How Can Baxter be Programmed?
The Baxter Research Robot allows direct programming access to the system via a standard, open-source Robot Operating System (ROS) API interface. Users can run custom programs from a connected development workstation, or locally through access to the on-board CPU.
Other programming languages such as C++, Python, Java, MATLAB, Urbi, C and .Net can also be used which makes Baxter extremely versatile across a range of uses.
No longer do students or researchers have to spend time retraining and learning a new programming language to work with a specific Universities’ apparatus, with Baxter they can get straight to work.
Baxter has a simulation environment that enables researchers and students to test code on a simulated version of Baxter – Gazebo. The open source nature of Gazebo means you can have a whole class completing homework/projects using the simulator, for free. Simply give them the link to download Gazebo and they can work work from home, or you can download it onto the computers in your Computer Labs. Gazebo enables students to use the same code written offline on the robot during scheduled lab time which maximises valuable lab time.
MoveIt! motion planning framework provides capabilities including Kinematics (IK, FK, Jacobian), Motion Planning (OMPL, SBPL, CHOMP) integrated as MoveIt! plugins, Environment Representation (robot representation, environment representation, collision checking, contraint evaluation), execution using move_groups, benchmarking, warehouse database for storage (scenes, robot states, motion plans), a C++/Python API and more!
Baxter now supports using MoveIt! through the addition of the configurable joint trajectory action server, and hosting of the necessary MoveIt! configuration files on ros_planning/moveit_robots.