROS philosophy of code reuse.

Beginning with “MoveIt” is very easy, as the package includes a wizard where user only provides  the URDF and defines some aspects (as the desired cinematic chain to control). All the remaining information about the chain, restrictions, masses and axis turn directions is automatically defined by the information provided in the URDF.

When the wizard is completed, the necessary files to start using “MoveIt!” with our robot are generated. Basically, with this wizard we are easily parameterizing the “move_group” node, the core that provides the software functionality.

This node allows to carry out complex trajectory planing tasks, 3D perception, kinematic calculations, collision checking, control and navigation in an easy way, accessing by the API or by the console tools.

Robotnik has been using this software with the latest developed robots, making it easier the kinematic calculations and the collision checking, with very remarkable results. Specifically, the products including this software are the two mobile manipulators X-WAM and Terabot, and also the new robotic torso CROM. This torso mounts two Schunk LWA4.P arms and different Schunk modules to move the neck and waist. Finally, it mounts a Barrett Hand and a gripper to carry out manipulation tasks. For the vision system, it includes different VGA cameras along the robot and a 3D camera in the head. This product will be officially presented shortly.

In conclusion, “MoveIt!” makes easier to work with arms and mobile manipulators, allowing the user to focus on the high level functionalities being developed. Undoubtedly, software packages like this are very important, because they help to make transparent some complex calculations that had to be carried out with more complex methods before, thus saving efforts and time in the development of already-solved parts, following the ROS tendency and making faster every new development in this field.


Ioan A. Sucan and Sachin Chitta, “MoveIt!”, [Online] Available: