MOV.AI, the developer of the Robotics Engine Platform™, has released the beta version of Flow™, a visual Integrated Development Environment (IDE) designed especially for robot operating system (ROS)-based robot software.
Particularly, this open IDE speeds up and streamlines robot software development. It projects a visual representation of ROS projects, making it easy to understand ROS projects and allows simple and intuitive development. MOV.AI Flow™ also facilitates easier import of assets, reduces configuration and integration work, and speeds up debugging. Moreover, it makes it easy to port projects across environments and share with the community.
“Robotics is an exciting field that ignites the imagination of millions; but robot development is complex, and there are very few development tools that simplify it. ROS is a great development foundation that is constantly evolving; but it was built for expert robotics researchers,” says Limor Schweitzer, founder of MOV.AI and a long-time robot enthusiast.
“We built a platform that bridges the gap between human imagination and its realization. MOV.AI Flow™ helps non-experts visualize the numerous different elements that make up a robot and the logic of how to build robot behavior,” continued Schweitzer.
“We are sharing it with the ROS community so that non-experts can use it effectively from day one to realize their ideas. Our vision is that high school students, robot enthusiasts in their garage, and experts will all be able to improve our lives with the help of robots.”
“MOV.AI Flow™ was initially developed by the MOV.AI team as a byproduct of working with ROS to develop robots and robot software. As they worked on their projects, they also built tools to make their lives easier,” said Motti Kushnir, MOV.AI CEO. “We decided not to leave it at that, but to pay it forward to the larger robotics community. We took the separate, ad hoc tools and further developed them into a full-blown visual IDE that can be used by almost anyone to develop a robot. That is what we are releasing today in the form of a source available tool.”
Giving Back to the Community
MOV.AI Flow™ is based on ROS and was developed with the intention of making ROS accessible to a wider community. In the spirit of ROS, the tool is completely free and the source code is available on GitHub under a source-available license. The license allows developers to use the Flow™ code freely and adapt it to their needs, including developing commercial products, with minimal exclusions.
Main Capabilities of MOV.AI Flow™ Beta
MOV.AI Flow™ Beta is a visual ROS editor with a visual representation of robot behavior. It has drag-and-drop editing capabilities and support for both existing and new ROS projects.
It features a built-in visual state machine and node orchestration. Moreover, the beta version has callback editor for multi-protocol event-handling. It has visual debugging both during simulation or in run-time. A configuration editor is also integrated for easy viewing and editing of parameter files. It facilitates Out-of-the-box integration with the ROS ecosystem. Finally, it promotes easy porting into a runtime environment, or for sharing with others in the ROS community.